SC State falls in home-opener to Norfolk State, 17-7
ORANGEBURG, SC—The Bulldogs suffered another disappointing defeat with an, 17-7, heartbreaking loss to visiting Norfolk State Saturday (Sept. 22nd) at Oliver. C. Dawson Stadium/Willie Jeffries Field.
“We struggled in the first-half, had only about 40-yards and 54 total offense. I don’t think we quite mixed up it enough,” said head coach Buddy Pough. “We came alive in the second-half, and got a big score but made some mistakes and turnovers that really hurt us down the stretch.”
Redshirt sophomore Tyrece Nick finished throwing 14-of-23 for 199-yards and one touchdown, while junior wide receiver Demontrez Burroughs was the top receiver with five (5) catches for 105-yards and a score.
Senior punter Jerome Pettiway had another solid day punting with five (5) punts for 200-yards with an average of 40.0 yards per punt. Junior linebacker Chad Gilchrist returned from injury to spearhead the Bulldogs defense with a game-high 11 tackles and 1.5-2 tackles for loss.
Defensive back’s freshman Decobie Durant and senior Chris Adams finished with seven tackles each.
The Spartan’s jumped to a quick 14-point lead off a 6-yard toss from Juwan Carter to Isaiah Winstead with 8:20 remaining in the first quarter. Carter found the end zone again on a 1-yd punch early in the second quarter at the 12:40 mark.
NSU took at 14-0 lead during intermission.
The second-half SC State came to life after Nick connected with Burroughs on an 81-yard touchdown scamper with 1:07 remaining in the third quarter. The Bulldogs pushed their way back into scoring drive, before a costly fumble at the NSU 14-yard line turned things around.
A 29-yard field goal by Josh Nardone early in the fourth quarter sealed the victory for the Spartans.
“The team is young and those are some of the issues we have at the moment, “said Pough. “We have to regroup and correct some mistake get ready for a tough matchup with N.C. A&T State on next week.”
SC State returns to action on Thursday (Sept. 27th) on the road against the defending MEAC Champion N.C. A&T in Greensboro, NC. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. and will televised live on ESPNU.