The Elizabeth City State football team gave the homecoming crowd inside Roebuck Stadium plenty to cheer about Saturday afternoon.
The Vikings scored 26 first-half points as ECSU defeated Lincoln (Pa.) 34-18.
From the early portion of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Northern Division game, ECSU had success in the passing game.
Defensively, the Vikings did not give up much to the Lions (0-7, 0-4 CIAA).
ECSU head coach Anthony Jones, who is in his second season leading the program, acknowledged that the first half against the Lions was the most complete effort the Vikings have given under his tenure.
"We played complete defensively. We made a few mistakes offensively. There weren't many," Jones said. "We had great time of possession. Everything was great. We had almost 300 yards of passing yardage. Guys were playing great, inspired football."
The coach added that the Vikings (2-5, 2-2 CIAA) executed plays against the Lions.
ECSU took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a Kedrick Patterson 34-yard touchdown pass to Dajuan Greene.
Patterson threw his second touchdown of the game on a pass to Deon Yarborough to give the Vikings a 13-0 lead.
ECSU defensive back Taeyonn Reynolds was able to catch a deflected pass by fellow defensive back Greg Williams and reeled in an interception.
That set up a Patterson screen pass to running back Deshon Saunders that led to a 26-yard touchdown to give ECSU a 20-0 lead in the second.
The ECSU defense also recovered a fumble with the Lions inside the Vikings' 5-yard line to end a drive with 6:20 to go in the half.
ECSU added another touchdown with 20 seconds remaining in the half as Patterson found Greene again for a 4-yard touchdown strike to put the Vikings up 26-0 at halftime.
"We worked on it literally all week," Jones said of the passing game. "We started Sunday working on it."
Jones said that he had to reset the mindset of the offense by shortening the passing game and made it quicker.
The coach added that he stressed to his quarterback to throw the ball faster.
"He did a great job of that today," Jones said of Patterson.
ECSU's notable mistake came in special teams as a point after touchdown kick was blocked and nearly returned for two points by Lincoln (Pa.) but ECSU's Lawrence Brown made a tackle on the Lions' return to keep the points off the scoreboard.
As good as ECSU played in the second half, Jones was not pleased with how the team played in the final 30 minutes of the game.
That included inconsistent execution on offense and defense.
Play got too physical in the third quarter.
After ECSU stopped Lincoln (Pa.) on 4th-and-goal on a sack by ECSU's Gregory Miller, in the end zone, players from Lincoln (Pa.) and ECSU began to push and shove.
That led to punches being thrown.
After penalty flags were thrown, players involved in the fracas from both teams were disqualified from the game.
Jones said the second half was a disaster.
"We did some crazy things that is not in our character to do," he said.
Jones added that he will look at the game film to review what led to the fracas.
The coach said he talked to his team leading up to the game about unsportsmanlike penalties and who the team represents.
Jones said that he did not see the entire situation, but when punches are thrown, it's unacceptable.
"I don't care what he does, he being the opponent, he cannot make me throw a punch," Jones said. "We talked about that because I represent more than myself. I represent this institution. This great institution and I want to mar this victory with that? That's unacceptable."
Before the fracas, ECSU was short-handed in the secondary as Reynolds was disqualified from the game because of a targeting penalty.
Reynolds was ruled to hit a Lincoln receiver near the head area.
Unlike at the Football Bowl Subdivision or Football Championship Subdivision levels, video replay is not used at the Division II level to review targeting penalties.
Jones acknowledged that the rule needs to be reviewed at the Division II level.
"Regardless what happens, we lose him for the rest of the game," Jones said. "I couldn't see the targeting penalty. I'm not questioning the call. I couldn't see it. I think it needs to be reviewed and for the fairness of all involved. We don't want to disqualify a kid and he didn't do it. If it's proven that he did it, then he has to be removed."
Greene added his third touchdown catch of the game and added a two-point conversion catch late in the third quarter to give ECSU a 34-6 lead.
Lincoln (Pa.) scored three touchdowns passes in the second half from quarterback Emmett Hunt to wide receiver Dah'mear Triplett.
ECSU returns to action this Saturday on the road at Chowan.