ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. – With four games inside of Roebuck Stadium, two contests against Football Championship Subdivision opponents, and the 22nd Annual Down East Viking Football Classic, the 2019 Elizabeth City State University football schedule promises to be a great one.
"We put together a challenging schedule for 2019. We talk to our recruits about when they come here they will have the opportunity to play in a tough conference and will have the chance to play quality opponents outside of the CIAA. This schedule makes good on that promise," Viking head football coach Anthony Jones said.
The Vikings will start off the 2019 campaign making the short 65-mile drive north to face off against Hampton University on August 31st. Hampton, a member of the Big South Conference, completed the 2018 season with a 7-3 record. The Pirates and Vikings were conference rivals in the CIAA until Hampton left the conference in 1995. That represented the last time these two faced off when Hampton defeated ECSU 36-13.
ECSU will travel back to the Harbor of Hospitality to face off against NAIA member Allen University on September 7th. The Yellow Jackets brought back their football program in 2018 and went 2-6 in their initial campaign. That contest will represent the #VikingFly Day for the ECSU athletics department.
The Vikings will then embark on a two-game road trip with the first stop in Salisbury, N.C. to face off against CIAA-member Livingstone College in a non-conference matchup. Livingstone finished 2018 with a 3-6 record and this marks the first contest between these two conference opponents since 2015 when the Vikings came away with the 41-6 win. ECSU will then travel to Durham, N.C. to face off against old CIAA rival and current MEAC member North Carolina Central University. NCCU and ECSU last faced off back in 2014 as the Eagles won 34-7. The two also faced off in the 2006 CIAA Championship as the Eagles defeated the Vikings 17-14.
After the contest at NCCU, the Vikings will head to Rocky Mount to face off against CIAA rival Fayetteville State University in the 22nd Annual Down East Viking Football Classic. The Vikings and Broncos will face off in the Classic for the ninth time with Fayetteville State holding a 5-3 advantage in those Classic meetings. Fayetteville State finished 2018 with a 6-3 record and an appearance in the CIAA Championship Game.
On October 5th, the Vikings will travel to Raleigh to face off against conference rival St. Augustine's University. These two teams faced off last season in Elizabeth City with the Falcons coming out with the 24-17 win. The Falcons completed the 2018 campaign with a 2-7 record overall and a 2-4 record in CIAA play.
Back-to-back home game highlight the next two weeks for the Vikings as ECSU will first welcome in Virginia State University for Community Day at Roebuck Stadium on October 12th. The Vikings traveled to Ettrick in 2018 and dropped a 41-19 contest to the Trojans. Virginia State finished the 2018 campaign with a 4-5 record overall and a 4-3 mark in the CIAA. After the tilt with Virginia State, ECSU will welcome in Lincoln for Homecoming 2019 on October 19th. The Vikings traveled to Lincoln during the 2018 campaign and lost 21-20. The Lions would finish the 2018 campaign with a 1-9 record and a 1-5 record in CIAA play.
Another two game road trip awaits the Vikings following the clash with Lincoln as the Vikings will first take the short road trip to Murfreesboro to face off against Chowan on October 26th. The contest highlights the 12th straight year that these two have faced off against each other with the Vikings boasting an 8-3 record since Chowan entered the CIAA in 2008. The Hawks, however, have taken the previous two meetings from ECSU. ECSU will then travel to Virginia Union to face off against the Panthers for the 60th straight time. The Vikings and Panthers last faced off in 2018 with the Panthers taking a 53-0 win, while on their way to an 8-2 record overall and 6-1 in the CIAA.
To wrap up the regular season, the Vikings will welcome in defending CIAA champions Bowie State for Senior Day 2019 inside Roebuck Stadium. The Vikings dropped their season finale in 2018 to the Bulldogs by a 49-7 margin. The Bulldogs finished the season with a 10-3 record overall, a 5-1 record in the CIAA and a second round appearance in the NCAA Division II football playoffs.