Fayetteville, N.C.----Wingate University senior running back Lawrence Pittman (Charlotte, N.C.) ran for 119 yards and two touchdowns and sophomore quarterback James Whitaker (Roswell, Ga.) passed for two scores as the Bulldogs rallied for a 31-21 NCAA Division II victory over Fayetteville State University Saturday night, Sept. 9.
Score: Wingate 31, Fayetteville State 21
Records: Wingate (2-0), Fayetteville State (1-1)
Location: Luther "Nick" Jeralds Stadium, Fayetteville, N.C.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
>Wingate senior running back Lawrence Pittman (Charlotte, N.C.) has 31 rushing touchdowns for his career, as he posted 21 carries for 119 yards and two scores.
>Wingate sophomore quarterback James Whitaker (Roswell, Ga.) completed 19-of-28 passes for 223 yards and one TD.
>Wingate senior running back Blake Hayes (Greenville, S.C.) ran 21 times for 91 yards and one TD.
>Wingate redshirt sophomore wide receiver BJ Muckelvene (Waxhaw, N.C.) posted a 55-yard punt return and a 50-yard rush to set up two separate Bulldog scores.
>Wingate redshirt sophomore linebacker Robbie Wallace (Covington, Ga.) had 10 tackles (seven solo), one sack and one tackle for loss.
>Wingate redshirt junior defensive end Cardell Rawlings (Smithfield, N.C.) had seven tackles.
>Wingate senior defensive back Kenyan Davis (Tallahassee, Fla.) and redshirt junior defensive back Cameron Mattison (Charlotte, N.C.) both had interceptions.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Fayetteville State opened the game with a 65-yard scoring drive which FSU graduate student quarterback and Duke transfer Kane Banner (Lumberton, N.C.) concluded with a one-yard TD run. Five plays later, FSU freshman defensive back Elvin De La Rosa posted a pick-six (57 yards) to give the host Broncos a 14-0 advantage with only 4:13 elapsed from the first quarter clock.
Pittman scored Wingate's first points on his two-yard jaunt with 2:14 left, finishing up a 14-play, 56-yard drive spanning eight-plus minutes. McCollum's PAT wrapped up the first quarter scoring.
Muckelvene posted a 55-yard punt return and a 50-yard rush to set up two Bulldog scores. Following Pittman's score, the WU defense held FSU to a three-and-out. Muckelvene's 55-yard punt return allowed Whitaker to find Bledsoe with a 16-yard TD pass five plays later.
Another Fayetteville State three-and-out gave Wingate the ball. On the next play from scrimmage, Muckelvene's 50-yard carry put the Bulldogs in field goal position for McCollum, who hit a 25-yarder at the 8:18 mark to conclude the first half scoring.
Hayes had a one-yard TD run to finish up a 10-play drive. Wallace's sack and Mattison's interception gave the Bulldogs the ball at the FSU 19-yard line, but the visitors could not capitalize.
Fayetteville State drove nine plays and 50 yards to cut the deficit to three. Back-up quarterback Devin Knudsen (Fresno, Calif.) found freshman tight end Jonathan Transou (Winston-Salem, N.C.) with a 20-yard TD pass at the 11-minute mark. The catch was the first of Transou's FSU Bronco career.
Wingate responded on the next drive with Pittman scoring his second TD of the evening on a 15-yard run. Redshirt junior wide receiver Bryan Mitchell (Yorktown, Va.) caught two third-down passes from Whitaker (35 yards and nine yards) to set the stage for Pittman's electrifying TD run.
Redshirt junior wide receiver Bryan Mitchell (Yorktown, Va.) made two third-down catches to set up Pittman's second touchdown which gave the Bulldogs a 31-21 lead with 6:58 remaining.
>Muckelvene had 159 all-purpose yards to give him 296 on the season.
>Wingate won the time of possession battle 40:26 to 19:34.
>The Bulldogs had 27 first downs, compared to 10 for the Broncos.
>Wingate had 472 yards total offense, while FSU posted 202 yards.
>Wingate is 2-0 overall for the 12th time in head coach Joe Reich's 17 seasons.
>Wingate leads the series with Fayetteville State 4-0.
>The teams met for the first time in 10 years; Wingate rallied from a 13-10 halftime deficit to take a 34-26 victory in Fayetteville on August 25, 2007.
>McCollum is eight-for-eight on extra points this season.
Wingate will open the home portion of its 2017 schedule Saturday, Sept. 16, hosting South Atlantic Conference foe Carson-Newman (2-0 overall) at 6 p.m. The league contest will be the first night game in Irwin Belk Stadium and John R. Martin Field history. Fayetteville State will face CIAA opponent Elizabeth City State in the Down East Classic on Saturday. The neutral site game (Rocky Mount, N.C.) starts at 4 p.m.