The Howard University football team played their second and final home game at Greene Stadium against the South Carolina State Bulldogs as the Bison celebrated Senior Day. The Bison walked away from the game triumphant, earning a 28-14 victory in front of their home crowd.
The matchup was a battle in the beginning, as both teams struggled to move the ball offensively, resulting in four consecutive scoreless drives to open the game. The Bulldogs struck first with a passing touchdown about midway through the first quarter, aided by great field position granted by their defense. Howard quickly responded with a touchdown of their own on the following possession with a two-play, 78-yard touchdown drive, spearheaded by sophomore running back Jarret Hunter, who finished the game with 15 touches for 192 all-purpose yards and three scores.
“I knew the big runs would come because the line was opening up gaps, [I] just had to be patient,” Hunter told The Hilltop.
Hunter’s touchdown was the first rumbling of an ensuing avalanche favoring the Bison. Howard would get a stop on the following possession, then execute a 92-yard drive, capped off by a touchdown run by Kasey Hawthorne. The defense got in on the action during the next drive with a takeaway by sophomore defensive back Xavier Robiou, his first of the season. Robiou, who has stepped up as a playmaker on Howard’s defense, has had this moment brewing for several weeks.
“I attribute my play mostly to all my coaches and teammates who push me each and every day on and off the field; also to all the hard work I put in during the off-season when I didn’t feel like putting in the work and did,” Robiou told The Hilltop.
After the interception by Robiou, Jarret Hunter hauled in a touchdown pass from Quinton Williams with 1:38 left to play in the first half for his second score of the game. Hunter’s score gave the Bison a 21-7 advantage that they held going into halftime.
Late in the third quarter, Jarrett Hunter completed his hat trick with his third touchdown of the afternoon on a two-yard pass from Quinton Williams to ice the game. This came on the heels of great execution from the offense in the third quarter and put the Bison up 28-7.
The game concluded with a final score of 28-14, in favor of the Howard University Bison, as they improved their record to 4-6 (3-1) and maintained their second place position in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). The win was a fantastic showcase of the progression made throughout the season in front of their home crowd. Games at Greene Stadium are truly one of a kind, given the student support and showcase of Howard’s culture.
Howard’s Xavier Robiou spoke to the Hilltop about the significance of playing at home saying, “Everything [about home games is special], being that we have only had one home game in Greene stadium before this just made it even more special. Playing on the field where we put in all the hard work, blood, sweat and tears and to have our home crowd in the stands to support us–it’s just no better feeling, which contributed to the victory.”
Earning this win showed the Howard football team’s resilience, as they were able to bounce back from a tough loss in their previous game against North Carolina Central. Jarret Hunter spoke about the team’s focus coming into the game translating to results on the field.
“We just wanted to bounce back from last week and play the way we knew we could play. The high level of execution we showed can definitely be carried to the next game.”
The Bison will play their final game on the road against conference opponent Morgan State on Saturday, November 19.
Copy edited by Jadyn Barnett