Roderick Mclean | Staff Writer
Photo Credit: Media Specialist Marcel Jones
Hampton University earned its first Big South victory of the season 40-17 against Presbyterian on Nov. 2 at home but then fell 27-20 in overtime at Charleston Southern on Nov. 9.
The Pirates are 5-5 (1-3 in the Big South).
The Pirates started off slow against a Presbyterian team looking for its first win of the season. The Pirates were only up 6-3 in the first quarter, as the Blue Hose’s plan was to contain running back Shai McKenzie. In the second quarter, Pirates coach Robert Prunty decided to change up plan for the running game. He went with freshman running back Darran Butts to start the second quarter, then went back to McKenzie.
“Speed to power, we changed it up,” Prunty said. “They were stacking the box, and that’s how they were tackling Shai, so we decided to run it to the outside.”
Eventually, Presbyterian’s defensive line got worn down, and McKenzie was able to take advantage.
“It’s like thunder and lightning with those two,” Prunty said.
The Pirates took control and did not look back.
Hampton started off strong against Charleston Southern (4-6, 2-2, fourth place in the Big South). It only took six plays for the Pirates to score as quarterback Deondre Francois threw a 33-yard touchdown strike to Jadakis Bonds. HU, which has had trouble on special teams all year, missed the extra-point attempt. Still, the Pirates led 13-3 going into the second quarter.
Charleston Southern closed the gap with a 2-yard rushing touchdown by quarterback Darius Douglas. Then Douglas gave Charleston Southern the lead with a 19-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter.
In the fourth, the Pirates answered back with another TD connection between Francois and Bonds.
In overtime, Douglas found Garris Schwarting for a 24-yard game-winning touchdown.
For Hampton, Francois finished with 298 passing yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. Bonds had 10 catches for 91 yards and three touchdowns. He leads the nation this season with 14 receiving touchdowns.
Hampton’s 20 seniors and the rest of the Pirates face a tough test against Kennesaw State (8-2, 4-1 Big South) on Senior Day this Saturday at 1 p.m. The Pirates finish the season Nov. 23 at conference-leading Monmouth (8-2, 5-0).
“We’re in a good position,” Prunty said. “We have a chance to go fight.”