NORFOLK, Va. – Larry Bishop rushed for two touchdowns, including the winning 1-yard plunge on the final possession of the scrimmage, to lead the offense over the defense, 33-30, in the annual Norfolk State Green & Gold Game on Saturday at Dick Price Stadium.
The game was played utilizing a modified scoring system. The offense was rewarded with points for first downs, reaching the red zone, and for traditional scoring plays. The defense earned points for forcing turnovers, forcing punts, making tackles behind the line of scrimmage, and other scenarios.
The scrimmage, which capped NSU’s 15 dates of spring practice, displayed a number of big plays on both sides of the ball and was a back-and-forth affair. The defense had the upper hand early, forcing a turnover on the first drive of the game. Kyle Archie deflected a fourth-down pass by Greg Hankerson, which Chris Lee intercepted for the first of three takeaways from the Spartan defense.
After the defense forced a three-and-out, the offense got into gear. Hankerson scrambled for a 20-yard gain down inside the red zone. Six plays later – all on the ground – Bishop scored on a 6-yard run on a 3rd-and-1 play.
Rising freshman quarterback Tyre Givers-Wilson, an early enrollee for the spring semester, led the Spartans on their next scoring drive. He ran for 11 yards on the scoring march and completed a key 3rd-and-long pass for 21 yards to Aaron Savage to keep the drive alive. A penalty backed the offense up, but Cameron Marouf booted a 37-yard field goal to give the offense three more points.
Then it was Hankerson’s turn with the first-team offense once again. He ripped off runs of 12 and 24 yards and hit George Wahee for an 11-yard reception on the next drive. But the drive stalled when, on 4th-and-2 inside the 10-yard line, Bishop was stopped short of the first down by a gang tackle led by safety Leroy Parker, giving the defense points for a fourth-down stop.
The defense seized that momentum and forced turnovers on the next two offensive possessions. On the ensuing drive, Hankerson hit Bishop on a screen play, but Archie read it well and forced Bishop to fumble. Freshman defensive end Nigel Chavis recovered the fumble.
The next turnover came via sophomore cornerback Aaron Chandler, who read a Hankerson pass in the flat, intercepted it and returned it more than 60 yards the other way before being run out of bounds.
But the offense ended up prevailing by scoring on three consecutive possessions to end the scrimmage. Marouf kicked a 29-yard field goal, then Aaron Savage capped a red-zone drive by scoring on a 6-yard run. The first-team offense came back on the field and took over at the defense’s 25-yard line and scored five plays later. Bishop capped the march with a 1-yard run behind the left side of the offensive line to help the offense prevail.
Head coach Latrell Scott was pleased with the effort.
“I think the scrimmage showed that our players have put in a lot of hard work this spring,” Scott said. “We still have a ways to go to get where we want to be, but we’ve come a long way since this time last year.”
The Spartans open the 2016 season at home on Saturday, Sept. 3 in the Virginia Lottery Labor Day Classic against Elizabeth City State. Season tickets are on sale now at the NSU Ticket Center.
Originally posted on NSUSpartans.com.