Big plays overwhelm Morgan

October 23, 1994|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun Staff Writer

The stage was prepared for Morgan State's biggest celebration of the football season yesterday.

A perfect day for a game at Hughes Stadium. An overflowing homecoming crowd of 14,876 thirsting for a win. A team that had shown signs of coming to life while nearly upsetting North Carolina A&T a week earlier.

Even the yard-line markers on the Morgan side of the field and the big 'M' at midfield were painted in orange, a nice touch for homecoming.

But Delaware State had other plans for the ending to their Mid-Eastern Conference showdown, dominating the Bears from the start and romping to a 50-21 victory, its 10th straight in the series.

The Hornets took both the Bears and their throng of alumni backers out of the game quickly, scoring on the second play from scrimmage on a 66-yard touchdown pass-run play from Dennis Jones to Phil Anderson.

They scored touchdowns on four of their first seven possessions for a 28-3 lead midway through the second period and soared in front 43-9 on their first series of the second half.

Plays of 22 yards or more accounted for five of the first six Delaware State touchdowns and Morgan never recovered from the big-play siege.

"The big plays just took us right out of it," said Bears coach Ricky Diggs. "When a team gets so far ahead, your game plan goes right out the window. You have to throw and everybody knows it. That puts too much pressure on your offensive line."

After Delaware State (4-3, 2-1 MEAC) took its 7-0 lead, the Bears had a chance to respond immediately. Quarterback Michael Moore connected with tight end Ira Crawley on a deep pattern on the team's first play from scrimmage.

Crawley rambled 62 yards to the Hornet 10, but fumbled when hit by Shunard Brown and Vince Pendergrass recovered for Delaware State.

On its subsequent possessions, Morgan was intercepted, had a field goal blocked and lost another fumble. By the time Shane Griffith hit a 41-yard field goal for the Bears' first score, the Hornets had struck for 21 points.

"I was big-time worried about this game," said Hornets coach Bill Collick, who is 10-0 against Morgan, 40-14 against all MEAC foes, and has five league titles.

"After seeing the film of their game against A&T, I thought they should have won," Collick said. "They were running all around making big plays.

"We had to let them know right away where we were coming from and what we were going to do."

In its third straight defeat, Morgan (1-6, 0-4 MEAC) made one mildly menacing move, scoring two touchdowns within 13 seconds to pull to within 43-21 late in the third.

The first touchdown was set up by a James Perkins interception that resulted in a 56-yard drive culminated by a 9-yard pass from Moore to Donte Carter.

Morgan recovered the ensuing onside kick at the Hornets 49 and Moore hit Bernard Barnes across the middle on the first play of the series. Barnes took it to the end zone.

But Delaware State scored its final touchdown less than four minutes later after Anderson's punt return set up the drive at the Bears 15.

Jones finished with four touchdown passes, three to Curtis Thomas.

"We're going to have to take out what was positive from this and pick up the pieces," said Diggs. "What we did last week doesn't count. You're only going to be remembered by your last performance.

"We felt we could run the ball against DelaTowsonware State, but we never got the chance."

Delaware State 21 15 14 0 -- 50

Morgan State ...0 .9 12 0 -- 21

NEXT FOR MORGAN

Who: Florida A&M.

When: Saturday, at Tallahassee, Fla.

Record: 4-2.

?3 Yesterday: Lost to South Carolina State, 27-15.

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