Norfolk State surrenders 27 unanswered, falls to Howard 33-28

NORFOLK (WAVY) – Norfolk State looked to be headed for its first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference win of the season, leading 21-6 in the blink of an eye. But just as quickly, Howard stormed back and stole a 33-28 win at Dick Price Stadium.

NSU quarterback Greg Hankerson had one of his best days to date, throwing for a career-best 366 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for two more scores.

The Spartans (1-4, 0-2 MEAC) put up 21 points in the first quarter, thanks to 64-yard touchdown pass from Hankerson to Marcus Taylor, a nine-yard Hankerson touchdown run, and a 59-yard pass from Hankersson to George Wahee.

It was the only points the home Spartans would put up until the fourth quarter. The Bison (1-4, 1-2 MEAC) scored the next 27 straight points, capped off by a touchdown pass from Kalen Johnson to Kyle Anthony, who connected for the second time.

Hankerson tried to keep NSU in it, scoring from three yards out to cut the deficit to 33-28 with under two minutes left, and it looked like the Spartans would have a chance get the ball back and win the game with :58 seconds left. But with Howard ready to punt, NSU was called for illegal substitution.

The Bison were granted an automatic first down, and kneeled down the remaining :58 seconds.

It won’t get easier for Norfolk State, who has to play a Thursday night game against North Carolina A&T, who many picked to win the MEAC.