BOWIE -- No sooner were the words out of Bowie State coach Sherman Wood's mouth, he realized he might be accused of exaggerating.
"This is the biggest win in Bowie history," he said. Quickly he added, "Well, in a long time."
OK, biggest in a long time. Bowie, which had won only one of its previous 14 games, defeated Winston-Salem State, 24-13, yesterday at Bulldog Stadium.
Winston-Salem (4-3-1) was unbeaten and second in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association behind Hampton, and Bowie (2-5-1) was ninth.
"Winston-Salem is a powerhouse, with one of the most explosive offenses in the country," Wood said. "We're a very young team, but we took it to them."
Two big plays in the third quarter by Dwayne Zackery, a senior defensive back from Gwynn Park High in Brandywine, enabled Bowie to break a 7-7 halftime tie and then put the game away.
Zackery returned a punt 63 yards to Winston-Salem's two-yard line, and on the next play running back Craig Mitchell fumbled into the end zone and Brandon Flowers, a 310-pound freshman offensive tackle from San Francisco, fell on the ball for a touchdown.
"I saw all the Winston-Salem players to one side and thought with my speed I could beat them on the other side," Zackery said. "So I turned on the juice, until they caught me at the two."
Winston-Salem cut the lead to 14-13 on quarterback Rovell McMillian's 10-yard run as Wesley Williams, a 300-pound defensive lineman, missed the extra point try. Minutes later, Zackery, who had not scored a touchdown in four varsity seasons, finally got one on a 50-yard pass interception return.
"When I saw the ball floating up there and saw a path down the sideline, I knew it was mine," Zackery said. "I had plenty of room."
There were several indications Bowie intends to correct its losing ways.
The Bulldogs had averaged only 7.8 points, yet scored 24. They had been outscored in the opening quarter, 54-7, but took a 7-0 lead on Mitchell's 26-yard run with 5:13 left in the first period.
Winston-Salem tied it on McMillian's scoring pass -- his tenth in the past three games -- to Oronde Gadsden. It was Gadsden's ninth touchdown catch in the same period and 12th of the season.
-#Winston-Salem State 7 0 6 0 -- 13
Bowie State 7 0 14 3 -- 24