Hampton, Va. (Sep. 8, 2017) --- Hampton struck for two big-play touchdowns in the second quarter and put up a solid defensive effort in the final 30 minutes to highlight a 28-15 win over Delaware State in the MEAC opener for both teams at Armstrong Stadium Friday evening.
The Hornets fell to the Pirates for the fifth straight year and seventh time in eight games to fall to 0-2 this season. The Pirates evened their record to 1-1.
Delaware State led 5-0 and 12-7 before being outscored 21-3 the rest of the way.
The Hornets opened the scoring with a safety when a punt snap by the Pirates skidded out of the endzone with 9:31 left in the first quarter.
Delaware State drove to the Hampton nine yard line later in the quarter, but had to settle for a 26-yard field goal by Wisdom Nzidee to open up a 5-0 lead.
Hampton capped off a nine-play, 77-yard drive with a four yard touchdown pass from Delmon Williams to Ronald Bell for its first score. The extra point kick by Adam Brown gave the Pirates a 7-5 lead with three seconds left in the opening quarter.
The Hornets answered on their next possession when freshman quarterback Jack McDaniels scored on a one-yard run on fourth and goal to cap a nine-play, 60-yard drive. The touchdown was DSU’s first of the season. Nzidee’s extra point put the Hornets back on top 12-7 at the 10:19 mark of the second quarter.
It took Hampton just two plays to strike back. Williams connected with Aulden Knight on a 48-yard scoring pass. After the extra point, the Pirates held a 14-12 lead with 9:42 to go before halftime.
Delaware State took advantage of a special teams play to regain the lead. Following a punt block by Caleb Hebron and return by Devin Adams, the Hornets started a possession at the Hampton 14. DSU moved the ball to the Pirate one, but again settled for a field goal by Nzidee (19 yards) to pull back ahead 15-14 with 3:59 left in the second quarter.
Nzidee is three-for-three on field goal attempts this season.
On the next play from scrimmage, Williams and Aulden hooked up again for the Pirates, this time on a 78-yard catch and run to the endzone to put the Pirates back on top. DSU trailed 21-15 after the extra point by Brown with 3:39 remaining in the half.
Hampton added an insurance touchdown on a 15 yard run by Yahkee Johnson with 12:13 left to play.
The Hornets had 11 first downs and 218 total yards in the first half, but managed just one first down and 49 yards in the final 30 minutes.
Hampton had 439 total yards in the game, including 302 by the pass. Williams completed 16-of-25 passes for 305 yards and three touchdowns, while Knight had four catches for 172 yards and two scores.
Mike Waters was Delaware State’s leader with 67 yards rushing on 14 carries. McDaniels connected on 15 of 30 throws for 156 yards in his second collegiate game.
Linebacker Malik Harris led the Hornets with nine tackles (four solo), while fellow backer Brian Cavicante recorded eight tackles, including DSU’s lone sack.
The Hornets return to action on Sep. 16 at FBS West Virginia. Game time is 12 p.m. in Morgantown, W.V. DSU will play its 2017 home opener on Sep. 23 against Norfolk State. The Hall-of-Fame Day contest is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Alumni Stadium.