Hornets fall to Hampton; Sua-Godinet has breakout game

DOVER — Another freshman had a breakout game for the Delaware State University football team.

But it still wasn’t enough for the Hornets to find their first win.

Hampton defeated Delaware State 27-17 in a MEAC contest on a rainy Saturday in Dover. The Pirates’ Eric Carter and Yahkee Johnson combined to rush for 246 yards as Hampton racked up 551 total offensive yards.

“If you don’t tackle the football, you got no chance of winning the game,” said DSU coach Kenny Carter. “Really, that’s the bottom line. We’ve got to get the ball on the ground. You’ve got to tackle people. We had tackles for losses that we missed.”

The result spoiled the emergence of one of DelState’s young playmakers. Freshman wide receiver Fatu Sua-Godinet caught a touchdown along with five catches for 84 yards, all career-highs.

Sua-Godinet’s touchdown with 19 seconds before halftime tied the game at 14-14 when quarterback Dan Epperson scrambled and threw 29 yards on the run to Sua-Godinet in the corner of the end zone.

“I would say it’s a whole offensive thing with the coaches’ game plan and the other receivers running their routes,” Sua-Godinet said. “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have been open. That’s something we work on at practice every day, running our routes not just for us, but to help other receivers get open.”

The ensuing kickoff bounced out of bounds, giving the Pirates good field position. They were able to go up for good with a 35-yard field goal by Anthony Prevost.

Hampton added a 3-yard rushing touchdown by Brandon Cox and a 32-yard field goal by Prevost.

Delaware State (0-2 MEAC, 0-5 overall) had a chance to make it a one-possession game in the fourth when the Hornets reached the red zone. But they had to settle for a 29-yard kick by Wisdom Nzidee, the last points they would score.

“Any time we don’t get into the end zone it puts us back,” Epperson said. “That’s our job, to get in the end zone. We just couldn’t get it done.”

Delaware State’s other touchdown tied the game 7-7 in the first quarter. It was set up by freshman punter Fidel Romo-Martinez who rushed for a first down on a fake punt.

Freshman Mike Waters capped off the drive with a 2-yard rush. Waters has now scored in back-to-back weeks, he finished just 27 rushing yards on 14 carries, a week after he had a career-best 96 last week against Morgan State.

Epperson was another Hornet to record a personal-best. He threw for a season-high 245 yards. He didn’t throw an interception either and finished 18-of-30 in passing attempts.

Mason Rutherford topped the Hornets with 89 receiving yards on five catches.

“I think we have really good receivers and when Dan gets himself in a rhythm, they’ll get themselves going,” Carter said. “We just have to keep doing what we’re doing because we’re getting better. That’s as productive on offense as we’ve been all season.”

Still, the improvement has yet to lead to the year’s first victory for the Hornets.

Epperson said he thinks there’s more he can do for DelState to get over the hump.

“It’s very frustrating but I’ve got to maintain consistency to help us win,” Epperson said. “That’s not happening right now. I’ve got all this talent around me but I’ve got to keep playing and get that first W.”

 

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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