Hurting at quarterback, Morgan turns to Chase

October 12, 1991|By John W. Stewart

Any artist could come up with a brighter picture than is facing the Morgan State football team.

The Bears are 0-5, their sophomore quarterback has not started a game since high school, and today's opponent, South Carolina State, is 4-0.

As far as the Morgan team is concerned, about the best thing that can be said of this week's game is it's at home. This will be Morgan's first appearance in Hughes Stadium since opening its season Aug. 31, losing to North Carolina A&T, 26-7.

Since then, the road show stopped in Norfolk, Va., Daytona Beach, Fla., Youngstown, Ohio, and Cedar Falls, Iowa. At the time the Bears were the opposition, the other teams were either unbeaten or had one loss.

South Carolina State features a run-oriented offense that has produced 80 points in the past two games. Not only do the Morgan State coaches have to figure a way to stop the Bulldogs, but they also have to find a way to score some points. The team has scored more than one touchdown just once in five games.

What had been a stable quarterback situation, with freshman Michael Moore starting every game, became unstable last week, when Moore injured a knee in the 54-10 loss to Northern Iowa. He will be lost for several weeks.

Moore had taken over after starting quarterback David Partin separated a shoulder in a pre-season scrimmage. Orlando Persell, a sophomore who started three games a year ago, was shifted from backup quarterback to wide receiver, and another sophomore, Maurice Chase, became Moore's backup.

Things began to unravel last week, when Partin left school for his home in California, apparently figuring if he was behind a freshman, his playing time would be limited. Then Moore got hurt.

So, now, Chase, 6 feet 3, 185 pounds, from Leonardtown and Great Mills High School, is the starting quarterback, and Persell, 6-3, 190 pounds, from Detroit, has returned to backup quarterback.

"Orlando and I are close together, so there's no problem. We came in together last year, had some classes together. We're real close," Chase said.

Last year, Persell completed 12 of 30 passes for 163 yards, one touchdown and one interception, and Chase was 6-for-10 for 68 yards.

"I love to throw the ball, so I love our run-and-shoot offense," Chase said.

"And all the quarterbacks will be talking with coach [Daryl] Jackson. He's been there [he was a record-setting quarterback as a Morgan State senior in 1989], and he's able to show us things during the week, and remind us of them on Saturday. Coverages, situations, things we should be looking for."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.