Got a full notebook on Elizabeth City State football after the Vikings 28-10 homecoming win over the Lions.
The Vikings defense again held an opponent under 20 points this season. It is the fifth time (not counting Virginia University-Lynchburg) the Vikings defense held an opponent under 20 points in a game this season.
The Vikings are ranked third in Division II football in points allowed per game at 10.7 points per game through six games.
That is good enough for the least points allowed in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
The Vikings’ 12 fumble recovered are tied for third in the nation.
ECSU, through six games, is ranked 10th in total defense, allowing 268.7 yards per game
ECSU senior linebacker Stephen Williams’ 13.9 tackles per game ranks him ninth in the nation.
With one shut out this season along with top rankings not only in the CIAA, but nationally, where does this team rank in recent ECSU defensive lore.
Talking to some defensive players, the 2006 ECSU defense is routinely brought up.
The 2006 team was the fifth most improved team in Division II football.
The season before, the Vikings went 2-8. The 2006 Vikings went 9-3 and made an appearance in the Division II playoffs.
The 2006 ECSU defense pitched four shutouts that year. The scoring defense was ranked fifth in the nation, yielding 13.1 points per contest in 12 games.
The 2006 Vikings defense finished 41st in the nation in total defense, allowing 274.3 yards per game in 12 games.
The team also had linebacker Emanuel Plummer, was second in the nation in 2006 in forced fumbles with six.
That season, Plummer, who played for ECSU from 2003-2006, had 4.5 tackles per game.
If anyone can have the perspective to compare the two defensive units, then it is ECSU head coach Waverly Tillar, who is in his 13th season leading the Vikings.
“Well, it’s like apples and candy apples,” Tillar said after the Lincoln game. “They are still apples.”
A creative answer, sort of.
If you try to read between the lines, or through the applesauce, the 2015 Vikings defense seems not to be the apple of the coach’s eye, yet.
There are at least three games remaining for this defense to make a final impression.
CIAA champions honored
2005 was a good year for the bat and ball sports at ECSU. The Vikings took the CIAA baseball crown, while the Lady Vikings won the league softball title. Both teams were recognized at halftime of the homecoming game.
The university presented the mother of former ECSU baseball player Jami Moore with a framed jersey at halftime.
Moore died in an accident while riding his motorcycle in July.
You can read more about the baseball and softball team’s being honored as well as the Moore story here.
Sound of Class penalized
In the third quarter, referee Anthony Purcell issued a warning to the ECSU Sound of Class Band, which was playing while the game was in play.
The official issued a warning earlier in the contest.
The band continued to play.
Purcell threw the flag. A furious coaching staff lost their cool on the ECSU sideline.
The Vikings were called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, which is normally a 15-yard penalty.
Since Lincoln was at the ECSU 2-yard line, the Lions instead were awarded half the distance to the goal line, which was to the 1-yard line.
The Lions scored on the next play.
In the fourth quarter, the section that is reserved for the band at Roebuck Stadium was silenced as the bleachers were emptied out.
Playing during game action has been an issue for the Sound of Class band this season.
Against Virginia State, the band was warned for playing during game action on the field.
Shakeup in the North
You can describe Saturday in the CIAA as moving day.
Bowie State and Virginia Union are atop the Northern Division at 2-0. Virginia State lost to Bowie State. The Trojans drop to 1-1 in the division standings with ECSU after losing to the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs’ win gives ECSU a bit of a reprieve in the race for the top spot in the division.
If ECSU (4-2, 2-2 CIAA) wins out and Virginia State loses another game, the Vikings can punch a ticket to the CIAA football championship game in Durham on Nov. 14 as the Northern Division champions.
The Vikings still have games against Bowie State (6-1, 4-0 CIAA) on Nov. 7, which is the last home game and regular season finale for ECSU and at Virginia Union (6-1, 4-0 CIAA) on Oct. 31.
Before both of those contests, ECSU takes on Chowan (4-3, 2-2 CIAA) in Murfreesboro on Saturday.
— Malcolm Shields