Juwan Carter throws three touchdowns in Norfolk State’s win over Howard

NORFOLK, Va. (NSU Athletics)  - Juwan Carter threw three touchdown passes and the Norfolk State defense held a potent Howard offense in check in a 29-17 Spartan victory on Saturday at Dick Price Stadium.

Norfolk State celebrates a touchdown.

Carter passes for 256 yards and three scoring passes to three different receivers to help NSU (4-5, 2-4 MEAC) snap its four-game losing streak.

The Spartans, who amassed a season-high 439 total yards, also used a balance ground game to run for a season-best 178 yards. The NSU defense, meanwhile, limited the MEAC's top offense to its fewest points and total yards (273) against a conference opponent this season.

Howard (4-5, 4-3) scored on the game's first drive on a 39-yard touchdown pass from Caylin Newton to Jequez Ezzard just 1:59 into the game. The teams then traded field goals, with NSU's Josh Nardone hitting a 38-yarder and Faraji Joseph making a 30-yarder later in the opening quarter as Howard held a 10-3 edge after one stanza.

But the Spartans scored on a pair of Carter touchdown passes in the second quarter to take the lead. First, Carter flipped a short pass to running back Cameryn Brent, who outraced the defense for a 15-yard scoring play to tie the game at the 13:29 mark of the second quarter.

Norfolk State celebrates a touchdown.

NSU took the lead going into the half by perfectly executing its two-minute offense. Carter capped a nine-play, 80-yard TD drive with a 16-yard TD pass to Isaiah Winstead with six seconds left in the half. Nardone's PAT was blocked, keeping NSU's lead at 16-10 heading into the intermission.

Howard briefly retook the lead on an 11-yard TD run by Newton with 8:38 left in the third quarter. The possession was set up by Devin Hurtado's interception of Carter off a tipped pass.

But the Spartans answered quickly with a nine-play drive, which Nardone capped with a 27-yard field goal with 3:19 remaining in the period.

Nardone extended the lead to 22-17 with a 31-yard field goal with 11:16 left in the game. After the Spartan defense forced Howard to punt, the Spartans went ahead by two scores on a 37-yard TD pass from Carter to Marcus Taylor with 4:40 left to play. That capped an eight-play, 60-yard march which took five minutes off the clock.

On the first play of the next possession, NSU cornerback J.T. Wahee stepped in front of a Newton pass and intercepted it, all but ending the Bison's chances.

Carter completed 23-of-35 passes and hit nine different receivers. Winstead (six catches) and Taylor (five) both had 74 receiving yards and a score. Four Spartans had at least 40 rushing yards: Aaron Savage led the way with 53, followed by Gerald Hulett with a season-high 51, Carter with 41 and Brent with 40.

Freshman linebacker Marquis Hall led the NSU defense with a career-high 12 tackles, including a half-tackle for loss. Nigel Chavis posted nine tackles, 2.5 for loss, with one sack, a forced fumble and three quarterback hurries. Wahee and Bobby Price both recorded an interception and a pass breakup.

The Spartan defense forced Newton into a tough day through the air, as the Bison quarterback completed just 10-of-24 passes for 129 yards with two interceptions.

NSU concludes its home schedule next Saturday with a 1 p.m. game against Morgan State on First Responders and Military Appreciation Day. It is also Senior Day for the Spartan football team.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.