DURHAM — There were no last-second heroics for St. Augustine’s this time around. In last season’s regular-season finale, the Falcons defeated Shaw on the game’s final play.
This time, however, the Bears were in control throughout Saturday and walked away with a 32-14 victory at Durham County Stadium. The win gives second-year coach Robert Massey his first winning season as coach.
Senior cornerback Darnell Evans, who leads the NCAA’s Division II in interceptions, added another to give him 13; and sophomore running back Marquise Grizzle, the CIAA’s leading rusher, gaines 253 total yards (121 rushing, 132 receiving).
The Bears racked up 511 yards of total offense while holding the Falcons to 198.
“It was hard not to get too emotional,” Evans said. “But it (the win) was extra special against our rival. We both could be 0-9 and it would still mean something. We see those guys all the time.”
Shaw led 9-7 at halftime but scored on its first possession of the second half on a six-play, 65-yard drive that was aided by two St. Aug’s penalties. Grizzle scampered in from the 6-yard line for a 16-7 Shaw lead.
But the Falcons closed to 16-14 on receiver and track star Jermaine Jones’ 80-yard kickoff return.
“I had a sinking feeling after that,” said Massey, whose team lost a late fourth-quarter lead to Winston-Salem State last week. “Our intent was not to kick to him, but fortunately we rebounded.”
Shaw built its lead back to nine when Folston found Grizzle for 55 yards with 5:25 left in the third quarter. A safety made it 25-14 before Folston threw his third touchdown pass and second to Brown. Folston, who was subbing for injured starting quarterback Quinshon Odom, completed 19 of 32 for 315 yards and three touchdowns.
Despite the loss, Falcons senior linebacker Chaz Robinson tied the school’s single-season tackles record with 126.
“We just made too many mistakes and penalties in the third quarter,” St. Aug’s coach Michael Costa said. “There was no consistency in our play. For every good play we made, we made a bad one.”
The Bears took an early 6-0 lead on Folton’s 38-yard pass to Brown, but a missed point-after attempt left the score 6-0.
St. Aug’s committed three turnovers in the first half, but the Bears only capitalized on one. Shaw defensive back Derrick Washington recovered a fumble at the Falcons 22. St. Aug’s defense held the Bears to a 20-yard field goal for a 9-0 lead.
The Falcons’ first scoring opportunity resulted in a missed 32-yard field goal, but they got into the end zone with 2:21 left before the half. Davis hit Jordan Turkvant for 16 yards to trail 9-7.