Since transitioning to Division I in 1995, Hampton University had never lost to a lower-level team. In fact, there hadn’t been many close calls.
But there always seems to be a first time for everything. On a picturesque Saturday night at Armstrong Stadium, the Pirates were outplayed in every phase by a former rival from the D-II Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association
Panthers quarterback Khalid Morris completed only 7 of 21 passes, but he threw four touchdowns that covered 192 yards. Wideout Charles Hall had 152 yards on three catches, each for a touchdown.
“I knew they had a good football team,” HU coach Robert Prunty said. “And they played exceptionally well tonight.
“Their quarterback was 7 for 21, but we gave up the big plays. And they connected for them. … You’ve got to give Virginia Union credit, man. They played well.”
Morris and Hall made the big plays. In between, 225-pound running back Tabyus Taylor rushed for 165 yards, 126 coming in the second half, on 25 carries.
“That kid is an NFL player,” Prunty said. “He’s one of the biggest backs we’ll see. He’s huge.”
Virginia Union, No. 25 in Lindy’s preseason Division II poll, also made history. It was the program’s first win over a D-I opponent.
“We came into it like it was just another game,” Panthers coach Alvin Parker said. “We never came in with a David and Goliath type of mentality like I guess everybody expected us to. They came out and played their hardest.
“We’ve got a good, tough group. They’re taking coaching well. We came in at halftime and we knew as a staff we had to coach aggressive. That’s what we did, and the kids responded.”