BALTIMORE (NSU Athletics) – Norfolk State (2-2) rushed for 350 yards on Saturday, its second-most in program history, on its way to a 21-14 road victory at Towson (1-3). It marked the Spartans’ second victory against a CAA opponent this season.
NSU’s defense set the tone, forcing the Tigers to turn it over on downs on the game’s first possession. Defensive back Ricky Harleston made the stop on fourth down, sniffing out the short yardage attempt.
The Spartans wasted no time capitalizing. NSU opened its first offensive possession with a bold trick play and it paid off. Wideout Aaron Moore caught the defense sleeping with a deep pass to tight end Jayden Homuth, moving the Spartans into the red zone.
Moore put NSU on the board moments later, this time in the form NSU fans are more used to: a touchdown reception from an Otto Kuhns’ spiral.
The Spartans defense forced a three-and-out on the ensuing possession, but Towson got the ball back by intercepting a Kuhns pass. The Spartans returned the favor just a few minutes later, though, as Harleston forced a fumble, recovered by Daylan Long.
Towson’s Nathan Kent rushed for a touchdown early in the second quarter, the only momentum either offense could get the rest of the half. The teams went into the break knotted up at 7-7.
Norfolk State got going fast in the second half, though, with a quick score. Kuhns kept it himself for a 67-yard touchdown score down the sideline, the longest rush of his career.
The NSU defense forced a three-and-out on the ensuing possession, and the Spartans kept the momentum going. After Kevon King got the Spartans in the red zone with a lengthy run, Jaylen White notched the first touchdown rush of his career to push NSU ahead 21-7.
The Spartans turned the day around with a dominant performance in the trenches. Norfolk State gained 205 yards on the ground in the third quarter, rushing the ball on every play from scrimmage.
Norfolk State kept up a strong start to the season in the turnover battle, as Terron Mallory came away with a fourth-quarter interception to extinguish a Tiger drive.
A short punt from the NSU end zone gave Towson prime starting field position, and the Tigers took advantage. Devin Matthews found a gap in the middle of the defense, cutting the NSU lead to seven.
Jason Wonodi took an end-around handoff 41 yards to Towson territory, but the NSU drive stalled from there. Norfolk State’s fourth down attempt failed, and the Tigers took over with one last chance to send the game to overtime.
A string of short passes moved Towson to the Norfolk State red zone, and a personal foul inched the Tigers even closer. Time was not on the home team’s side, however, as the Spartans batted down the last-second heave to clinch their second victory of the season.
Checking The Box Score
Norfolk State recorded 350 rushing yards on Saturday, its second-most in program history and most since tallying 471 yards on the ground against Bethune-Cookman on Sep. 24, 2005 King led the Spartans with 97 rushing yards, while Kuhns accounted for 70 yards and one touchdown Norfolk State's rushing total was the most allowed by Towson's defense this season Kuhns threw just 14 passes, tallying 38 yards, a touchdown, and an interception Terron Mallory led NSU with eight total tackles, including four solo tackles and an interception. Freshman Miguel Rijo recorded the first two sacks of his career on Saturday, finishing the day with four tackles Moore's touchdown catch was his team-leading third of the season, and third consecutive game with a touchdown reception Towson quarterback Nathan Kent threw for 201 yards and one interception Norfolk State totaled 443 yards of offense The Spartans spent 36:54 on offense, while Towson had the ball for 23:06
News & Notes
Norfolk State recorded its first-ever win against Towson on Saturday, playing just the second matchup between the two schools. NSU scored on its opening drive for the third time in four games this season Otto Kuhns has thrown a touchdown pass in nine straight games, dating back to the 2022 season Norfolk State had eight different players rush the ball on Saturday Towson's 14 points were the least allowed in a game by Norfolk State this season Norfolk State made two takeaways on Saturday. Through four games, the NSU defense has forced six fumbles and three interceptions
After playing three consecutive road games, the Spartans return home to face former MEAC rival North Carolina A&T State. Kickoff for the matchup, designated as “Breast Cancer Awareness Day,” is 2 p.m. at William “Dick” Price Stadium.