Howard Scores 29 Fourth Quarter Points in Win Over Florida A&M
Tallahassee, FL—October 8--Howard University erupted for 29 fourth quarter points--- including 15 in the last 1:23 to stun Florida A&M, 29-28 in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference before a near capacity homecoming crowd at Bragg Stadium.
After trailing 21-0 at the half, the Bison (3-3 overall, 2-2 in
the MEAC) rallied to cut the deficit to
21-13 with 10:23 left in the fourth quarter. The Rattlers (3-3 overall, 1-2 in the MEAC), who had won seven straight from the Bison, appeared to dash their comeback hopes when they capitalized on one of the Bison’s special team miscues and turned it into a 28-13 advantage with 8:23 remaining.
But the Bison had other ideas. Freshman quarterback Greg McGhee,
who threw three
interceptions, engineered a five-play, 71-yard drive that was capped off by a 10-yard scoring pass to Brandon Drayton. The Bison missed the PAT and trailed, 28-19 with just 1:27 left on the clock.
The Bison executed a well-designed onside kick on the ensuing
kickoff that was recovered by
Theodore Graham, IV. It took the Bison five plays to go 45 yards as Andra Williams capped off the drive with a one-yard burst to narrow the gap to 28-26 with 26 ticks on the clock.
Howard attempted another onside kick, but this time the Rattlers
were ready and recovered.
FAMU appeared poised to run out the clock, but Howard’s Corey Berry forced a Damien Fleming fumble that was recovered by Sackie Kerkulah at the Florida A&M 15.
In an attempt to position itself for a game-winning field,
Howard ran Williams on first down and
took the ball down to the FAMU 8-yard line.
That is when things really got interesting. With four seconds on
the clock, the Bison lined up for
what would be the potential game-winning field goal. Sophomore kicker Parker Munoz lined up and booted a 25-yard field goal that was signaled good by one official. But the Rattlers had called a timeout in an attempt to freeze Munoz.
The problem was that FAMU had already exhausted its allotment of timeouts.
After a brief discussion, the officials ruled that there would
be a penalty on FAMU. They marked
if off half the distance to the goal at the FAMU four-yard line, thus setting the stage for what
would prove to the game-winning, 21-yards field goal by Munoz, the first game winner in his
“This team is growing up,” said Howard first year
head coach Gary Harrell. “To be down like that
and come back and win shows the character of this team. Mishaps are a part of football but what I am most proud of is that they never gave up.”
Much of the credit has to go to the staunch Bison defense, which
continues to improve each
week under defensive coordinator Ray Petty. After allowing drives of 80 yards and 72 yards in the first half, Howard limited the Rattlers to 21 yards total offense the second half.
The Bison forced three fumbles and picked up an interception to
go along with 12 tackles for
losses and three sacks. Senior defensive end Sackie Kerkulah, who is playing as well as anyone in the FCS, added two more tackles for losses to his total of 11.5 and two sacks to up his total to 7.5, ranking him among the nation’s leaders.
He received a lot of help from teammates Keith Pough (5 tackles,
two for losses and a forced
fumble), DeCarlos Knight (six tackles, a tackle for a loss, a fumble recovery), Kurt Mangum, II (4 tackles, 2 for losses), Julien David (8 tackles) and Cameron Alston (4 tackles, an interception).
Offensively, red-shirt sophomore running back Andra Williams and
freshman Aquanius Freeman
picked up the slack with the running game when leading rusher Terrance Leffall left the game with a concussion. Williams led all rushers with 76 yards on 11 carries and a TD. He also grabbed three passes for 37 yards.
Freeman, who has begun to come own, carried the ball nine times
for 28 yards. Freshman
quarterback Greg McGhee completed 20 of 47 passes for 233 yards and two TDs. He was picked off three times and and sacked three times, but he made the plays when the Bison needed them.
“Everyone played their role,” said Coach Harrell.
“Coach Petty (defensive coordinator) and Ted
White (offensive coordinator) made some great adjustments at halftime. And the players responded with a courageous effort.”
NEXT UP: The Bison host Georgetown University in a non-conference match-up next Saturday at 1 pm in Greene Stadium while the Rattlers travel to Savannah, Ga to take on the Tigers of Savannah State next Saturday at 7 pm