Virginia Union University quarterback Khalid Morris passed for 215 yards and four touchdowns as the Panthers won their third game in a row by downing Livingstone College 44-0. Three TD throws came in the first half, when the guests built a 31-0 advantage.
Livingstone quarterback Miles Hayes — the sophomore who passed for 817 yards and eight touchdowns in games one-through-four — was frustrated from the start. The Blue Bears went three-and-out on 10 occasions, converted only three of 17 third-down chances and punted 11 times.
“We knew he was one of the top quarterbacks in the league and one of their most dangerous players,” said revered Virginia Union coach Alvin Parker. “We did a good job staying in his face all day. Our defense played lights out.”
That defense limited Livingstone to eight first downs and 172 total yards — including a paltry 24 on the ground. Hayes completed just three of his first 16 attempts and finished 8-for-25 for 85 yards with a fourth-period interception. Predictably, the offense never got untracked and spent much of the afternoon driving around with its check-engine light illuminated. Freshman Lazarus Anderson (5-for-8, 63 yards) relieved Hayes in both the first and fourth quarters.
By the third quarter, the Blue Bears were already roped and tied. VUU kicker Jefferson Souza — the CIAA’s reigning Special Teams Player of the Week — sandwiched his second and third field goals of the game around around an 11-yard Morris-to-Desmond Smith touchdown pass.
Livingstone, meanwhile, spent the second half trying to ignite its offense, but never did.
“We knew we’d have to bring our ‘A’ game and were able to win big,” Parker smiled afterward. “Our defense did a good job and we tackled well, but what helped us most were all the three-and-outs. You’ve got to play strong in this league in October. A lot of league titles are won in October.”
Virginia Union now travels to Lincoln University, Pa., to face Lincoln University at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 12.