Hampton tops turnover-prone Howard 48-32 after VP coin toss

Sep 18, 2021, 2:42 AM | Updated: 2:46 pm
Vice President Kamala Harris takes part in the ceremonial coin toss before an NCAA college football...

Vice President Kamala Harris takes part in the ceremonial coin toss before an NCAA college football game between Howard and Hampton at Audi Field in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. Harris attended Howard University and graduated in 1986. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jett Duffey threw for three touchdowns, including a 95-yarder to Hezekiah Grimsley as Hampton defeated Howard 48-32 before 14,000 fans on Saturday in the inaugural Truth and Service Classic.

The 95-yard hookup from Duffey to Grimsley, who made the catch at about his own 25 and outran the defense the rest of the way, was the longest scoring pass in, not just Hampton’s, but Big South Conference history.

Saturday’s 96th matchup between the two HBCU programs was the first college football game played at Audi Field, home of the D.C. United of Major League Soccer. It was also the fifth straight for Hampton in the so-called Battle of the Real HU.

Vice President Kamala Harris, a Howard alumna, made a surprise appearance and walked onto the field for the pregame coin toss. It was won by Howard, which deferred to Hampton. Symone Sanders, a spokeswoman for Harris, tweeted a photo after the toss of the gold-and-blue coin that had the words “Kamala D. Harris” and “49th Vice President of the United States” printed on it.

Hampton took advantage of three Howard turnovers in the second half to put some distance on the Bison.

Trailing just 21-17 after a half, Howard opened the third quarter with the ball but Hampton’s KeShaun Moore tipped a pass and picked it off, setting up a Keyondre White TD run. White ran for three touchdowns in the game.

A fumble recovery led to a Darran Butts 42-yard TD run and a 42-17 Hampton lead.

Howard came as close as 42-32 with two quick touchdowns — a Kasey Hawthorne reception in the end zone (plus a two-point conversion pass) and Jarett Hunter’s 8-yard run three minutes later.

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Hampton tops turnover-prone Howard 48-32 after VP coin toss