Wide receiver William Woods came down with a desperation pass for a touchdown with two seconds remaining as Virginia Union shocked Bowie State, 45-40, yesterday in Bowie.
Facing first and 10, quarterback Carl Wright (23 of 42 for 408 yards) heaved the ball high and wide receiver Rodney Hounshell tipped it to Woods, who emerged from the pile of players with the ball for the score.
"We work on the tip drill and the trips two times a week in practice," said Hounshell, a former All-Met from H.D. Woodson High School. "The ball came and I just tipped it to Woods."
The touchdown completed a miraculous comeback for the Panthers (5-0, 10th-ranked in Division II) in which they rallied from a 40-21 deficit in the final 8:09 to leave the Bowie State (1-3) sideline numb.
"I didn't think that we would lose," said Virginia Union Coach Joe Taylor. "But I'm not going to lie. It got real tight at the end. We showed real character."
The game appeared over after Bowie State running back Phil Dyer ran through what had been a hapless Virginia Union defense for a 61-yard touchdown to give Bowie State a 40-21 lead at 8:09.
But the high-powered Virginia Union offense moved quickly. Wright hit William Flythe with a screen pass that went for 60 yards. Four plays later, Darryl Dyson scored from the 1 with 6:29 left. The two-point conversion closed the lead to 40-29 and the Panthers defense held.
Wright threw to Hounshell (10 catches for 231 yards) for 50 yards on a fourth and 10 to move the ball to the 10. After three plays, Wright sneaked over from the 1. Another two-point conversion narrowed the lead to 40-37.
Desperately needing a first down, Bowie State was stopped once more, giving the Panthers the ball with 1:33 remaining to set up the game-winning drive.
Led by Don Janey (24 rushes for 147 yards) in his first start at quarterback, the Bowie State offense displayed a physical ground attack that amassed 271 yards.
Janey also returned a punt 43 yards for a touchdown as the Bulldogs had a 21-7 lead after the first quarter and led, 26-14, at the half.