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Howard Football Loses in Homecoming Game Against Norfolk State

The Howard University football team lost 45-31 to the Norfolk State University Spartans after an unsuccessful comeback attempt.

Howard Bison v Norfolk Spartans face off at Howard homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 23. Photo Courtesy of Jon Musselwhite.

The Howard University football team lost 45-31 against the Norfolk State University Spartans after an exciting, but unsuccessful comeback attempt in the second half.

Thousands of fans gathered at Greene Stadium to see the annual Homecoming game on Saturday, Oct. 23. 

Both teams arrived with winning streaks, as the Bison won their past two games and the Spartans won their past four.

Howard won the opening coin toss and received the kickoff to begin the game, but otherwise got off to a slow start. The Spartans were able to capitalize on offensive third downs, along with Bison fumbles and interceptions to bring the score to 14-3 at halftime.

The Bison put their first touchdown on the board towards the end of the third quarter, and started to gain momentum from there.

The fourth quarter began with Howard junior running back Ian Wheeler returning a kickoff for 96 yards, the second longest kickoff return for a touchdown in Howard history.  

In the fourth quarter, Bison scored 21 points compared to the Spartans’ 17 points. Despite outscoring the Spartans in the second half, the Bison were unable to make up their deficit from the first half of the game. The Spartans maintained a 14-point cushion until time ran out, making the final score 45-31.

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“We fought all the way down to the end,” Howard head coach Larry Scott said to Howard University Sports’ Ed Hill Jr. after the loss. “We just ran out of time and made too many critical mistakes early in the game,” he continued.

Other highlights of the Homecoming football game included the Showtime Marching Band’s performance of the American and Black National Anthems, as well as their tribute to Gen. Colin Powell and other Bison who have died from COVID-19.

The game extended the Bison’s losing streak against Norfolk State football to three games and lowered the Bison season record to 2-5.
Looking ahead, the Bison will meet the 3-4 Delaware State University Hornets in Delaware on Saturday, Oct. 30.


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