NORFOLK, Va. — — Morgan State
At Yankee Stadium,
Norfolk State wasted little time taking advantage of Morgan State turnovers Saturday.
The Spartans needed just seven plays and less than two minutes in the first half to score their first 27 points off four turnovers, including an interception return for a touchdown by linebacker Deon King, on their way to a 30-0 win at Dick Price Stadium.
On the opening possession, defensive lineman Cameron Jude sacked Bears quarterback Robert Council and caused him to fumble. The Spartans' Jamal Giddens recovered on the 4-yard line.
Two plays and 30 seconds later, Brendon Riddick ran into the end zone from 2 yards. Everett Goldberg's extra point was blocked.
Another kickoff and two penalties put the Bears back on their 3-yard line to start their second drive. On the third play, Keenan Lambert picked off Council's pass and returned it to the Bears' 12.
After an illegal block on the return, the Spartans needed just three more plays and 48 seconds to go 22 yards, with quarterback Nico Flores throwing a 16-yard strike to Xavier Boyce.
The Bears, with Council pulled in favor of Seth Higgins, displayed little offensive power, with the two quarterbacks combining for 14-for-35 passing for 142 yards.
Higgins engineered the Bears' best drive of the afternoon, a 15-play, 70-yard drive that stalled on the Spartans' 12, setting up what would have been a 29-yard field-goal try. An unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty on Higgins, however, led to an errant 45-yarder from Gonzalez.
"When you're bad and you're out there doing things that are out of character, those are the type of things that happen," Morgan State coach Donald Hill-Eley said. "You find ways, rather than helping the team, they found ways today to hurt the team."
Besides the turnovers, the Bears were hurt by penalties: flagged 15 times for 129 yards. The Spartans were penalized 11 times for 119 yards.
"You're trying to find ways to motivate guys to take advantage of and make their plays ... and [the Spartans] just sat on the lead after that and they started playing with a lot more energy," Hill-Eley said. "[Our] guys shot the tank. I've never seen our team play like that, at no point in my time there."
NOTES: Morgan State offensive lineman Josh Durden was taken off the field on a stretcher with an undisclosed injury. ... Bears safety Darien Irby was ejected late in the fourth quarter after a second unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty.
NORST—Riddick 2 run (Kick failed), 13:12.
NORST—Boyce 16 pass from Flores (Goldberg kick), 11:17.
NORST—King 15 interception return (Goldberg kick), :52.
NORST—Demps 29 pass from Flores (Goldberg kick), 12:46.
NORST—FG Goldberg 46, 5:58.
RUSHING: Morgan State, Higgins 12-37, Davidson 12-26, Council 5-6, Mann 4-5, Martin 1-5. Norfolk State, Riddick 11-27, Roberts 5-24, Flores 5-18, Maynes 8-18, Boyce 1-1.
PASSING: Morgan State, Higgins 10-23-0-104, Council 4-12-3-38. Norfolk State, Flores 14-26-0-216.
RECEIVING: Morgan State, King 3-51, Hendrix 3-34, Mann 3-10, Church 2-27, Flowers 1-14, Martin 1-8, Davidson 1-(minus 2). Norfolk State, Boyce 4-49, Demps 3-66, Hawkins 2-53, Maynes 2-19, Riddick 2-15, Johnson 1-14.