HAMPTON (WAVY) — They call it the Battle of the Bay. Regardless of how many wins either team has, this 52-year rivalry between Norfolk State and Hampton University is always a special event.
The Pirates host this year’s edition and are hoping to snap a two-game losing streak against the Spartans. A Hampton win would give coach Connell Maynor his second consecutive winning season, and Maynor knows this isn’t your average game.
“Norfolk State’s beaten us the last two years so they’ve had the bragging rights the last two years,” Maynor said. “Not only do our guys want bragging rights, their families want bragging rights and the community wants the bragging rights. When we travel to Norfolk and shop and they come over here then you want to be able to brag about your football team so that’s what makes it so special.”
Norfolk State meanwhile won it’s third game of the season Saturday with the Spartans first ever win at South Carolina State. NSU’s defense ruled the day. Spartans head coach Coach Latrell Scott was a tight end at Hampton and later an assistant coach, and he realizes the significance.
“It’s an old school back yard rivalry, it’s Cowboys-Redskins, Hampton-Norfolk State,” Scott said. “It’s something that goes back a long time, two storied programs, a lot of tradition on both sides of the water. Just to be a part of it as a player and now as a coach is pretty special to me. It’s just great for the Hampton Roads area to have two of these teams here. I’ve been challenging people for years now to come out and support these two teams, let’s get this rivalry back in the stands the way it used to be.”
The Battle of the Bay, this Saturday at 1:00 at Armstrong Stadium in Hampton.