DURHAM, N.C. – North Carolina Central University amassed 501 yards of total offense on Saturday, but the nationally-ranked Eagles committed 15 penalties for 146 lost yards and Norfolk State University forced four turnovers as the Spartans snapped NCCU’s 18-game conference win streak and school-record 11-game home win streak with a 28-21 victory at O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium.
Norfolk State (3-4, 3-1 MEAC) jumped out to a 21-0 cushion at halftime, holding the Eagles scoreless in the first half for the first time since NCCU’s 2016 season-opener at Duke.
No. 25 NCCU (5-2, 3-1 MEAC) rallied in the second half to pull to within seven points, but the Eagles’ fourth turnover of the game with eight seconds left sealed their fate.
NCCU sophomore quarterback Naiil Ramadan came off the bench to throw for 236 yards and two touchdowns on 21-of-35 passing, and also rushed for a score. Both touchdown receptions were made by junior tight end Josh McCoy.
Senior receiver Jacen Murphy collected seven catches for 94 yards to top the Eagles, while freshman running back Isaiah Totten accounted for 90 yards on the ground and 120 all-purpose yards.
Defensively, junior safety Davanta Reynolds led the home team with six tackles.
Norfolk State was sparked by senior linebacker Anthony Smith and junior receiver Marcus Taylor. Smith racked up 18 tackles, including a stop for a loss, two interceptions and a forced fumble, which prevented NCCU quarterback Chauncey Caldwell from scoring a touchdown just one yard shy of the end zone. Taylor caught eight passes for a career-high 132 yards and two touchdowns.
NCCU returns home on Oct. 28 to host Delaware State for homecoming. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.
Courtesy: NCCU Athletics