Richmond, Va. – David Jones returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown and Kyle Lauletta threw two touchdown passes to lift No. 2 ranked Richmond to a 34-0 win over Norfolk State on Saturday night at Robins Stadium.
The Spartans (1-1) kept it close with Richmond (2-0) during the first half, but the Spiders pulled away in the second half to hand NSU its first loss of the year in the teams’ first-ever meeting. Richmond held the Spartans to 122 yards of total offense as the Spartans were shut out for the first time since Sept. 6, 2014 (17-0 loss to Liberty).
NSU limited a Richmond offense that amassed over 500 yards of offense in a 37-20 upset of FBS Virginia last week to just 115 yards in the first half. But Jones’ 68-yard punt return late in the first quarter gave the Spiders some momentum and a 7-0 lead.
The Spartan defense continued to hold the high-powered Richmond offense in check for most of the second quarter, until the Spiders were able to capitalize on a Spartan miscue. Quarterback Greg Hankerson dropped back to pass but had the ball slip out of his hand for a fumble. Richmond’s Jarriel Jordan recovered at the NSU 22. Three plays later, quarterback Lauletta threw a 21-yard scoring pass to Tyler Wilkins, doubling the Spiders’ lead to 14-0 with 3:21 left in the half.
Richmond added to its lead on its first possession of the third quarter. Lauletta threw a 51-yard TD pass to Brian Brown to make it 21-0 in favor of the Spiders at the 11:54 mark of the period. Richmond tacked on a Griffin Trau 37-yard field goal later in the quarter.
Deontez Thompson’s 1-yard run capped a 12-play, 84-yard drive early in the fourth quarter as Richmond pulled away. Trau added a 35-yard field goal midway through the fourth.
Terrell Reid tallied two sacks and two pass deflections for the NSU defense.
NSU plays a 6 p.m. game at another CAA foe, William & Mary, next Saturday in Williamsburg.