HARRISONBURG, Va. – Norfolk State scored touchdowns on defense and special teams, but was not able to slow down the defending national champion James Madison Dukes, who won their 15th straight game with a 75-14 triumph over the Spartans on Saturday at Bridgeforth Stadium. No. 1 JMU (3-0) rolled up 728 yards of total offense while holding NSU (0-3) to 91 in the first-ever meeting between the teams.
Sophomore safety Nhyre' Quinerly returned a JMU fumble 33 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, and junior Marcus Taylor set a school record with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to account for the Spartans' two touchdowns.
JMU scored on its second possession on a 9-yard TD run by Marcus Marshall, then increased its lead to 9-0 later in the opening quarter when NSU had a punt blocked in the end zone. But the Dukes really outdistanced themselves from NSU in the second quarter, outscoring the Spartans 35-7 to take a 44-7 lead into the intermission.
Bryan Schor started the scoring spree for JMU with an 8-yard TD run to make it 16-0. NSU cut its deficit to 16-7 at the 10:45 mark of the second quarter when freshman Nick Ackies hit Schor on a scramble, forcing a fumble which Quinerly scooped up and ran back 33 yards for the Spartans' first score.
But JMU scored the next 52 points to pull away, posting the second-most points ever against an NSU team. The Dukes rushed for 472 yards, with Trai Sharp running for 130 and Percy Agyei-Obese tallying 103. Marshall rushed for two touchdowns, while Schor threw for two TDs and ran for another.
The highlight of the second half for NSU was Taylor's 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown with 9:11 left in the game. He took the kick five yards deep in the end zone and raced across the field, beating the coverage up the left sideline and racing all the way to the house for the Spartans' first kickoff return touchdown since 2008. Dwight Fluker-Berry had an 84-yarder at Howard on Nov. 1, 2008.
The previous long kickoff return in school annals was a 98-yarder by Roscoe Powell against Elon in 1975. The 100-yard play matches a 100-yard interception return for TD by Joe Scott against Fayetteville State in 1981 as the longest play in school history. In his first game at linebacker, converted running back Quintreil Chung led the team with 11 tackles. Quinerly added 10.