Texas Southern crushes Morgan, 42-3 Bears drop 5th in row, held to minus-38 rushing yards

November 10, 1996|By Jim Molony | Jim Molony,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

HOUSTON -- After getting embarrassed by 71 points at Florida A&M a week ago, the Morgan State Bears wanted to redeem themselves last night against Texas Southern.

The Bears will have to wait a little longer. Though the score was less lopsided, they again found themselves on the short end as Texas Southern's James Wilhite passed for 223 yards and three touchdowns and freshman running back Donnie Bradley scored three times in the Tigers' 42-3 victory at Rice Stadium.

"I didn't see any bright spots for us," Morgan coach Stump Mitchell said after the Bears lost their fifth in a row. "When your punter has two of your longest running plays, you know it's not a very good night."

Even with punter Shane Griffiths picking up two first downs on a pair of fake punts, the Bears still finished the night with minus-38 yards rushing and 117 total yards.

"That's been a problem for us all year," Mitchell said. "We're playing a lot of young guys up front, and it shows, and [quarterback Otis] Covington's isn't the same runner he was earlier this season since he hurt his ankle."

Covington was sacked seven times, including six times in the first half, as Texas Southern finished with 11 sacks. The Bears were limited to minus-28 yards rushing and 27 total yards before the break. The Bears didn't pick up their 100th yard on offense until the 6: 24 mark of the fourth quarter.

"That's probably the best defense we've played since I've been here," said Texas Southern's third-year coach Bill Thomas.

The start of the game was delayed 23 minutes because the officiating crew failed to show. Three volunteer officials from the stands -- two high school and one from the Western Athletic Conference -- called the game until a replacement crew made it to the stadium early in the second.

It didn't seem to matter to Wilhite. The junior from Kansas City completed eight in a row at one point while passing for 219 yards in the half. He left the game midway through the third quarter with Texas Southern leading, 33-3.

Wilhite put Texas Southern ahead with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Kiley Brown with 3: 17 remaining in the first quarter. Wilhite made it 13-0 on Texas Southern's next possession when he hooked up with Bradley on a 47-yard scoring toss.

The Bears got on the board with 9: 59 to go in the second. Griffiths scrambled 13 yards for a first down on fourth-and-11 from the Morgan 46. Seven plays later Griffiths nailed a 37-yard field goal to cut the Texas Southern lead to 13-3.

Wilhite moved Texas Southern 60 yards in five plays, with Brown catching a screen pass at the 12 and running it in for the touchdown for a 19-3 lead 53 seconds remaining before intermission.

Bradley, who finished with 117 yards on six carries, also scored on runs of 2 and 60 yards in the third quarter.

The Bears dropped to 3-6. The Tigers, who clinched a winning season for the first time since 1977, are 6-4.

Next for Morgan

Opponent: Howard

Site: Greene Stadium, Washington

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Record: 7-2

Yesterday: Beat South Carolina State, 23-3

Pub Date: 11/10/96

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