About Down East Viking Football Classic


The Down East Viking Football Classic began in 1998. ECSU administrators Dr. Claudie Mackey and Dr. Edward McLean brought the idea to then ECSU Board of Trustees Chairman and City of Rocky Mount Assistant City Manager Charles Penny for consideration.

After discussion and review by the City Council of Rocky Mount and former Mayor Frederick Turnage, Elizabeth City State University, under the leadership of former Chancellor Mickey L. Burnim, and the City of Rocky Mount entered into an agreement to host the Down East Viking Football Classic in Rocky Mount, NC. The inaugural game was held in September 1998. Since that time, ECSU and the City have maintained their partnership, hosting the Classic each year as indicated below: 

1998 1st Annual FSU 10   |  ECSU 7
1999 2nd Annual (Cancelled due to Hurricane Floyd) ECSU |  NCCU
2000 3rd Annual FSU 32 |  ECSU 26
2001 4th Annual NCCU 31 |  ECSU 21
2002 5th Annual FSU 16 |  ECSU 0
2003 6th Annual ECSU 25 |  NCCU 23
2004 7th Annual FSU 17 |  ECSU 0
2005 8th Annual SAC 7 |  ECSU 0
2006 9th Annual ECSU 41 FSU 31
2007 10th Annual Shaw 20 |  ECSU 17 - OT
2008 11th Annual ECSU 24 | SAC 13
2009 12th Annual ECSU 35 | Chowan 30
2010 13th Annual  ECSU 38 | FSU 26
2011 14th Annual  ECSU 49 | Livingstone 7
2012 15th Annual  ECSU 23 | Saint Augustine's 21
2013 16th Annual  FSU 31 |  ECSU 27
2014 17th Annual  Benedict College 20 | ECSU 19
2015 18th Annual WSSU 17 | ECSU 10
2016 19th Annual ECSU 35 |  Morehouse College 30
2017 20th Annual ECSU 42  | FSU 35


The Down Viking Football East Classic, now in its 21th year, has grown each year drawing over 10,000 fans to the Rocky Mount Athletic Complex. Fans have the opportunity to enjoy a CIAA football game, golf challenge, college and regional high school bands, and a variety of social and entertainment activities. Through additional recruitment and outreach activities, ECSU also offers scholarship opportunities for students in the Rocky Mount-Nash-Edgecombe-Wilson areas. The CIAA (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) is a premier NCAA Division II athletic conference. Elizabeth City State University, located in northeastern North Carolina and this year's opponent, Morehouse College a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAC) in located in Atlanta, GA.

About ECSU

Elizabeth City State University

On March 3, 1891, Hugh Cale, an African-American representative in the N.C. General Assembly from Pasquotank County, sponsored House Bill 383, which established a normal (teaching) school for "teaching and training teachers of the colored race to teach in the common schools of North Carolina." The bill passed, establishing a normal school for teachers and laying the groundwork for the Elizabeth City State University we know today. 

As a constituent institution of the UNC System, ECSU offers baccalaureate, professional, and master's degrees for a diverse student body. We achieve our commitment to the highest quality education by maintaining  a rigorous focus on academic excellence through liberal arts programs and using innovative and flexible technology-based instruction models to enhance our signature areas: integrating technology with education,  improving human health and wellness, and advancing the natural and aviation sciences.

Through teaching, research, and community engagement, the institution's rich heritage and its current multicultural student-centered focus provide a firm foundation for its endeavors. It serves the needs and aspirations of individuals and society; producing graduates for leadership roles and life-long learning.

RANKINGS: Over the years, the university fared well among publications that rank institutions. ECSU has earned national acclaim for its advancements: In 2007, Diverse Issues in Higher Education ranked ECSU #1 among Historically Black Colleges and Universities for its black male student-athlete graduation rate. Between 1999 and 2016, ECSU repeatedly earned national acclaim in U.S. News and World Report Magazine's ranking of best colleges in the south. The U.S. News and World Report 2016 edition of Best Colleges ranked ECSU #2 in the publication's category of Top Public Schools (Regional Colleges in the South) and #20 among its Historically Black Colleges and Universities. For the fourth consecutive year, Washington Monthly ranked ECSU #1 among baccalaureate colleges. (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 Best Baccalaureate Colleges)

ATHLETICS: Since 2005, ECSU student-athletes have earned a respectable collection of championship trophies in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA): softball (2002, 2005) and baseball (2005); men's basketball (Vikings 2007); volleyball (2008) and bowling (2009). The Mighty Viking football team has won four division titles over the past 9 years (2006, 2008, 2011, 2012) and captured ECSU's first post season victory at Pioneer Bowl XIV over Tuskegee University on December 1, 2012.

On April 9, 2018 Dr. Karrie Dixon was appointed Interim Chancellor of Elizabeth City State University.