MEAC Football Wrap Up
By Uba Okereke
Norfolk State Loses First Conference Game of the Season
Norfolk State lost to Bethune-Cookman 14-6 last Thursday night in an HBCU showdown aired on ESPNU.
The Spartans (6-2, 4-1 MEAC), who are near the top of the conference in offense, struggled against the Wildcat defense.
Bethune took a 7-0 lead on an Anthony Jordan two-yard touchdown run. Everett Goldberg made a 50-yard field goal with 2:18 remaining in the second quarter to give NSU its first points of the game.
Bethune led 7-3 at halftime.
The Wildcats opened the third quarter with an eight-play, 70-yard drive, capped by a seven-yard touchdown pass by Jackie Wilson to lead 14-3 with 14:55 remaining. The Spartans added another field goal late in the quarter to cut the deficit to eight (14-6).
BCU’s Dion Hanks intercepted a Chris Walley pass with under a minute left in the game to seal the win for the Wildcats.
The loss snaps a five-game win streak for the Spartans and gives them their first conference loss of the season.
Isidore Jackson ran for 206 yards on 34 carries for Bethune-Cookman (4-3, 2-2 MEAC).
Howard Upsets NC A&T in Overtime
Howard defeated North Carolina A&T in overtime 35-28 last Saturday in Washington, D.C.
The Bison controlled the first half, leading 13-0, which included two field goals by kicker Parker Munoz. All of A&T’s first half drives ended with a turnover on downs, a fumble and two punts.
Howard (4-4, 3-2 MEAC) led at halftime by the same score.
The Aggies (4-3, 3-1 MEAC) overcame the halftime deficit with two touchdowns, including a 20-yard touchdown pass by Lewis Kindle to lead 14-13 heading into the fourth quarter.
Both teams scored two touchdowns apiece in the final period, including a 66-yard run by Mike Mayhew and an 82-yard kickoff return by Howard’s Aquanius Freeman. Neither team scored in the remainder of the game and the score was tied at 28 going into overtime.
Terrence Leffall gave Howard a 35-28 lead in the extra period with a three-yard touchdown run. The Aggies converted two first downs on its first overtime possession to reach the Howard three-yard line.
A&T was faced with a fourth and four after a Mayhew one yard loss, and Kindle was stopped short by defensive end Sackie Kerkulah, preserving the upset win for the Bison.
The loss denied the Aggies the opportunity to move into sole possession of first place in the conference after Norfolk State lost last Thursday to Bethune-Cookman.
Kindle passed for 162 yards, a touchdown and an interception for the Aggies.
Florida A&M Rallies in Fourth to Upend SC State
Florida A&M defeated South Carolina State 27-24 last Saturday afternoon in another wild MEAC contest.
The Rattlers trailed by as much as 11 in the second quarter before scoring on a Damien Fleming six-yard touchdown pass with 1:16 left to cut the Bulldogs’ lead to four (17-13). SC State led at halftime with the same score.
SC State increased its lead to 11(24-13) with a 46-yard touchdown run by Asheton Jordan. It was the only score from either team in the third quarter.
FAMU rallied in the fourth behind Lavante Page’s two rushing touchdowns to lead 27-24 with 2:31 remaining.
SC State was then stopped on a four-and-out and the Rattlers ran out the clock on the game’s final possession with three consecutive runs by Page.
FAMU completed the comeback by possessing the ball for 12:31 of the fourth quarter. Fleming completed 34 of 40 for 297 yards and a touchdown.
South Carolina State went two of 10 on third down conversions.
SWAC Football Wrap Up
Grambling Outlasts Valley in Overtime
Grambling defeated Mississippi Valley 30-24 in overtime last Saturday for its second conference win of the season.
The Tigers (3-4, 2-3 SWAC) scored the first 10 points of the game including a five-yard touchdown run by Kenneth Batiste. GSU added another touchdown in the second quarter to lead 17-7 at halftime.
Mississippi Valley scored 17 unanswered points after Grambling led 24-7 in the third quarter to tie the game at 24 going into overtime.
The Delta Devils missed a field goal in its first overtime possession and the Tigers immediately capitalized.
After a 10-yard run, D.J. Williams connected with Mario Louis on a seven-yard pass for the game winning touchdown.
Dawrence Roberts rushed for 186 yard on 18 carries for Grambling.
Mississippi Valley (0-8, 0-7 SWAC) has not won a game since the 2009 season.