NORFOLK, Va. (NSU Media Relations) - Visiting North Carolina Central forced Norfolk State into five turnovers and registered six sacks to spoil the Spartans' homecoming, 36-6, on Saturday afternoon at Dick Price Stadium.
NCCU quarterback Chauncey Caldwell ran for one touchdown and passed for another, and running back Isaiah Totten also ran for 108 yards and a TD for the Eagles (3-3, 2-1 MEAC).
The Spartans, meanwhile, dropped their second straight game to fall to 3-3, 1-2 in the MEAC.
The first half was a battle of defenses, but NCCU used a big special teams play to set up the only touchdown of the first 30 minutes. With the Eagles leading 3-0 late in the first quarter, Randy Anyanwu blocked a Spartan punt, which Miles Turmon recovered at the NSU 10. That led to Caldwell's 5-yard TD run on the first play of the second quarter.
Adam Lippy also kicked field goals of 25 and 22 yards in the opening half to send NCCU into the intermission with a 12-0 lead.
The Spartans were driving in NCCU territory trying to cut into the lead early in the third quarter when Jaquell Taylor intercepted a Juwan Carter pass at the Eagles' 7-yard line. Two plays later, Caldwell found Sherman McLeod on a 93-yard TD pass to increase the NCCU lead to 19-0.
The Spartans committed four more turnovers and were also stopped once on downs in the second half, and NCCU capitalized with a 17-point outburst in a four-minute span of the fourth quarter. Totten scored on a 35-yard run following a Spartan turnover on downs, and Tyquan Watson scored on a 5-yard run two plays after the Eagles recovered a fumble on the NSU 6. Lippy tacked on a 38-yard field goal following another interception, pushing NCCU's lead to 36-0 with 6:48 remaining in the game.
The Spartans prevented the shutout when reserve quarterback D'Andre Thomas scored on a 6-yard TD run with 16 seconds remaining. It was the first TD rush of Thomas' career.
The Eagles amassed 388 yards of total offense, including 200 on the ground. Totten (108) and Caldwell (53) combined for 161 of those rush yards, and Caldwell also passed for 188 more.
For NSU, Carter passed for 140 yards and was intercepted twice. Thomas was also intercepted once. Receiver Marcus Taylor made a game-high six receptions to move past Howard Gilmore for third place on the NSU all-time receptions list. Taylor has 145 catches in his career. Isaiah Winstead and Chuma Awanna also had five receptions apiece.
Tavon Lofties had two of NCCU's six sacks. Taylor, Davanta Reynolds and Patrick Connor all intercepted passes for the Eagles.
Quintreil Chung, J.T. Wahee and Nigel Chavis all finished with nine tackles each for the NSU defense. Chavis, Dale Craig and Kyron Speller all made 1.5 tackles for loss. Craig and Bobby Price both recovered fumbles.
The Spartans hit the road for their next two games, beginning with a 3 p.m. game at Savannah State next Saturday.