Football Recap: Nov. 9

Courtesy: Associated Press
          Release: 11/10/2013
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Courtesy: MEAC Media Relations

Spartans Stun 1st-Place Wildcats, 27-24

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — After four consecutive disheartening losses, the Norfolk State football team pulled off the shocker of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference season to date, scoring a 27-24 upset of first-place Bethune-Cookman on Saturday evening at Municipal Stadium.

The Spartans (3-7, 3-3 MEAC) sprinted out to a 27-7 lead after three quarters behind a big-play defense and a ball-control offense, then held on down the stretch to send the Wildcats (8-2, 5-1) to their first MEAC loss since a 22-3 defeat to North Carolina A&T on Oct. 8, 2011 – some 19 games ago. The win was also the Spartans’ first-ever in Daytona Beach after nine unsuccessful tries.

The Spartans had numerous standouts on both sides of the ball, none bigger than running back Rolandan Finch and linebacker Lynden Trail. Finch ran a season-high 38 times for 110 yards and a score against the MEAC’s top defense, his fifth 100-yard game of the year and second straight. Trail was all over the field, recording eight tackles, 2.5 for loss, 1.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, a pass breakup and his third receiving TD of the year.

NSU scored on its first three drives of the night. Finch capped the game’s first possession, a 10-play, 81-yard drive, with a 2-yard TD run with 9:57 left in the first quarter. The key play in the drive was a leaping 22-yard catch of a Tyler Clark pass by tight end Joseph Hawkins to set up the Spartans with a first-and-goal. Finch darted into the end zone for his third TD of the year on the next play.

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Game winning field goal completes Morgan State's comeback, 24-23

BALTIMORE, Md. – Down 23-21 with 1 second remaining, Morgan State's Chris Moller hit a 27 yard field goal as time expired to give the Bears a 24-23 victory Saturday over North Carolina A&T in front of a crowd of 6,478 at Hughes Stadium for MSU Senior Day.
Morgan State is now 4-6 overall and improved to 4-2 in the MEAC. 

After a 38-yard field goal by Aggie placekicker Cody Jones with 11:14 remaining, Morgan State trailed 23-14. With 6:08 remaining, the Bears crept closer when Seth Higgins checked into the ballgame and led the Bears on a six play, 73-yard drive resulting in a 9-yard touchdown reception by freshman wideout Antonio Jefferson (3 rec., 67 yds) from Higgins. It marked Higgins' first bit of action since suffering an injury at North Carolina Central (Oct.19).
Morgan State's defense forced a three-and-out by the Aggies offense and started their final drive with 4:27 left on the clock on their own 46 yard line. The Bears drove to the A&T 46 yard line, but needed to convert a 4th and 2 in order to keep the drive alive. Following a timeout by the Bears, Higgins tossed a 5-yard pass to Tubotein Taylor for the first down.
Higgins had a 10-yard run negated due to a holding penalty that gave the Bears 2nd and 20 from the Morgan 49. But again, Higgins came up big for the Bears. The junior took the ensuing snap, rolled left and connected with tight end Ladarius Spearman who raced down the sideline for a 28-yard gain. The Bears used the next five plays to run down the clock and center the ball for Moller's game-winning kick.

Hampton’s Ground Game Too Much for NCCU As Eagles Fall 29-21

HAMPTON, Va. - It all started so well for North Carolina Central University. Sophomore Adrian Wilkins returned the opening kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown, his third of the season and the fourth game in-a-row NCCU has scored a special teams touchdown.

However, Hampton University amassed 482 yards of total offense, including 256 rushing yards, to earn its fourth win in the last five games with a 29-21 victory over the visiting Eagles on Saturday inside Armstrong Stadium in Hampton, Va.

Hampton’s dominant ground attack was topped by the one-two punch of Marcus Hampton and Jorrain Washington, who combined for 232 yards and three touchdowns. Hampton accounted for 166 rushing yards and a score, while Washington added 72 yards and two scores.

Pirates’ quarterback Bryan Bailey completed 21-of-31 passes for 226 yards, connecting with Antwon Chisholm eight times for 89 yards.

NCCU, which managed 294 total yards, was led offensively by senior quarterback Jordan Reid, who completed 15-of-35 passes for 203 yards with two interceptions and a rushing touchdown. Tyron Harris, Thomas Dixon and Wilkins caught a team-best three catches each. Eagles’ running back Deyonta Wright tallied a team-high 48 rushing yards with a touchdown.

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McGhee Has Career Day in Win Over Savannah State

WASHINGTON, DC---Greg McGhee had a career day, rushing for two touchdowns and passing for two others to lead Howard to a 42-14 victory over Savannah State in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game at Greene Stadium.

A 6-3, 208-pound junior quarterback from Pittsburgh, PA, McGhee rushed for a career-high 148 yards on 14 carries and completed 26 of 37 for 326 yards.

It is ironic that McGhee got off to an inauspicious start, considering he fumbled on the Bison's first possession and it led to the game's first score. Savannah State (1-10, 0-7 in the MEAC) came out energized under quarterback Leon Prunty, who was starting in place of starter Antonio Bostick, the leading passer in the conference.

Prunty took advantage of the Bison miscue, leading the Tigers on an eight play, 72-yard drive on their opening possession.  He capped off the drive with a 32-yard strike to Simon Heyward.


Additional Recaps to Come:

S.C. State 25, Florida A&M 21



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