Richmond, VA (WWBT)- Virginia Union head coach Michael Bailey can now look at the finished 2011 product and say that his program is moving in the right direction. After a 3-7 season in 2010, Bailey's Panthers earned a win in their 2011 finale to finish the year 5-5.
Stephen Velasquez hit a 25 yard field goal with six minutes remaining in the game and that proved to be the game winner, as Virginia Union topped Fayetteville State, 17-14. After a scoreless first quarter, the Panthers got on the scoreboard first in the second frame by way of a Richard Rodwell one yard TD rush on 4th and goal. Colon Bailey Jr. would answer with a two yard rush late in the half to tie the score 7-7 going into the half.
Terrence Malone put the Panthers back on top with a rushing TD in the third quarter, and Velasquez drilled the eventual game-winning field goal in the fourth. FSU would make a late run, but the Panthers came away with an interception with 48 seconds left to clinch the win and the .500 season.
Rodwell rushed for 75 yards and the touchdown, while Cheston Hickman threw for 137 yards on 9-of-17 passing. The Panthers were able to overcome Hickman's three first half interceptions, as none of them led to any points. Raymond Mack was Hickman's favorite target, pulling down five receptions for 90 yards.