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WASHINGTON -- The South Carolina State Bulldogs used a balanced attack to pull off a 27-21 win over a Howard Bison team Saturday at Greene Stadium.

“A very huge and much-needed win for our team on the road against a very good Bison football team,” head coach Buddy Pough said. “We made some big plays early on but they (Howard) kept coming down the stretch to keep the game close.”

The Bulldog defense came up big, forcing sophomore quarterback Caylin Newton to give up two interceptions on the day. Newton finished 11-of-19 for 118 yards and a touchdown.

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Tyrece Nick led the charge on offense for the Bulldogs, throwing 10-of-18 for 154 yards. Freshman running back Omar Cummings finished with 11 carries for 90 yards and a touchdown.

Senior Damu Ford had a solid performance on defense with five tackles and two tackles for loss, while sophomore linebacker Chad Gilchrist added 4.5 tackles along with two tackles for loss.

South Carolina State jumped out quickly, controlling the tempo with a 17-0 lead off a 14-yard score by Nick at the 9:13 mark in the first quarter. Cummings put the Bulldogs ahead 14-0 on a 40-yard scamper early in the second quarter.

Freshman Dillon Bredesen kicked a season-best 46-yard field goal with 6:27 remaining before halftime to give S.C. State a 17-0 lead. Howard responded on a 62-yard dash to the end zone to put the Bison on the board 17-7.

Bredesen closed out the first half, connecting on his second field goal of the day, a 20-yarder as time expired to give South Carolina State a 20-7 lead during intermission.

The second half started out slow with neither team scoring in the third quarter.

Nick’s 1-yard punch at the 9:25 mark pushed the Bulldogs' lead to 27-7. The Bison offense came to life off a 65-yard toss from Newton to Faraji Joseph to close the gap to 27-14 with 9:16 remaining.

Howard's defense came up big down the stretch and the Bison offense capitalized on a 2-yard run by running back Dedrick Parson with 1:53 remaining in regulation. Several onside kicks fell short by Howard as the Bulldogs held on for a 27-21 victory over host Howard on homecoming.

“We will enjoy this win for a minute and get back to work and correct some mistakes we made so they won’t happen again moving forward,” Pough said.

South Carolina State will have a bye week on Nov. 3 before returning to action on Saturday, Nov.10, on the road against Florida A&M in Tallahassee, Fla. Kickoff is 4 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN3.

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Kendrick Lewis is sports information director for South Carolina State University.

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