Norfolk, Va. — Mitchell Ward tied his career high with a 43-yard field goal to give Delaware State a 13-10 come-from-behind overtime win at Norfolk State today.
Ward’s second game-winning field goal of his career capped off a comeback for the Hornets, who trailed 10-0 at the half.
The score was 10-10 at the end of the fourth quarter.
The Hornets nearly lost the game in regulation when quarterback Marlon Kelly, making his first career start, lost a fumble at the DSU 28 with 59 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Three plays after the recovery, Norfolk State lined up for a potential game-winning 36-yard field; but Delaware State’s Gabe Sherrod blocked the kick to keep the Hornets alive.
Norfolk State had the first possession of overtime with the ball placed at the DSU 25-yard line.
The Spartans advanced to the DSU three, but Davon Moore intercepted a pass by NSU’s Tyler Clark in the endzone to end the threat.
It was Moore’s second interception of the game. He also contributed seven tackles (five unassisted) to the win.
“I’m so proud of our kids for fighting through a great deal of adversity today,” said Hornet head coach Kermit Blount, who improved to 3-1 vs.
Norfolk State while at DSU. “We were never out of the game even though we didn’t play particularly well in the first half. I told the kids good things will happen if they stay focused and keep battling.
The guys have been working really hard all season; and it’s great that they have been rewarded with a win for their efforts.”
The Hornets have won two of their last three games to improve to 2-1 in the MEAC and 2-5 overall. DSU has also won three straight against the Spartans.
The loss snapped a two-game win streak for Norfolk State, which fell to 2-5 overall and 2-1 in conference play.
The overtime victory was the first for the Hornets since a 35-28 extra period win over Florida A&M in 2008. DSU is 2-2 all-time in overtime contests.
Norfolk State drew first blood on the opening possession of the game when Cameron Marouf capped off a 10-play, 36-yard drive with a career-best 51-yard field goal to give the Spartans a 3-0 lead with 11:44 left in the first quarter.
Norfolk State scored the first touchdown of the game on special teams when Darius Wilson returned a punt by DSU’s Jeremiah McGeough 80 yards to the endzone in the second quarter.
Wilson bobbled the ball before dodging a would-be tackler and darting left.
He received several key blocks during the run, the third punt return touchdown and sixth special teams score allowed by the Hornets this season.
The extra point kick by Ryan Lee gave the Spartans a 10-0 lead with 4:59 left in the first half.
The Hornets got on the scoreboard in the third quarter, thanks to defensive back Terrick Colston.
Playing on special teams, Colston blocked a punt by Norfolk State’s Dylan Shaddix, recovered the ball at the three-yard line and ran to the endzone for a touchdown.
It was Colston’s second trip to the endzone in the last two games. He scored the Hornets’ lone touchdown on an interception return in last week’s 27-7 loss to Bethune-Cookman.
The Lakeland, Fla., native also had an interception and seven tackles (four solo) in the game.
Colston has three career touchdowns. He also scored on an interception return against South Carolina State in 2012.
Mitchell Ward’s extra point kick after the Colston score cut Norfolk State’s lead to 10-7 with 9:08 left in the third quarter.
Delaware State used a lengthy drive to tie the score midway through the fourth quarter.
The 12-play, 63-yard march-consuming six-minutes-52 seconds- ended with a 23-yard field goal by Ward to tie the score at 10-10 with 6:36 left in the final quarter.
The Hornets faced fourth-and-goal at the NSU one-yard line during the drive, but were forced to attempt the field goal after being hit with a delay of game penalty.
Norfolk State won the total yardage battle 240-114.
The Hornets were held to 92 yards rushing and just 22 yards passing.
Malcolm Williams led the Hornets with 35 yards rushing on 10 carries.
Kelly completed four-of-10 passes for 22 yards. He also netted 17 yards rushing and was sacked six times.