Tigers can't make Pirates pay

Tigers can't make Pirates pay

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Saturday's Homecoming contest was full of mistakes and controversy, and when it was all over, Savannah State was 0-5.

Hampton spoiled the Tigers' party with a 17-10 victory at T.A. Wright Stadium Saturday afternoon. It was a result that could have been much different.

With less than six minutes to play and SSU trailing 17-7, David Handler hit Elijah Shah for a 53-yard touchdown that would cut the deficit to at least 17-13. But Shah was hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for somersaulting into the endzone. The touchdown was taken off the board, and the Tigers were penalized back to the 16-yard line. SSU was stopped and forced to settle for a field goal.

The penalty was a major play in the game, but so were turnovers.

The Tiger defense had four takeaways on the afternoon, but the offense was unable to turn any of the turnovers into points. SSU turned the ball over four times on their own, leading to 10 Pirate points.

Handler took over at QB for freshman D'Vonn Gibbons midway through the fourth quarter, and led the Tigers on that touchdown-turned-field goal drive. The junior from Culver City, CA completed 8 of his 14 pass attempts for 102 yards. Gibbons went 7-12 for 97 yards and a touchdown. The freshman also threw two picks and lost a fumble.

With the loss, Savannah State falls to 0-5 (0-3 in MEAC). The Tigers are on the road next week at Morgan State.