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Charlotte, N.C. –  Senior kicker Matias Lambrecht kicked a 33-yard field goal as time expired to lift Johnson C. Smith over Elizabeth City State 31-28 in the CIAA opener for both teams on Saturday afternoon at the Irwin Belk Complex in Charlotte, N.C.jcsu bull

After battling through a scoreless first quarter, Elizabeth City State (1-3, 0-1 CIAA) struck first after quarterback Daquan Neal capped a 13-play, 96 yard drive with a 2-yard run at the 12:23 mark.  JCSU responded, embarking on a 12-play, 72 yard drive that saw sophomore quarterback Harold Herbin (Fayetteville, N.C.) plunge in from one yard out to tie the score at 7-7.  JCSU would take the 14-7 lead when freshman running back Braxton Gambrell (Seneca, S.C.) ran in from 13-yards out to give JCSU the halftime lead.

The Golden Bulls (1-3, 1-0 CIAA) extended the lead to 21-7 after Desean Binyard (Winston-Salem, N.C.) scored on a 9-yard jaunt with 3:09 left in the third quarter.  ECSU clawed back to make it 21-14 after Dajuan Greene took an 8-yard pass from Neal, capping a 9-play, 65 yard drive.

The Golden Bulls responded again, making it 28-14 when junior receiver  Gabriel Yuille (Baltimore, Md.) caught a 13-yard toss from Herbin with 6:22 on the third quarter clock. On the ensuing kickoff, ECSU’s Quenton Williams raced 95-yards up the left sideline for the score. The point-after was blocked and ECSU was down only 28-20 with 6:22 to play.

After a JCSU punt, ECSU was able to tie the game when Davion Council rushed for a six-yard score with 1:39 left. Neal then rushed up the middle for the two-point conversion to knot the score at 28-28.

JCSU’s JeJuan McCalston (Covington, Ga.) then took the kickoff 49 yards, but an illegal block on the Golden Bulls pushed the ball to the 21-yard line to begin the game-winning drive. After moving the ball to the JCSU 32 following two completions to Eugene Holmes (Columbia, S.C.) and a 6-yard rush by Herbin, Demarcus Berry (Winterville, N.C.) hauled in a 25-yard pass to the ECSU 34 by dragging a toe on the far sideline. An unsportsmanlike penalty on the Vikings set the Golden Bulls up at the Viking 19-yard line with 32 seconds remaining.

On the next play, Herbin saw senior Rod Carter (Miami, Fla.) streaking to the endzone and delivered a near-perfect pass that Carter could not haul in, but a pass interference penalty gave JCSU the ball at the ECSU 9-yard line. After an incompletion and a holding penalty on JCSU backed the Golden Bulls to the 20, Binyard rushed up the middle to the Viking 16 forcing JCSU to call a timeout with three seconds remaining. ECSU then called a timeout in an attempt to ice the JCSU kicker.

Lambrecht, a product of Venice, Fla.,  then trotted onto the field and knocked in the kick, his first career field goal, that set off celebration from the JCSU bench.

Offensively, Herbin threw for 185 yards on a 15-of-22 outing with one touchdown while adding 21 yards on the ground. Binyard was the leading JCSU rusher, carrying the ball 17 times for 91 yards and a score. Holmes led all JCSU receivers with five catches for 59 yards.

The JCSU defense was led by Basir Wright (Douglasville, Ga.), as he totaled 10 tackles, a half sack and had two pass breakups. Marcel Toran (Upper Marlboro, Md.) also had a good outing totaling seven tackles and two tackles for loss.  Junior safety Carlo Thomas (East Orange, N.J.) had six tackles, two for loss and pulled down his third interception of the year, thwarting an ECSU drive that began at the JCSU 6-yard line following a fumble.

ECSU quarterback Neal threw for 224 yards and a touchdown on a 20-of-44 effort. Viking running back Deshon Saunders finished with 45 yards on seven carries and Dajuan Green had five catches for 51 yards and a score in the losing effort.

The Golden Bulls will continue CIAA play on Saturday, Oct. 1, traveling to Murfreesboro, N.C. to take on Chowan for only the third time in series history. Kickoff from Garrison Stadium is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.

~JCSU Sports Information

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