Written by Kevin Parrish
BOWIE, Md. – With nearly 2,000 fans in attendance for the matchup between Bowie State University and Alderson Broaddus University, it was the Bulldogs who prevailed over the Battlers 42-14, taking a commanding lead of the series matchup.
A win is always an excellent thing for Bowie State Head Coach Damon Wilson, but even after a victory, there is still something that can be improved before the next game. "We're still missing on little things” said Wilson. "It's still a work in progress, but overall the result speaks for itself. "I'm very happy … Very happy that we always get the win. Always getting a W is always a good feeling. Like I say, there's still some things that we could clean up, but overall, I'm very proud of the way we came out and hit it, especially in front of the home crowd."
The victory pushed Bowie State to 3-0 overall while Alderson Broaddus dropped to 0-3 on the year, in the Bulldogs final non-conference game for the regular season.
As Bowie State continues its winning ways, the play of redshirt junior Gaston Cooper (Silver Spring, Md.) has improved with each victory. In his debut, Cooper struggled by completing 5-of-16 passes for 38 yards and was picked off twice. The following week, Cooper completed 15-of-31 passes for 148 yards.
Then, today, in his third start under center, he completed 8-of-14 passes for a season-best 187 yards and three touchdowns. If anything, it's clear the signal-caller is gaining confidence after each matchup.
"He's a lot better, coach Wilson said. "In game one, he was pretty awful! In game two, he got a little bit better. As for today, I think at halftime he was probably about 60 percent from a completion standpoint, which was better. You know, it's not where we want to be, but he's going in the right direction."
One reason for the early disappointments could amount to a lack of snaps. Cooper transferred to Bowie State in 2017, where he spent two seasons backing up former Bulldog quarterback Amir Hall. Three games into the season, it's apparent that comfort has begun to replace his nervousness.
"After I was pulled in the AIC game, I kind of came back, regrouped and kind of left all those nerves and feelings up there in Massachusetts. I took a step back, reflected, just took a deep breath. It all comes down to relaxing and slowing the game back down. It was just really a lot of nerves coming in, but I mean, right now I feel like it's just another day of practice."
“Cooper is coming along”, Wilson said. "He's getting better. He made some mistakes earlier in the game, but you know he was able to get us ahead going into halftime. I'd just like to see progression in regard to reading the defense and that sort of thing. He's doing a much better job than he did game one."
For the second-consecutive week, senior DuShon David (Washington, D.C.) was the leading receiver for the Bulldogs with 107 yards on three receptions. In total, the Bulldogs receivers gained 206 yards on 11 catches. On the other side of the ball, redshirt senior Anthony Howard (Temple Hills, Md.) led the Bulldogs for the third game in a row, accounting for six tackles.
The Bulldogs will welcome the Saint Augustine University Falcons to campus next Saturday (September 28), in its first conference matchup of the year. But whether it's a conference matchup or not, the focus relies on communications and trusting one another.
"We always want to get better each week, Wilson continued. "We don't care if it's a conference game or not, we just have to get better each week. This week, we're going to focus on communicating better and be ready for Saint Augustine’s."