By: Lamonte Thomas
Headline Photo Credit: Hampton Football
On Saturday, September 9th there were over 10,000 fans in attendance at Armstrong Stadium as the Norfolk State Spartans took on the Hampton Pirates in the ‘Battle of the Bay’.
After Hampton’s first drive stalled, Norfolk State’s uptempo offense made the first strike at Junior quarterback Otto Kuhns (Columbus, Ohio) found Senior wide receiver Aaron Moore (Dumfries, VA) on a short completion that went 41 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead for the Spartans.
Hampton would respond with some offense of their own as Senior kicker Tristan Heaten converted a 21-yard field goal at the end of the first quarter, followed by a 28-yard striking touchdown pass from quarterback Chris Zellous (Greensboro, NC) to Sophomore tight end T.K. Paisant (Carrboro, NC) to take a 9-7 lead over Norfolk State as Heaten missed the extra point.
The end of the half saw Norfolk State Sophomore running back X’Zavion Evans (Chesapeake, VA) rush for 36 yards on two carries — setting up a two-yard touchdown plunge from the 6’2, 240-pound Mohamed Nyangamukenga (Brooklyn, NY). The Junior’s tough rushing TD brought the score to 14-9 in favor of the Norfolk State Spartans over the Hampton Pirates at the half.
The third quarter belonged to Norfolk State as Otto Kuhns connected with 6’6 Jayden Homuth (Burnsville, MN) on a 38-yard flea flicker touchdown pass, and Sophomore kicker Grandin Willcox (Ocala, FL) added a 33-yard field goal – widening the lead to 24-9.
Hampton’s duo of Zellous and Paisant hooked up for another 18-yard touchdown, ending the third quarter trailing 24-16. Hampton’s Elijah Burris fumbled at the top of the fourth at the hands of Sophomore D-lineman Keshawn Lynch (Newport News, VA); it was scooped and returned 52 yards by Junior DB Terron Mallory (New Haven, CT). The ensuing Norfolk State drive ended with a 9-yard touchdown reception by Tremayne Talbert (Richmond, VA) from Kuhns, as the Spartans again took a commanding 31-16 lead. Hampton Senior running back Darran Butts (Suffolk, VA) trotted to the endzone on a 53-yard touchdown run, as the game ended with a final score of 31-23, Norfolk State over Hampton.
Norfolk State (1-1) travels to Temple (1-1) next week while Hampton (1-1) will face Howard (1-1) next week.