The Virginia State University football team defeated Virginia Union University, 40-39, in Rogers Stadium to take the CIAA Northern Division Title and secure a trip to the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Championship game. The Trojans finished out their regular season undefeated. The last time the Trojans were 9-0 was in 1929.
In an action-packed contest, junior Kurtis Brooks (Las Vegas, NV) intercepted the ball with less than a minute remaining to give VSU possession of the ball to close out the game. A penalty by the Panthers moved the ball up to VUU's 2-yard line. Senior Trenton Cannon (Hampton, VA) powered through, running the ball for two-yard to secure a touchdown to give VSU a 40-39 lead.
The Trojans showed up to play in their final home game of the regular season by grasping an early 7-0 lead at 9:10 mark in the opening quarter when quarterback Cordelreal Cook (Atlanta, GA) saw an opening for a 17-yard run into the Trojans end zone. Keeping the same momentum, the Trojans added their second touchdown at the 7:01 mark, when senior Blair Wynn (Englewood, NJ) connected with Joshua Harris (King William, VA) on a 30-yard pass. The extra point was good by Matthew Hillquist (Glen Allen, VA) putting the Trojans up, 14-0. The Panthers then answered when Darius Taylor connected with Gustavious Dames on a 45-yard pass to put them on the board. The extra point by Jefferson Souza was good to cut the lead 14-7, closing out the first quarter.
Entering into the second quarter, the Panthers added a touchdown at the 13:28 mark. Quarterback Darius Taylor found Jewison Dawkins on a 22-yard pass and the extra point to tie to the game, 14-14. VSU's Cordelral Cook answered by running the ball for five-yards into the end zone at the 3:13 mark. The extra point was good by Hillquist to edge the Trojans 21-14 over VUU. The Panthers then positioned themselves into field goals range to secure three points to shorten the Trojans lead, 21-17. Closing out the quarter with seconds left, Cannon exploded into the end zone on a two-yard run. At the half, VSU held a 28-17 lead.
The Panthers were first to add points on the board at the 13:08 mark in the third quarter. Darius Taylor connected with Gustavious Dames on a 32-yard pass finding the end zone. Followed by Karl Calhoun picking up two extra points to cut the lead 28-25. VUU then added another touchdown when Darius Taylor found Chazto McKenzie on a 24-yard pass to give the Panthers its first lead of the game, 32-28. Closing out the quarter the Panthers added another touchdown when Sterling Hammond found the end zone on a 15-yard punt return. At the end of the third quarter the Panther led the Trojans, 39-28.
In the final quarter of the game, the Trojans continued to rally taking things one play at a time. At the 14:53 mark senior Niko Johnson found Joshua Harris for a four-yard touchdown, cutting the Panther lead 39-34. Senior Trenton Cannon (Hampton, VA) closed the VSU drive by running the ball for two-yard to secure a touchdown, giving VSU a 40-39 lead.
Junior Kurtis Brooks (Las Vegas, NV) then intercepted the ball with less than a minute remaining to give VSU possession to close out the game.
Leading the charge offensively for the Trojans was senior Trenton Cannon who rushed for 108 yards and collected two touchdowns on 24 carries. Quarterback Cordelral Cook completed 13 percent of his passes for 123 yards and two rushes for a touchdown. Senior Zachary Parker (Reston, VA) led all receivers with 100 yards on seven reception.
Virginia State racked up 421 total yards of offense compared to 403 for Virginia Union.