Big Plays Doom Bison
Robert P. Stephens II | 11/2/2009, 11:56 a.m.
It wasn't pretty, which has become indicative of the 2009 Howard Bison football season as a homecoming crowd of 15,832 at Dick Price Stadium witnessed the Norfolk St. Spartans defeat the Bison 41-6 with their big play offense. Norfolk scored on three plays covering 37 yards on more while improving their record to (4-4) (3-3) in MEAC play.
Howard scored first on a 12 play 87 yard drive culminating with a 37 yard touchdown pass from Sr. quarterback Floyd Haigler to wide receiver sophomore Willie Carter. Carter finished the day with 5 catches for 59 yards. Carter from Denmark, South Carolina has been a bright spot for the Bison (0-5) (2-6) all season.
Norfolk St. who had lost their two previous homecomings scored 20 unanswered points in the first half. They were lead by Sr. quarterback Dennis Brown, a transfer from the University of Connecticut who completed 12-21-226 yards and two touchdowns. Both touchdowns came in the first quarter, both to Jr. wide receiver Chris Bell. The first a 51 yarder with 3:18 remaining in the quarter, the second a 64 yarder with : 34 seconds remaining. Bell finished the afternoon with 4 catches for 138 yards.
" It kind of went as planned, to be honest with you about it," said Spartan head coach Pete Adrian. Norfolk's defense held the Bison rushing attack to 29 yards rushing. " We had a lot of blitzes called that allowed us to get pressure on them " said linebacker Anthony Taylor.
Junior running back DeAngelo Branch rushed for 129 yards on 19 carries. His teammate Donovan Cotton rushed for a career high 79 yards on nine carries including a 37 yard scamper to finish the Spartan's scoring for the day. That came with 8:21 remaining in the contest. The Spartans had a combined total of 520 yards total offense.
One of the bright spots for Howard's defense was red-shirt freshman Keith Pough. Pogh who hails from Orangeburg, South Carolina led the team with 11 tackles. Martin Corniff chipped in with 9 tackles.
The Bison regroup and will hosts South Carolina St. this Saturday at 1pm. Norfolk will travel to Baltimore to face Morgan St.
In other MEAC contests, South Carolina St. (7-1) (5-0) the defending MEAC champion before a crowd of 21,257 celebrated their homecoming with a 52-10 victory over Delaware St. at Oliver C. Dawson stadium. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. St. who had beaten the Bulldogs two years ago to spoil their homecoming found a fired up St. team this year waiting for them.
Senior wide receiver Trey Long, who leads the conference with 39 catches also holds the State record for receiving yards, with 1,734 which surpasses Charlie Brown's record who played for the Washington Redskins. State is currently ranked # 10 in the nation amongst NCAA FCS teams. The only other ranked HBCU team is Prairie View # 25 of the SWAC conference.
Morgan State (5-3) (3-2) suffered a tough 31-28 overtime loss to Florida A&M at home. Morgan was stopped in overtime on a fourth an inches defensive stand by the Rattlers. A&M (6-2) (4-1) once again was led by quarterback Curtis Polley who rushed for 231 yards on 20 carries while scoring 2 touchdowns.
In another overtime thriller in the MEAC Hampton (4-4) (2-3) edged Winston-Salem St. 16-13 on a Steve Robinson 11 yard run at Bowman Gray Stadium at Winston-Salem. Hampton came back from a ten point deficit with 5:23 remaining in the contest.
Bethune-Cookman spoiled North Carolina A&T's homecoming with a 31-13 win in Greensboro. Bethune (3-5) (2-3) held the Aggies offense to 198 yards total. Bethune who scored 24 points unanswered in the second finished with 357 yards total in the game.