Norfolk States Balance Too Much for Bison
NORFOLK, VA. - DeAngelo Branch rushed for 123 yards and and Chris Bell added 138 yards receiving and two scores to lead Norfolk State to a 41-6 win over Howard University in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game at Dick Price Stadium.
The Spartans (4-4 overall, 3-3 in the MEAC) spotted the Bison six points and then reeled off 20 points to take a comfortable lead at the half. Howard (2-6 overall, 0-5 in the MEAC) took the early lead when it put together its best drive of the season, a 12-play, 87-yarder that featured some fine execution by quarterback Floyd Haigler and some clutch catches by Willie Carter, including a 30-yard TD pass.
Norfolk State, which had dropped its last three homecoming outings, woke up and responded with quarterback Dennis Brown (12 of 21, 221 yards, 2 TDs) and Bell taking control. During a four-minute span near the end of the first quarter, the two combined for 51- and 64-yard hookups that gave the Spartans the lead that they would not relinquish. Justin Castellat tacked on field goals of 27 and 31 yards to close out the scoring in the first half.
Any hopes that the Bison had of a second half comeback were dashed when Brown capped off a short drive with a two-yard run that upped the score to 27-6 at the end of three quarters of play.
With the Bison concerned over the deep passing game, the Spartans resorted to the running of Branch (19 carries, 123 yards), Donovan Cotton (79 yards on nine carries, 1 TD) and Brown (12 carries, 66 yards, 1 TD). For the game, Norfolk State amassed 294 yards on the ground and 226 in the air.
Howard was unable to run the ball with any success against the Norfolk State defense as it rushed for a season-low 19 yards.
Haigler completed 14 of 29 for 136 yards while Carter totaled 5 receptions for 59 yards and the team's only score.
Red-shirt freshman linebacker Keith Pough led the team in tackles with 11 while Martin Corniffe (9 tackles), Ian Simon (8 tackles) and Arando Jamison (7 tackles) all contributed in the loss.
NEXT UP: Howard hosts South Carolina State next Saturday at 1 pm while the Spartans travel to Baltimore, MD to take on the Bears of Morgan State next Saturday at 4 pm.