By ADD SEYMOUR JR.
A wild HBCU football day saw the nation's top Division I-FCS HBCU football team lose and the second-ranked Division II HBCU team go down.
First, Norfolk State ran out to a 20-point lead and withstood a late Bethune-Cookman rally to defeat the Wildcats 27-24 in a huge national and Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference upset Saturday.
Norfolk State, which had only won two games all season, the last in early October, jumped out to a 10-0 first quarter lead before Isadore Jackson's 35-yard touchdown run pulled the Wildcats to a 10-7 deficit that made the home crowd breathe a little easier.
But the Spartans ran off 17 straight points on 2-yard Tyler Clark touchdown pass Natturner Harris 31-yard fumble return for touchdown (which put Spartans up 24-7 at halftime) and a third-quarter Cameron Marouf field goal.
Bethune-Cookman fought back in the fourth quarter with Nick Addison returning a fumble 14 yards for a touchdown, Jonathan Cagle's field goal and Jackson's second touchdown run, an 11-yarder, followed by a successful two-point conversion, to pull within a field goal.
But the Wildcats rally fell short.
Clark finished with 151 yards passing and a touchdown while Rolandan Finch had 110 yards rushing and a TD. The Norfolk State defense held the conference's top offense to 272 yards total offense on the day, forcing a fumble and three intereceptions.
The loss, Bethune-Cookman's first Division I-FCS loss this season, gives South Carolina State a share of the MEAC lead with Bethune-Cookman.
Bethune-Cookman (8-2, 5-1 in the MEAC) hosts Hampton next week while Norfolk State is at North Carolina Central.
Miles Jumps On Tuskegee Early to Claim SIAC West Division Title
Miles College led by as many as 27 points early and held on to upset the nation's second-ranked HBCU football team, Tuskegee, 41-36 to win the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference West Division and go on to the SIAC Championship Game.
David Thomas had four first half touchdown passes and one rushing TD to lead the Golden Bears to a 34-7 lead in the second quarter. The Golden Tigers countered with three Micha Thornton touchdown runs to cut the lead to seven points heading into the fourth quarter.
Thomas threw another touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. Thomas finished with 312 yards and five touchdowns passing along with 104 yards rushing and another touchdown to lead the Golden Bears. Linebacker Julanta English had eight tackles and forced a fumble for the Miles defense.
Thornton had three touchdowns while Hoderick Lowe rushed for 107 yards for Tuskegee. Rasha Burkette added 322 yards and a touchdown passes for the Golden Tigers.
The loss leaves 8-2 Tuskegee, the defending SIAC champs, waiting to see if they will be extended a bid to the Division II playoffs. Their only other loss was to the nation's top Division II HBCU team, Winston-Salem State.
Miles, 6-4 on the season, counts a victory over Albany State (a 19-10 winner over Fort Valley State to claim the Eastern Division title), their opponent in the SIAC Championship game next week at Atlanta's Lakewood Stadium.
- Johnson C. Smith 26, Central State 24
- Virginia State 46, Virginia Union 3
- Winston-Salem State 28, Fayetteville State 14
- Shaw 32, St. Augustine's 14
- Livingstone 36, Virginia-Lynchburg 13
- Chowan 77, Lincoln (Pa) 14
- Bowie State 30, Elizabeth City State 21
- Mississippi Valley State 20, Texas Southern 17
- Alcorn State 50, Prairie View 35 -- Alcorn State scored 33 unanswered points to down Prairie View 50-35 and deny the Panthers an opportunity to play in the SWAC Championship Game. The West Division title goes to Southern.
- Arkansas-Pine Bluff 45, Grambling 42
- Jackson State 26, Alabama A&M 20
- Southern 31, Alabama State 28
- Stillman 42, College of Faith 0
- Clark Atlanta 35, Edward Waters 28
- Albany State 19, Fort Valley State 10 -- In a battle for the SIAC East Division crown and a place in the SIAC Championship game, Albany State defeated Fort Valley State 19-10. The win is Albany State's fourth straight.
- Lane 48, Benedict 7
- Kentucky State 44, Morehouse 0
- Morgan State 24, North Carolina A&T 23
- Hampton 29, North Carolina Central 21
- South Carolina State 25, Florida A&M 21
- Howard 42, Savannah State 14
- Lincoln (Mo) 42, Northeastern State 33
- Shippensburg 42, Cheney 0
- Tennessee State 31, Austin Peay 6 -- Ronald Butler threw for two touchdowns while the Tennessee State defense held Austin Peay to 92 yards total offense as the Tigers broke a two-game losing skid to defeat the Governors 31-6. The Tigers, now 8-3, host Murray State as the Tigers hold onto hopes for a NCAA Division I-FCS playoff bid.