by Maya Dawson
The Norfolk State University Spartans hosted the Virginia State University Trojans for the “Battle of the States” matchup at William “Dick” Price Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 7.
Juwan Carter of Norfolk State went 1-6 for with his only reception to Kevin Johnson for a 33-yard touchdown at the 9:35 mark of the 1st quarter to take the lead.
On Virginia State’s 3rd drive of the game, they fumbled on Norfolk State’s 1-yard line. Toure William fumbled the ball on a run which was recovered by Norfolk State’s Tavien Blackwell and their own 6-yard line.
At the beginning of the 2nd quarter, Virginia State drove down the field on 6-play 40 yard drive that ended in a 7-yard run touchdown by quarterback Cordelral Cook to tie the game at 7-7.
At the 14:06 mark, the Spartans started on their own 24-yard line. With a 22-yard pass to Anthony Williams from Carter to set Norfolk State up in Virginia State territory, they score on an 11-yard pass to Tremayne Talbert.
After the touchdown play, there was an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Spartans which moved the extra point to the 28-yard line. Stuart Anderson missed the extra point, but Norfolk State held onto the lead 13-7.
With 6:59 remaining in the 2nd quarter, Norfolk State recovered another Virginia State fumble deep in Norfolk State territory by Bobby Price at the Norfolk State’s 6-yard line. Carter soon after went on a 10-play 76-yard drive that involved a deep pass to Justin Smith for 40 yards. Carter threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Gerald Hulett to extend the Norfolk State’s lead to 20-7.
Ryan Ritcher kicked-off the ball to the Virginia State 12 with Vincent Parker returning; he was hit by Brandon Savage and fumbled the ball, recovered by Savage at the Virginia State 10.
The Trojans managed to stop the Spartans resulting in them taking a field goal. Josh Nardone’s 29-yard field goal attempt was good to give Norfolk State a 23-7 lead over Virginia State.
On the next Virginia State drive, Cordelral Cook started at their own 6 and drove all the way down to Norfolk State’s 29, from a 19-yard pass to Dazmine Parker, a 12-yard pass to Christia Nelson, and a 14-yard pass to Kier Townsend.
On 2nd-and-10 on the Norfolk State’s 29 Cook fumbled the ball forced by Kyron Speller and it was recovered by Spartan Tyre Wilson-Givers at the NSU 22-yard line and that ended the first half for the Spartans who led 23-7.
Virginia State in the 3rd quarter went for it on fourth down for 4th-and-8 at the NSU 39 and couldn’t convert so it was a turnover on downs for the Trojans.
The Spartans took over from their 39-yard line and drove down the field on a 29-yard run from Gerald Hulett to the VSU 26 yard line and a 13 yard run from Kevin Johnson. Juwan throws a 7-yard touchdown pass to Marcque Ellington to put the Spartans up 30-7. The Spartans went on 6 play 61-yard drive and scored in almost 3 and a half minutes.
The Trojans turned the ball over again on the next possession this time it was intercepted by Brandon Savage. The Spartans went down and scored on a 53-yard pass caught by Tylan McElhenie from D’Andre Thomas to put the Spartans up 37-7 in the 3rd quarter.
The Trojans keep on turning the ball over when Cook throws an interception to Tyre Wilson-Givers to allow the Spartans to have the ball at the end of the 3rd quarter. Allowing for the Spartans to be at VSU’s 12-yard line in a good position going into the 4th quarter.
Later on, in that next drive, D’Andre Thomas rushes for two yards to score the touchdown. The score is now 44-7 Norfolk State.
Virginia State drives from their own 22-yard line to score off a 19-yard pass to Marque Phillips from Jordan Davis. Adding on to their score they are now down behind 44-14.
On a 10-play 77-yard drive Virginia State scored a touchdown on a 5-yard pass from Jordan Davis to Christian Harden.
The final score is 44-21 Norfolk State. Norfolk State is now 2-1 against Virginia State after winning the last two meetings.
Norfolk State played ruthless defense recovering 4 fumbles and also had 2 interceptions. The defense recorded 2 sacks of Cordelral Cook by Chris Meyers. Virginia State fumbled the ball two times deep in their own territory which allowed Norfolk State to add on to the score. Norfolk State scored 24 points off turnovers.
Chris Meyers for Norfolk State had the two only sacks of the game. He was apart of the really strong defense that played well tonight.
“Practicing, learning their plays, and coming out here Saturday night and performing,” Chris said about how he prepared for the game tonight.
Juwan Carter finished the game with 11 completions out of 21 attempts for 203 yards with four touchdowns. Kevin Johnson had many explosive carries for the Spartans. He had 7 carries for 44 yards, and also had 2 catches for 62 yards.
“I thought he managed the game. We didn’t turn the ball over as an offense. That’s a big difference.” Latrell Scott, Norfolk State’s Head Coach, said about Carter.
Virginia State quarterback Cordelral Cook finished the game 16-25 completions and 2 interceptions for 207 yards along with 2 sacks, he also had 12 carries for 80 yards, his longest run being 21 yards. Jordan Davis was 9-10 with 2 touchdowns.
“It was gratifying for us to get a win here tonight,” Norfolk State’s Head Coach Latrell Scott said, ”I thought our kids came out and played hard. This was a game we needed to win, and one we had to win.”
“We always said if we can get 3 turnovers that the goal. Today we doubled it.” Scott said about the defense tonight.
Norfolk State’s next home game is against the Florida A&M for “Youth Day” at 2pm.