Norfolk State rallies to defeat DSU 33-17 in MEAC football

DOVER — Norfolk State scored 23 unanswered points after trailing by 10 en route to a 33-17 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference football victory over Delaware State at windy Alumni Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Spartans (4-3 MEAC, 5-6 overall) won their third game in a row while the Hornets closed out their MEAC schedule at 1-7 (2-9 overall). Norfolk also defeated Delaware State for the third year in a row, although the Hornets hold a 16-9 lead in the all-time series.

Norfolk State quarterback Juwan Carter completed 18-of-31 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns. He also led the Spartans with 44 yards rushing on nine carries.

Delaware State’s Thomas Bertand-Hudon led all players with 137 yards rushing on 25 carries, marking his third straight 100-yard game. The last Hornet with 100-or-more rushing yards in three consecutive games was Emmanual Marc, who topped the century mark vs. Concord (118), Norfolk State (130) and Howard (165) in 2006.

Bertrand-Hudon put DSU on the board first with a 48-yard touchdown run on the Hornets’ first play from scrimmage. The Quebec native ran through a big hole on the right side of the offensive line and sprinted untouched to the end zone.

Delaware State used a long drive to stretch its lead. The Hornets marched 59 yards on 11 plays to the NSU six, but had to settle for a 31-yard field goal by Jose Romo-Martinez to open up a 10-0 lead with 2:36 to go in the opening quarter.

But the Spartans took control after that. Four plays after NSU’s Devyn Coles intercepted a Tylik Bethea pass, Kevin Johnson scored on a 14-yard run to put the Spartans ahead for good at 14-10 with 7:34 left in the second quarter.

Delaware State drove to the Norfolk 21 after receiving the second-half kickoff, but a pass by Bethea was picked off by Bobby Price, who darted 84 yards down the sideline for a touchdown. The TD pushed the Spartans’s advantage to 23-10 with 12:06 left in the third quarter.

The Hornets finally broke the Norfolk scoring run when Bethea rushed 28 yards for a touchdown to cap off a five-play, 50-yard drive with 4:16 to go in the third quarter.

Bethea rushed for a career-high 71 yards on 10 carries in the contest, although he was successful on just 5-of-15 passes for 54 yards and two interceptions.

The Hornets still trailed only 23-17 when an apparent 49-yard punt return touchdown by DSU’s Keenan Black was nullified by two penalties with 3:07 remaining in the third quarter.

Extra points

Norfolk State held a slight edge in total yards, 313-303, although the Hornets had a 249-131 advantage in rushing yards. … Linebackers Tristin Murrin and Brooks Parker, along lineman Corey St. John, led Delaware State with six tackles each. … The Hornets wrap up the season at home against St. Francis (Pa.) on Saturday at 2 p.m.

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