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Norfolk Spartans bruise Howard Bison 10-9

On November 7, 2010

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The Howard University football team battled Norfolk State for four quarters, but it came down to a case of too many key injuries on offense for the Bison as the Spartans, prevailed 10-9 in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game before an overflow homecoming crowd of 7,086 at Greene Stadium.


Howard (1-7 overall, 0-5 in the MEAC) came into the game with injuries to six starters, including all-MEAC performer, junior wide receiver Wille Carter. Carter, who injured an ankle in the loss to North Carolina A&T last week, is the team's top playmaker and his absence definitely had an impact on the game.


And if that was not enough to affect the play of the offensive unit, the Bison were further hampered when leading rusher Charles Brice went down with a leg injury early and did not return. Brice is the team's leading rusher with 400 yards and three TDs).


"It is extremely difficult when you have this many injuries," said Howard Coach Carey Bailey. "It's tough to get anything going when your starters are not out there. There are some young players out there who are not used to being in these situations. Norfolk State has a great defense and it was frustrating that we could not get them out of their comfort zone."


At the beginning of the 2nd quarter Howard's junior safety Lanny Kelly stepped in front of a Norfolk State receiver, picked off the pass and returned it 30 yards to the Spartans' 20-yard line. After six plays, junior slotback Brandon Drayton scored from a yard out to put Howard up, 7-0 at the 10:38 mark of the second quarter.


Norfolk State (3-5 overall, 2-4 in the MEAC) was able to tie the score at the half on an 18-yard run by DeAngelo Branche (23 carries, 77 yards) with 4:38 left in the 2nd quarter.


The Spartans Ryan Estep booted a 31-yard field goal to give them their first lead at 10-7 at the end of the 3rd.


The Bison's DeAngelo Moody blocked a Norfolk State punt attempt that led to a safety, cutting the margin to 10-9 with 3:14 still left in the fourth quarter.


But the Spartans defense stopped the Bison and held on for the win.


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