Virginia Union University's Darius Taylor completed eight of 14 passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns as the Panthers over-powered Lincoln (Pa.) University 45-23 on Saturday, October 7, in Lincoln University, Pa.
Taylor now has 11 passing touchdowns and 1,077 yards passing on the season.
VUU's Arron Baker rushed for 137 yards on 10 carries, marking the first time Baker has went over the century mark in rushing yards at VUU.
Virginia Union's Chazton McKenzie led the Panthers with three catches for 92 yards and a touchdown. VUU's Jewison Dawkins and Lavatiae Kelly also caught touchdown passes in the win.
VUU's Sterling Hammond led the Panthers with nine tackles and also recovered a Lincoln fumble.
Virginia Union posted the second-highest offensive output of the season with 488 yards in total offense. Union's highest total this season came against Fayetteville State University when VUU racked up 511 yards in total offense.
The win also kept VUU in a first-place tie with Bowie State University and Virginia State University for first-place in the Nothern Division of the CIAA. All three schools have idential 3-0 conference records and 1-0 divisional records.
Lions quarterback Vincent Espinoza threw for 204 yards with 19 completions in 31 attempts including one touchdown pass. Carlos Croslin produced 161 all-purposes yards including a spectacular 53 yard touchdown run where he reversed from one side of the field to the other to score the touchdown. Croslin also caught three passes for 40 yards and had kickoff returns of 33 and 35 yards.
Trey McCollum caught six passes while Andre Price added four receptions including a ten yard touchdown in the second quarter.
The Lions finished with 363 yards of total offense, their highest output of the season. Lincoln also held possession for nearly 40 minutes of action.
Espinoza teamed up with Price to produce the Lions first score of the game, a ten yard pass that completed a ten play- 97 yard drive and gave Lincoln a 7-0 lead. A fake punt that turned into a 43-yard pass completion by punter Cody Waddell to Rob Catchings setup the touchdown.
The Panthers tied the game in quick fashion needing just 38 seconds for Taylor to hook up with Lavatiae Kelly from 22 yards out for the tying touchdown.
Croslin gave the Lions excellent field position for their next drive with a 35 yard kickoff return. Three plays into the drive Croslin pulled off his spectacular 53 yard run to give the lions a 14-7 lead.
Kelly put the Panthers in great field position on their next possession with a 41 yard kickoff return and like the Lions on their scoring drive, needed just three plays to tie the score on a 38-yard pass from Taylor to Chatzo McKenzie.
A pair of Lions turnovers on their next two possessions both led to Panther touchdowns and a 28-14 VUU lead. Waddell added a 32 yard field goal with 1:12 left in the quarter to close the gap to 28-17 where the score remained until halftime.
Taylor's third touchdown pass of the night, a 15 yard throw to Jewison Dawkins made the score 35-17 late in the third quarter. Lincoln came right back and scored on their next possession as the fourth quarter began when Rameses Owens powered into the end zone from four yards out to close the gap to 35-23
The Panthers added a touchdown and a field goal later in the fourth quarter to round out the scoring and provide the final 45-23 margin.
Virginia Union now returns to Hovey Field in Richmond, Va., to face Chowan University at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 14 in the Lucille M. Brown Community Youth Bowl.
The Lions return to action next weekend as they travel to Elizabeth City State University for another CIAA North Division clash. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.
~ VUU & Lincoln Sports Information