Not your average game, Norfolk State & Hampton get set to battle

(WAVY) — It’s the marquee game on the calender for our local MEAC football teams. Norfolk State against Hampton, the Battle of the Bay with bragging rights and more on the line this Saturday at Armstrong Stadium.

“We know the guys from the other side of the water are going to bring it,” Hampton wide receiver T.J. Mixson said. “No matter what the records are you’ve gotta expect to go hard.”

“We know those guys, they know us,” said Norfolk State senior Brandon Walker.  “The intensity is definitely gonna be ramped up.”

Norfolk State has struggled this season, but the Spartans have won two of their last three games. Saturday is the Spartans final game of the season, Hampton still has a game next week against Coastal Carolina, so for the Norfolk State seniors, this is their final college football game.

“Why not end the season with a win,” NSU senior quarterback Greg Hankerson said. “I feel like this would be a confident boost for the guys coming back next year.”

“We want to go out on a two-game winning streak and leave something for the younger guys to build on,” NSU senior center Louis Humphrey said. “Especially the seniors, anytime you can end your season with a win it’s always a positive note.”

Last season the Spartans defeated Hampton. Latrell Scott is in his second season as NSU head coach, but he also has deep ties with Hampton, as a player and and an assistant coach.

Life’s full of jokes, my wife and I are both graduates of Hampton, we spent four or five great years here,” Latrell Scott said. “I was fortunate to be a part of championship teams here and kind of helped build this program, now I’m coming across the water trying to tear it down and build this one up.”

“Even though he wears the green, he told me that his boxers are blue and grey,” Hampton coach Connell Maynor jokingly said. “So he’s got a lot of Pirate still in him.”

Regardless of the color of his boxers, Coach Scott wants to go into the off season with the taste of victory, especially against an arch rival.

“At the end of the day with the way this season has gone for myself and my team it really would not matter if it was Hampton or anybody else, we just need to win a football game because I would like our seniors to go out the right way and I would like our young people to be able to come back next year knowing we won our last football game.”

Kickoff is this Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at Armstrong Stadium in Hampton.