The Fayetteville State football team may have ended their season on a loss but this season was definitely a success and a great story for second-year Head Coach Richard Hayes and his players. The Broncos started off a disappointing 1-4 before winning five straight games to clinch their fifth appearance in the CIAA Championship. November 11th, Fayetteville State (6-5) took on Virginia State (10-0) in Salem, Virginia for the conference crown, losing 42-19. Prior to this season, Fayetteville State had not made the championship since 2009.
With the season now over, we take a look back on the Broncos’ season.
The Broncos won their season opener against Chowan before losing four straight games, including nail biters against Elizabeth City State in the Down East Viking Classic, and Virginia Union. The lowest point of their season could have been the loss against Bowie State, 64-31, which prompted Coach Hayes to declare the loss a victim of “growing pains.”
However, the loss against Bowie State proved to be the catalyst for the five game winning streak that put Fayetteville State in the championship. The streak featured four games that the Broncos won by 3 points or less. In fact, the Broncos defeated those four opponents–Shaw, St. Augustine, Livingstone, and Winston Salem State by a combined 9 points.
Another catalyst for the five game winning streak? Freshman Quarterback Richard Latimer who started six games this season, including those five games and the CIAA Championship. On the season, Latimer completed 92 of 180 passes for 1228 yards and 7 touchdowns with 9 interceptions. He also had 2 rushing touchdowns.
For their efforts this season, nine Broncos made the All-CIAA First or Second Team and seven freshman Broncos made the All-CIAA Rookie Team.
The Voice, though, has chosen three Broncos to highlight.
David Lamb: Often times, a kicker is more known for his failures than his successes. After kicking three game-winning field goals this year, the junior Lamb deserves some positive attention while playing a pressure-filled position. Against Winston Salem State, Lamb made the game-winning extra point with 30 seconds left to actually send the Broncos to the championship. He also made game-winning kicks against Shaw with 4 seconds left from 30 yards out and against St. Augustine for the Broncos’ homecoming.
Stevie Green: After being named All-CIAA Offensive Rookie of the Year last season (1150 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns) , Green improved those numbers with a sophomore, Second Team all-CIAA campaign that included 1257 yards rushing on 225 rushes with 15 touchdowns, including a 250 yard and 4 touchdown performance against Elizabeth City State. He was also the second leading receiver on the team this season with 181 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns.
Seth Johnson: The Charlotte native led the Broncos in tackles with 69. The 6’1 210 linebacker set the tone with 43 solo tackles (also a team-high), 4.5 tackles for a loss, and 3.5 sacks in nine games. The senior finishes his collegiate career with 183 total tackles, 4 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and one interception.