Down 21-3, Morgan rallies for 38-21 win Covington, Phillips, extra down are key

September 26, 1993|By Brian French | Brian French,Contributing Writer

RICHMOND, Va. -- Otis Covington, Tony Phillips and a freakish fifth-down propelled Morgan State to a 38-21 victory over Virginia Union last night at Hovey Field.

Morgan State, which improved to 2-2, stormed back from a 21-3 deficit, scoring 35 straight points. Covington caught four passes for 69 yards and a touchdown that put the game out of reach, and Jessie Humphrey made five catches for 119 yards and a touchdown.

L Running back Tony Phillips ran for 98 yards and a touchdown.

"We were a little out of sync, but we've been there before," Covington said.

"Even during a loss, we've never given up. We learned something about ourselves this game."

Morgan State coach Ricky Diggs said: "I'm proud of the way they [his players] came back. I'm proud they never gave up."

Virginia Union (1-3) was led by running back Bobby Phillips, who rushed for 161 yards and three touchdowns. His third touchdown, in the second quarter, gave Virginia Union a 21-3 lead.

The Bears came back on a 10-play, 90-yard drive, culminating in a 4-yard touchdown run by Tony Phillips, reducing the lead to 21-10.

Then a dose of controversy entered the picture. A scoreboard mishap inadvertently gave Morgan State a fifth down deep in Panthers territory. On the fifth down, Covington caught a 19-yard pass by Maurice Chase to set up a 5-yard touchdown pass by the same combination, reducing the lead to 21-17 going into halftime.

Chase scored on a 15-yard keeper in the third quarter to give Morgan its first lead, 24-21.

"We always go with Chase in the second quarter," Diggs said, "and we decided to leave him in for the game."

The fourth quarter began on an interception by the Panthers' Darrel Johnson in the end zone. The Bears regained possession on a fumble recovery by Greg Lomax at Virginia Union's 13. Two plays later, Covington scored his second touchdown on a 6-yard pass to extend the Morgan State lead to 31-20.

"A loss is like a win -- you have to put it behind you," Diggs said. "We always find something good about our losses as well as wins."

NEXT FOR MORGAN:

S. CAROLINA STATE

When: Oct. 9, at Hughes Stadium

Record: 2-2

Yesterday: Lost to Southern University, 14-10

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