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Spartans slay Dragons on homecoming for 4th straight win

Norfolk State scored 28 first-quarter points and cruised to its fourth straight win Saturday, a 42-14 homecoming victory over Virginia Lynchburg on Saturday.

NORFOLK, Va. — Norfolk State scored 28 first-quarter points and cruised to its fourth straight win Saturday, a 42-14 Homecoming victory over Virginia Lynchburg before 16,716 fans at Dick Price Stadium.

Juwan Carter accounted for 274 total yards and three touchdowns to pace the Spartans (4-2), who are on their longest winning streak since 2011. Carter passed for 222 yards and two scores while rushing for 52 yards and another TD in less than three quarters of work.

The third and fourth quarters were shortened to 10 minutes each upon agreement of the two coaches.

After forcing VUL (0-7) into a three-and-out on the first drive of the game, Carter found Justin Smith for a 42-yard TD pass on the Spartans' first play from scrimmage. It was a precursor of things to come in an outburst of quick strikes in the first quarter.

NSU did fumble twice the next two times it had the ball, but needed just three plays to cover 54 yards on its next scoring drive. Carter capped it with a 26-yard TD run for a 14-0 NSU lead.

A 24-yard Tremayne Talbert punt return set NSU up at the VUL 22 the next time the Spartans had the ball. Two plays later, Kevin Johnson scored on a 2-yard run to make it 21-0.

The Spartans came up with the first of their two takeaways on the ensuing possession. Chris Myers hit VUL quarterback Darrius Sample as he delivered a pass, which R.J. Coles intercepted and returned to the Dragons' 16. Cameryn Brent scored three plays later on a 1-yard run and the rout was on.

All of NSU's four scoring drives in the first quarter spanned less than three plays and no more than one minute of possession time.

VUL got on the board when Keenan Smith recovered a fumbled punt in the end zone midway through the second quarter. Talbert extended NSU's lead to 35-7 when he caught a 21-yard TD pass from Carter at the 2:48 mark of the second quarter.

The Dragons scored their lone offensive touchdown with 15 seconds left before halftime. Sample threw a 20-yard TD pass to Cinsere Clark.

The Spartans took the opening drive of the second half and marched 64 yards in five plays for the final points of the game, a 10-yard run by J.J. Davis.

NSU outgained the Dragons 400-194. NSU ran for 178 yards and passed for 222. Smith (61 yards) and Talbert (50) both caught three passes, with Talbert's tallies in receptions and yards representing career highs. Eight different Spartans caught at least one pass and seven logged at least one carry.

Myers and Marquis Hall had seven tackles apiece to lead NSU's defense. Brandon Savage also notched an interception, while Myers, De'Shaan Dixon and Imani Bey were credited with the team's three sacks.

The Spartans travel to Washington, D.C. to face Howard for the start of MEAC play. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. at Greene Stadium.