By: Lamonte Thomas
The Hampton Pirates kicked off their football season with a strong presence in their home Armstrong Stadium against the Howard Bison on Saturday, September 3rd.
In an attempt to show the Colonial Athletic Association what’s to come, Junior quarterback Malcom Mays and freshman sensation Christopher Zellous (Grimsley HS, Greensboro, NC) led a balanced offensive attack. The unit totaled nearly 500 yards from 100 plays, six more passes than rushes.
The “Real HU” battle began with a defensive struggle, which ended with Senior Howard Quarterback Quinton Williams’s first passing touchdown at the top of the second quarter. Followed by a missed extra point. Williams would go on to throw for four TD’s total. Hampton came alive just before the end of the half, as Zellous broke a 89-yard touchdown run and Senior Jadakis Bonds made a spectacular grab over the defender for a 30-yard score. Hampton led Howard at the half 14-6.
The only score in the third quarter came from a 15-yard passing touchdown from Hampton’s Mays to WR Romon Copeland from Chesapeake, Va.
Down 21-6 at the start of the fourth quarter, the Howard Bison showed some fight, yet the lead was too much to overcome. Senior tight end Christion Carter brought in a 25-yard touchdown to bring Howard within one score with just over 13 minutes remaining. Twelve seconds later, Darran Butts broke a spectacular 75-yard run for the Pirates, highlighted by an unbelievable spin move. Hampton’s Axel Perez knocked in a 20-yard field goal with nearly seven minutes left, expanding Hampton’s lead to 31-13.
Quinton Williams found Na’shawn Hezekiah on a 16-yard touchdown strike with four minutes to go; He then hooked up with tight end Christian Carter near the goal line, adding a two point conversion connection as well to bring the final score to Hampton 31, Howard 28.
Head Coach Robert Prunty will lead Hampton (1-0) when Tuskegee (0-1) visits Armstrong Stadium next Saturda, as Howard (0-2) will head to South Florida (0-1).