DOVER, Del. -- The Morgan State football team that played favored Delaware State to a halftime standoff was not the same one that played the second half.
For the most part, the bodies were the same, and the spirits still were willing, but the flesh was taking a beating. The result was a 26-10 Delaware State triumph before an Alumni Stadium homecoming crowd of 7,230.
Delaware State quarterback Erik Jones, injured two weeks ago, came off the bench late in the second quarter, then guided the Hornets (4-3, 1-2) to a 16 point second half and their first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference victory of the season.
The loss by Morgan State (0-8, 0-4) extended its streak against Division I-AA teams to 18 in a row dating back to 1989.
"We were two different teams, and that has been the whole thing with us," Morgan State coach Ricky Diggs said. "We are not putting good halves back-to-back. Until we learn that, we'll continue to falter at the end.
"That was a pure indication of our lack of depth. There was nobody to give the guys a rest. They were getting beat up and worn down."
Delaware State did its damage on the ground, running 49 times for 277 yards and two second-half touchdowns. Senior fullback Michael Murray (5 feet 9, 220 pounds), picking up the slack for injured star Doug Reed, pounded inside 24 times for 138 yards.
"We're much more efficient with Erik," Murray said. "When he came in, it lifted our confidence level."
Coach Bill Collick, now 7-0 against Morgan State, added, "I got him in there earlier than I wanted to, but Erik is our quarterback and he makes things happen."
This was true in the fourth quarter, with the Hornets holding a 13-10 lead. First, he --ed 21 yards to score, capping a three-play, 33-yard drive following a Marc Marshall interception.
On the team's next series, he directed a nine-play, 73-yard march, with Wendell Watson going the last 6.
Morgan State had the ball for six series in the second half, and it was not until the last one -- set up by a Thomas Perry block of a punt, with Monjah Brown recovering at the Delaware State 40 -- that the Bears made it past the home team's 49.
rTC This was in marked contrast to the first half, when the visitors had the ball more than twice as long as Delaware State, but could do no better than come from behind twice to get ties at 3 and 10.
For the most part, special teams play killed the Bears. Brian Randall got Delaware State's first touchdown with a 76-yard punt return, Morgan's Mike Andrews had two field goal attempts blocked after hitting from 37, and never got off a punt after a low snap, finally completing a pass but short of a first down.