This was one of those times where everything went right, and at just the right time for the once-listing Norfolk State.
Chris Walley came of age — passing for 305 yards and four touchdowns (both season highs) as the Spartans won 37-25 over Morgan State. After dropping four in the row, Norfolk is suddenly on a two-game winning streak.
Walley also set a single-game school record for completion percentage, while deftly fighting off a comeback try from the Bears: With Morgan State (4-5, 3-3 MEAC) within five points in the fourth quarter, Walley — who hadn’t recorded a touchdown pass since Sept. 18 against Virginia State — tossed a 64-yard score to put the game away.
“It’s hard,” Norfolk State coach Pete Adrian asked rhetorically, “to be much better than that, isn’t it?”
In all, the Spartans’ offense had 453 yards, and never punted. Their four touchdowns were more than Norfolk had managed in its previous four games combined.
A trio of weekly Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference honors followed for Norfolk State (4-5, 3-4 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference), as Walley was named offensive player of the week; Kendall Noble was the offensive lineman of the week, grading at 90 percent from his left tackle position; and kicker Ryan Estep shared the co-special teams player of the week honors after hitting all three of his field-goal attempts, including a career-long 45-yarder.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Delonte Williams completed 14-of-29 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown, as Morgan State had 334 total yards on offense. But a late interception helped seal the Bears’ fate.
Once in contention, the Bears have now lost two straight. Morgan State move on to still tougher competition too, facing MEAC defending champs South Carolina State on Thursday, in an ESPNU matchup in Baltimore.
“We have a very short week,” Morgan State coach Donald Hill-Eley said, “so we’ll have to fix our problems real fast.”