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Norfolk State 30, Morgan State 0

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NORFOLK, Va. -- Norfolk State wasted little time taking advantage of Morgan State turnovers.

The Spartans needed just seven plays and less than two minutes in the first half to score their first 27 points off four turnovers, including an interception return for a touchdown by linebacker Deon King on their way to a 30-0 win in Saturday's season finale at Dick Price Stadium.

On the opening possession, defensive lineman Cameron Jude sacked Bears quarterback Robert Council and caused him to fumble. The Spartans' Jamal Giddens recovered on the 4-yard line.

Two plays and 30 seconds later, Brendon Riddick, running out of the wildcat formation, ran into the end zone from 2 yards. Everett Goldberg's extra point was blocked.

Another kickoff and two penalties put the Bears back on their 3-yard line to start their second drive. On the third play, Keenan Lambert picked off Council's pass and returned it to the Bears' 12.

Following an illegal block on the return, the Spartans needed just three more plays and 48 seconds to go 22 yards, with quarterback Nico Flores throwing a 16-yard strike to Xavier Boyce, his fourth touchdown reception of the season.

Morgan State then went to a no-huddle offense looking for a spark, and it produced its longest drive of the afternoon -- 29 yards on nine plays -- with Ervin Gonzalez's 37-yard punt pinning the Spartans back at their 3.

The Spartans stalled on their next two drives, but Morgan State couldn't take advantage, as Council was picked off twice more, the second returned 15 yards by King for a touchdown.

On its next possession, Norfolk State put together its longest scoring drive of the afternoon, going 73 yards in just 29 seconds and two plays.

Flores found tight end Joseph Hawkins alone down the right sideline for 44 yards, then hit receiver Derrick Demps for a 29-yard touchdown, giving the Spartans a 27-0 lead they carried into halftime. Flores was 14 of 26 for 216 yards in the game.

The Spartans tacked on a 46-yard field goal by Goldberg in the third quarter for their only second-half points.

The Bears, with Council pulled in favor of Seth Higgins, mustered little offensive prowess, with the two quarterbacks combining for 14-of-35 passing, just 142 yards and Council's three interceptions.

Higgins engineered the Bears' best drive of the afternoon, a 15-play, 70-yard drive that stalled on the Spartans' 12, setting up what would have been a 29-yard field goal attempt. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Higgins, however, forced an errant 45-yarder from Ervin Gonzalez.

Besides the five turnovers, the Bears were plagued by penalties, flagged 15 times for 129 yards. The Spartans were flagged 11 times for 119 yards.

NOTES: Morgan State offensive lineman Josh Durden was taken off the field on a stretcher with an undisclosed injury. ... The matchup between Norfolk State and Morgan State was a contrast from last season, when the Spartans clinched the MEAC championship with a 47-14 win in Baltimore. ... Norfolk State came into the game No. 4 among FCS schools in defense, allowing just 283.8 yards per game. ... Bears safety Darien Irby was ejected late in the fourth quarter following a second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
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