BOWIE -- Punter Jason Herold stepped into a muddled Bowie State quarterback picture midway in the second quarter and directed the Bulldogs (1-1) to a 17-14 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association victory over Hampton University (0-2) at Bowie Field yesterday.
Herold, a senior making his first college appearance as a quarterback, put some order back into an offense that had been hurt by freshman miscues in the first five quarters of this season.
The Pasadena native, who last played quarterback at Northeast High School in 1987, completed 13 of 22 passes for 164 yards and directed the offense, which was held to less than 100 total yards last week, to 320 net yards, including scoring drives of 65 and 67 yards in the second half. The latter drive provided the Bulldogs with the winning touchdown, as Herold threw a 10-yard scoring pass to wide receiver Tom Butz (four receptions for 52 yards) with less than four minutes to play.
Herold, the Bulldogs' punter since coming to Bowie State, replaced freshman quarterback Keino Fitzpatrick midway though the second quarter. Fitzpatrick, who had a shaky performance in last week's 19-3 opening loss to Livingstone, had come on to replace another freshman, Drew Barrone, who was injured in the first quarter.
"We never felt like Jason was the guy to step in at quarterback until this situation," said Bowie coach Sanders Shiver, who said that he preferred to keep his punter fresh. "But he's got experience and the kids have confidence in him. He's been taking snaps for four years."
The Bulldogs trailed by 7-3 at halftime, but Herold gave them a big lift at the outset of the second half. He led them to a go-ahead touchdown on an 11-play drive that was ended by Butch Wilson's 2-yard run.
But Hampton, which had scored in the opening quarter on an 11-yard return of a recovered fumble by Garreth Bond on the play that Barrone was injured, rallied in the fourth quarter after another big play. It came shortly after Bowie had fumbled the ball away at the Pirates' 11.
Quarterback Matt Montgomery threw an 80-yard scoring pass to Shaun Parker to put the Pirates ahead, 14-10, with less than nine minutes to play.
Then Herold directed a 13-play drive for the winning score. He completed five passes for 57 yards, with Butz making a superb diving catch in the corner of the end zone from 10 yards out.
"Coach told me to be ready this week and I was," Herold said. "Right now, I'm still like in a state of shock."
Hampton had one last drive to regain the lead, but two brilliant defensive moves from the Bowie defense preserved the victory. Freshman lineman Tracy Ledbetter pulled down fullback Kenneth Ford from behind with a touchdown-saving tackle after a 37-yard gain to the Bowie 26. Then defensive back Dwayne Zackery put a crunching hit on Ford after he had caught a third-down pass. When the ball popped loose, Zackery recovered for the Bulldogs with 1:41 left.
"I was worried that we had put ourselves into that situation," Shiver said. "I'm thankful the defense came up with the big plays to get us out of it. Our defense really rose to the occasion."
The Bulldogs will play their first road game of the season %J Saturday at North Carolina Central. Herold will get his first start at quarterback.