Morgan wins on TD run with 18 seconds to go Bears' 13-6 victory is first over MEAC foe since '94

September 15, 1996|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,SUN STAFF

As Morgan State's players filed into the locker room after yesterday's game, they were given a slap on the back from smiling secondary coach Andre Waters.

"It feels good to win, doesn't it?" Waters said.

Now there's a question the Bears aren't used to hearing.

Although Morgan's kicker provided most of its points, quarterback Otis Covington was its leading rusher, and penalties and blown plays had the Bears moving backward at times, the result was a 13-6 victory over Bethune-Cookman at Hughes Stadium.

Making his second start at quarterback, Covington ran for 125 yards, including a 1-yard plunge with 18 seconds remaining for the go-ahead score.

Bethune-Cookman drove to Morgan's 37-yard line before junior cornerback Marcus Kornegay intercepted a pass on the 5 as time expired, giving the Bears their first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference win since November 1994.

They were coming off an 18-17 nonconference loss two weeks ago at Central (Ohio) State, a game coach Stump Mitchell said the Bears should have won.

"We have not played great football yet. We haven't begun to play up to our potential. When we do, it's going to be scary," he said.

Morgan's winning drive yesterday began on its 21-yard line with five minutes left. Covington ran for 15 and 16 yards on the first two plays, then faced third-and-eight from the Wildcats' 46. Covington was sacked by defensive end Louis Kirchgessner, but a face-mask penalty gave the Bears a first down on the 37.

Covington gained 16 yards on two carries, and junior running back Moses Cody picked up another 15 before Covington's touchdown, which gave Morgan (1-1) its first victory over the Wildcats (1-2) on the field. The Bears were awarded a forfeit in 1993.

Morgan's only points in the opening half came on a 39-yard field goal by senior Shane Griffiths with 1: 53 left in the first quarter. An interception by free safety Charles Fields had given the Bears possession on their own 10, and a 42-yard run by Covington on third-and-one set up Griffiths.

The Wildcats didn't answer until a 20-yard field goal by Alton Bolden on the final play of the first half. Bears defensive end Willie Thompson was called for roughing the passer, putting the ball on Morgan's 25, and after two incompletions, junior quarterback Todd Walker found James Adderley on the right sideline for 20 yards.

Griffiths added a 42-yard field goal with 2: 54 left in the third quarter, and Bolden hit from 49 yards 5: 19 from the end.

Morgan's defense hasn't allowed a touchdown in the past six quarters. Yesterday, the Bears limited Bethune-Cookman to 43 net yards rushing and intercepted two passes by junior Todd Walker (14-for-32, 132 yards). Last year, he threw for 325 yards against Morgan. Walker didn't practice this week because of the death of his brother, and his only preparation was watching film Friday night.

Mitchell showed his faith in the Bears' defense by having Morgan go for it on fourth down from the Wildcats' 5 with a 6-3 lead and 13: 24 left. Covington was dumped for a 10-yard loss, but after two first downs, Bethune-Cookman had to punt.

"That showed the character of Morgan," said Wildcats coach Jack McClairen. "They have a new coaching staff, a new concept. Now, instead of them folding like they used to, they went on and picked themselves up and did what they had to do."

Said Mitchell: "I'm just glad we won, because it would have been a bad call on my part."

Next for Morgan

Opponent: Liberty

Site: Hughes Stadium

When: Saturday, 1: 30 p.m.

Record: 1-2

Yesterday: Beat Delaware State, 27-7.

Pub Date: 9/15/96

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