NORFOLK, Va. – The Norfolk State offense highlighted the Spartan football team’s second preseason scrimmage by scoring five touchdowns on a steamy afternoon at Dick Price Stadium on Saturday.
With the temperature on the field exceeding 90 degrees, the Spartans limited Saturday’s scrimmage to roughly and hour and a half and 60 plays, in addition to several special teams periods. That was more than enough time to show the team’s progress over the last week.
“I felt like the offense came out and really played well today,” head coach Latrell Scott said. “We were a little banged up on defense and I’m sure the heat and humidity had something to do with it, but I really liked how we moved the ball. Give credit to our offensive line for getting after it today.”
The defense forced a three-and-out on the scrimmage’s first drive, which defensive lineman Tavien Blackwell ended with a touch-sack of quarterback D’Andre Thomas. But Juwan Carter promptly led the offense on a 75-yard scoring drive on the next possession. He completed 5-of-6 passes on the drive, which Aaron Savage finished off with an 8-yard TD run.
Two sacks by defensive end Chris Myers and a tackle for loss by De’Shaan Dixonforced another punting situation on the next drive. But the offense then scored on back-to-back possessions from the plus-40 yard line thanks to Gerald Hulett’s 1-yard TD run and quarterback Isaiah Wilson’s 10-yard scamper.
The highlight for the offense was a 99-yard scoring drive during the second half of the scrimmage. Carter completed a 55-yard pass to Da’Kendall James on third down to jump-start the scoring march. Hulett gained 12 and then 17 yards on consecutive carries before Carter hit Marcque Ellington for an 8-yard TD pass.
The Spartans scored on one of two red-zone possessions to end the day. On the first drive, Justin Toler intercepted Thomas in the end zone to provide the defense’s lone takeaway of the day. But on the following drive, Carter found tight end Shawn McFarland on a 20-yard pass completion before freshman Kevin Johnson scored on a 5-yard TD run to close the scrimmage.
Carter completed 8-of-11 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown. He led three scoring drives. Hulett ran 11 times for 69 yards and a touchdown, and both Savage and Johnson rushed five times for 31 yards and a score.
Blackwell and Myers had two sacks apiece for the defense.
“We’ll start moving into our Old Dominion prep this week and keep working on special teams, which was a big focus for us today,” Scott said. “We’ve got one more week of practice left before classes start, and we’ll make the most of it.”
The Spartans have one final scrimmage remaining, the Green & Gold Game next Saturday at 7 p.m. at Dick Price Stadium. NSU opens the season in two weeks in a 7 p.m. game at cross-town neighbor Old Dominion at S.B. Ballard Stadium.
Single-game and season tickets for 2019 NSU football are on sale now at the NSU Ticket Center and online at nsuspartanstickets.com. NSU also has a limited number of tickets available for the ODU game. Those tickets must be purchased in person at the NSU Ticket Center between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, call (757) 823-9009.