Courtesy of Delaware State Athletics
Quarterback C.J. Henry completed 14-of-19 passes for 194 yards and three touchdowns, while the defense pitched a shutout for the first 48 minutes to highlight Delaware State’s 28-7 victory over Norfolk State in the Hornets’ MEAC opener, spoiling the Spartans’ homecoming before more than 22 thousand fans at Dick Price Stadium today.
The Hornets won their second straight game to improve to 4-2 overall, their best six-game mark since 2012.
The win was Delaware State’s first in an official MEAC opener since a 35-10 victory over Savannah State in 2014, and first official MEAC road win since defeating Norfolk State 13-10 in overtime that same year.
Henry, a former Delaware High School Player-of-the -Year at Hodgson-Vo Tech, threw two touchdown passes to Jerrish Halsey and another to NyGhee Lolley.
The Hornets also rushed for a season-high 204 yards, led by Marquis Gillis with a career-high 123 and touchdown.
Defensively, the Hornets recorded thee sacks and held Norfolk State to just 93 yards rushing on 27 attempts. Delaware State also forced a turnover (interception) for the fifth time in its six games this season. The Hornets were fifth among all FCS teams in turnover margin (1.40 pg) enter today’s contest.
Delaware State struck quickly for the game’s first score, reaching the end zone on its third play from scrimmage.
Henry connected with Halsey on a 41-yard touchdown to cap off a three-play, 60-yard drive on the first possession of the game. The extra point kick by Nathan Wilson gave the Hornets a 7-0 lead just 69 seconds into the contest.
The Hornets benefitted from a friendly bounce that resulted in a touchdown to stretch their lead late in the second quarter. On the play, Henry’s pass hit off wide receiver Devin Curry at around the Norfolk State 15-yard line and into the hands of teammate NyGhee Lolley, who ran to the endzone for a 29-yard touchdown. Wilson’s extra point kick gave the Hornets a 14-0 lead with 3:26 left in the second quarter.
Henry and Halsey struck again on the opening possession of the second half, connecting on a 22-yard catch for the Hornets’ third touchdown of the game to go ahead 21-0 after the PAT by Wilson with 10:18 left in the third quarter.
Halsey hauled in three passes for a game-high 77 yards in the contest.
The Hornets scored their fourth touchdown on a 23-yard scamper by Gillis with 12:36 left to play.
Norfolk State (1-6; 1-1 MEAC) scored its lone touchdown on a 42-yard pass from Otto Kuhns to Christian Butler with 11:19 left to play.
The Hornets remain on the road for their next game on Oct. 22 at Howard University. The MEAC contest is set for 2:00 p.m. at Greene Stadium in Washington, D.C.
Delaware State’s next home game is Oct. 29 against North Carolina Central in the Hornets’ annual homecoming contest. Start time is set for 2:02 p.m. at Alumni Stadium.