Morgan State Holds Off Howard
BALTIMORE, MD. - Morgan State scored two first half touchdowns and then held off Howard to go on to a 14-7 win in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game at Hughes Stadium in a nationally televised game on ESPNU.
The Bears (5-1 overall, 3-0 in the MEAC) won their fifth straight by getting just enough offense and then relying on the defense to keep the Bison (2-4 overall, 0-3 in the MEAC) from posting their first conference win of the season.
The two teams exchanged punts through most of the early action until Morgan State took advantage of a Howard failed attempt on fourth down. Facing a fourth-and-seven from their own 28, the Bison lined up in punt formation for a Patrick Wolff attempt. Hoping to fool the Bears, Howard snapped the ball to Robert Parker, III who attempted to run for the first down but he was stopped four yards short of the first down markers at the Howard 31-yard line.
It took the Bears just two plays as Carlton Jackson connected with Edwin Baptiste from 31 yards out to get on the board, 7-0 at the 4:05 mark of the first quarter.
From there, neither team was able to generate much offense as it became a defensive struggle punctuated by some fine punting by both teams. It appeared as though the 7-0 lead would hold up at the half until the Bears got the ball with 18 seconds.
The Howard defense started to control the game in the second half and forced three-and-outs to the Bears on their first three possessions. Then came a play that gave the Bison a shot in the arm. Red-shirt freshman linebacker Keith Pough stepped in front of Morgan State receiver, picked off a pass and returned it 10 yards to the Bears' five-yard line.
Andra Williams rushed for two yards on first down and then Floyd Haigler found Phillip Dokes in the end zone from three yards out to get the Bison back in the game with 6:29 remaining in the third quarter. The TD stopped a seven-quarter drought without a score.
The Bison began to assert themselves on offense with Williams effectively picking up yards against the Bears' formidable defense. The 5-8, 180-pound freshman from Deland, FL has been coming on strong of late. He finished with a career-high 94 yards on 29 carries.
The Bison had some opportunities to tie the game but each time either an untimely penalty or a big play by the Morgan State defense would stop a potential scoring drive.
It must be noted that Howard played without its leader, senior defensive end Will Croner, yet still managed to have one of its best performances of the season, holding the Bears to 269 yards of total offense. Robert Parker, III (7 tackles), Martin Corniffe (5 tackles), Jermell Ellis (5 tackles) all played well in defeat.
GAME NOTES: In addition to Pough getting his first interception, freshman defensive Alfonso Beale for his first sack of his career and sophomore transfer Phillip Dokes got his first TD in a Bison uniform...Wolff was very effective again with his punting, averaging almost 40 yards per attempt, with five of his 12 attempts landing inside the Morgan State 20-yard line. The Bears extended their win streak to five over the Bison. The five games were decided by a total of 23 points.
NEXT UP: Howard hosts the Aggies of North Carolina A&T on Saturday, October 24 for homecoming at 1 pm in Greene Stadium while the Bears hope to continue their streak when they play at Delaware State on October 24 at 1 pm.