BOWIE -- After two weeks as the new head coach at Bowie State, Sherman Wood is sure of one thing. There won't be many wins for his Bulldogs if they only play one good half per game.
After staying close against defending Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association champion Hampton University in the first half yesterday, Bowie State was outmanned in the second half, as the Pirates (2-0) ruined Bowie's home opener, 35-6, before 4,214 at Bulldog Stadium.
"Last week [a 30-2 loss at North Carolina Central] we played a complete game in the second half and this week we played a complete game in the first half," said Wood, a former assistant at Bowie and Virginia Union, who took over the Bulldogs job after the resignation of Sanders Shiver in the spring. "At halftime the belief was there."
Bowie had played strongly in the opening half, trailing by 14-6 at intermission to the seventh-ranked team in Division II.
"But Hampton came out and scored that first touchdown in the second half and our kids never regrouped," said Wood.
Bowie took the second-half kickoff, but immediately put itself in a hole with a penalty and punted without gaining any yardage.
Hampton then marched 70 yards in 11 plays with quarterback Matthew Montgomery climaxing the drive with an 8-yard touchdown run on a rollout to the right with senior guard Floyd Martin as a personal escort into the end zone.
Ethan Pitts' third of five extra points put Hampton ahead 21-6 with 9:34 left in the third quarter and Bowie State never threatened again.
Hampton totaled 459 yards and limited the Bulldogs to just 105 overall and minus-15 rushing.
"Our kids played as hard as they could," said Wood. "But we had some breakdowns and basically we were outmanned in the second half by what is probably one of the best teams in recent years in the CIAA.
"We knew we had our work cut out for us. I'm not upset with our effort, but I'm disappointed in the outcome. I know we can play much better."
Hampton took the lead on the first possession, moving 68 yards in 10 plays for the first score -- a 12-yard screen pass from Montgomery to running back Kevin White less than four minutes into the game.
Bowie had trouble moving on its first three possessions, but the Bulldogs put together a solid drive late in the first quarter after a 15-yard punt return by Dwayne Zackery gave Bowie the ball in Pirates territory at the 40.
Bulldogs quarterback Nate Jamison finished the drive with a 21-yard scoring pass to Monty Bennett, who grabbed the ball between two defenders at the goal line. The extra point was blocked and Hampton still led 7-6 just one minute into the second quarter.
But Hampton answered Bowie's score with another 10-play, 68-yard drive on the next possession. Malcolm Benson scored his first of two touchdowns on a 2-yard run with 9:43 left in the opening half and Hampton was on top 14-6.