Morgan State handled by Bethune-Cookman

September 11, 1994|By Brad Snyder | Brad Snyder,Sun Staff Writer

Two years ago, Bethune-Cookman came up from Florida to Morgan State expecting to play football. But a players' revolt against Bears head coach Ricky Diggs forced Morgan State to forfeit.

Instead, Bethune-Cookman players went to see the film "Malcolm X."

Morgan State probably wished its team had gone to the movies yesterday. Everything about the Bears' season opener was revolting. Bethune-Cookman defeated Morgan State, 41-0, before 1,027 fans at Hughes Stadium.

"We're going to get better, there's no doubt about it," Diggs said.

The Bears (0-1) could not have gotten much worse in the first half, falling behind 27-0. Bethune-Cookman quarterback Tony Kerrin carved up the Morgan State defense -- the worst in Division I-AA last season in average yards (513) and points (41.4) allowed.

Kerrin, who was 23-for-39, threw for four touchdowns and 288 yards.

It took Kerrin a while to get started, but once he did he quickly found the end zone. With 1:36 left in the first quarter, Kerrin lobbed a 34-yard touchdown pass to Morris Nobles for a 7-0 Wildcat lead. The two-play drive lasted 24 seconds.

On Bethune-Cookman's next possession, Kerrin hooked up with John Jones on a curl pattern for a 19-yard touchdown. This four-play drive lasted 34 seconds.

After a 17-yard touchdown run by Demetrius Cobbs, an 18-yard touchdown pass from Kerrin to Les Hewitt and a missed extra point, Bethune-Cookman led 27-0.

The game was basically over with 5:23 left in the half.

But Morgan State had its chances, particularly in the first quarter.

The Bears' much-maligned defense stopped the Wildcats on their first four possessions and gave the offense great field position.

The Bears began their first four possessions on their 39-yard line, their 40, the Wildcats' 44, and the Wildcats' 40. The offense sputtered on first and second down because of a weak running game that amassed only 13 yards in the first half and 29 for the game.

That left Morgan State quarterback Michael Moore to come through on third down. He didn't. The Bears were 0-for-9 on third-down conversions in the first half.

Bethune-Cookman (2-0) definitely was not afraid of heaping on points in the fourth quarter. Kerrin threw a 7-yard touchdown to Tavaughn Thomas, and linebacker Raymond Woody recovered a fumble in the end zone for another score.

Yet Diggs is confident that his team will mature.

"I'm more excited about this football team than any I've ever had," Diggs said. "They haven't disappointed me. Sure, you're disappointed when you lose by 41 points. But I'm still proud that they are capable of being a better football team than that."

Bethune-Cookman ... 7 .. 20 .. 0 .. 14 .. 41

Morgan State ...... 0 ... 0 .. 0 .. 0 ... 0

NEXT FOR MORGAN

Who: Grambling

When: Saturday, at Memorial Stadium.

Record: 1-0

Yesterday: Idle

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