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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Hampton University exploded for a 24-point third quarter on Saturday to pull away and defeat Howard University 34-7 in the Nation’s Football Classic at RFK Stadium.hamptonyahkee johnson ActionHampton's Yahkee Johnson (22) was named MVP of the game
Hampton Sports Photo

This is the second straight year that Hampton defeated Howard in the Nation’s Football Classic as both teams were opening up their Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference schedules with “The Battle for the Real HU.”

Junior Yahkee Johnson was named the Most Valuable Player of the Nation’s Football Classic as he accounted for 110 all-purpose yards and a touchdown

After a scoreless first quarter, the Pirates got on the board with the only touchdown in the second. Howard pinned the Pirates on their own 19 after a punt, but Hampton marched 81 yards in eight plays with Eric Carter finishing it with a one-yard plunge for a 7-0 lead with 7:41 left in the half.

In the third quarter, Hampton put up 24 points to get some breathing room. The Pirates scored on all three possessions with Anthony Prevost starting it on a 31-yard field goal with 10:35 left in the quarter to take a 10-0 lead.  

Special teams got on the board for the Pirates. As the Bison were pinned with a fourth down and 27 from their 32, Damon Woodcock blocked a punt and Bruce Perry returned it 27 yards for a touchdown to take a 17-0 lead at the 8:19 mark of the third.

Hampton turned in a 60-yard scoring drive on its next possession as Brandon Cox finished it with a two-yard run to push the advantage to 24-0 with 1:45 left.

The special teams unit came through again with a big return to set up the final score of the third quarter as Ronald Bell broke off a 41-yard punt return to the Howard 29 with 13 seconds left. That was all Jaylian Williamson needed as he connected with Johnson for a 29-yard scoring strike to end the quarter with Hampton up 31-0.

Hampton scored again on its first possession of the fourth as Dwayne Garrett started it by breaking off a 30-yard run and it ended with Adam Brown nailing a 41-yad field goal to lead 34-0 with 7:36 left. Howard prevented the shutout with a three-yard touchdown run with 13 seconds left by Anthony Philyaw.

Williamson was 8-of-15 for 198 yards and one touchdown for the Pirates as Rashawn Proctor was the top target with three receptions for 47 yards. Jack Willenbrock caught the long-ball of the game with a 72 yard connection from Williamson. Dwayne Garrett was the leading rusher for Hampton with nine carries for 57 yards, while Johnson had eight for 56.

On defense, Chaka Diarrassouba was the leading tackler with seven including one for a loss of six yards.  Devin Vandyke and Kurtis Coleman had five apiece as well.

Hampton will have a week off before heading to Greensboro, NC for a 7:30 pm Thursday, Sept. 29 matchup with North Carolina A&T State.  The game will be broadcasted on ESPNU.

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