Virginia State, Virginia Union reignite rivalry for 108th meeting

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — First year Virginia State head coach Reggie Barlow knows from his first conversations with the university that if he were to be running the football program, the one thing he could not forget is to beat Virginia Union that year.

Saturday afternoon, the Trojans and Panthers meet for the 108th edition of NCAA Division II’s second-oldest rivalry. Virginia State has the edge in the five previous matchups against Virginia Union, 3-2.

Most recently in this epic annual contest, the Panthers rallied from down 21 points in the second half in Petersburg last year to take the lead and force a special teams fumble to win the game 28-27 and clinch an eventual NCAA D-II playoff berth.

Virginia State can still win the CIAA Northern division with a win over Virginia Union, but also need Elizabeth City State to defeat Bowie State to earn a spot in the CIAA championship game November 12th in Salem, Va.

Kickoff for the “Battle of I-95” is set for at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, November 5th at Hovey Field.