Wesley Eggleston | Staff Writer
The Hampton Pirates opened up their 2015-16 season with a 35-20 win over the Kentucky State University Thorobreds on Saturday night at Armstrong Stadium. It was Opening Day for college teams across the country and the teams took to the field for their showcase.
The Pirates started the game with a huge stop on defense during Kentucky State’s opening drive, which led to a missed field goal. The Pirates proceeded to go down the field and score a touchdown; the first of three touchdowns for the Pirates in the first half.
Although the Pirates still have several things to clean up before the regular season, they looked good for the first game of season.
Hampton had several first downs that kept their drives going during the half with redshirt senior running back Chris Dukes leading the charge. The Mobile, Ala. native showcased his allusiveness to the crowd.
Dukes finished the game with 38 total rushing yards on 12 carries but the Pirates were able to grind out critical yards on the ground against KSU. The Thorobreds only managed three points at the midpoint of the game.
The second half had a little more drama as Hampton came out flat and Kentucky State came out strong. The Thoroughbreds didn’t see their first touchdown until the 10:19 mark of the third quarter with a wide-open touchdown reception,making it a 21-10 game.
The defense for Kentucky State then followed suit with a momentum shifting interception on their side of the fifty yard line. A few plays later, Kentucky State’s quarterback scrambled for an untouched run into the endzone.
Fortunately for Hampton Nation, the Pirates’ offense slowly but surely picked up thanks to the leader of the Pirates receiving core for the night, redshirt junior Twarn Mixson.
Mixson finished the game with 7 receptions for 135 yards and four touchdowns, which included his biggest play of the game: a bomb down the field, scoring the final points of the game.
Pirates’ quarterback and hometown hero David Watford debuted with a solid outing, accumulating 335 yards and five touchdowns. The Pirates will look to improve by moving forward in the season with their next matchup against Richmond on September 12.