Morgan, Towson renew rivalries Schools scheduled for football, basketball

October 04, 1997|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

In an attempt to pump more life into the local collegiate football and basketball scene, Morgan State University and Towson University are renewing their rivalries in football and basketball.

The schools signed a six-year contract to play football from next season through 2003 and a two-year contract to meet in basketball the next two seasons, Morgan athletic director Garnett Purnell and Towson AD Wayne Edwards said last night.

The football series will begin Sept. 5, 1998 at Towson's Minnegan Stadium and end Sept. 6, 2003 at Morgan's Hughes Stadium. Each team will have three home games in the series.

The basketball rivalry will begin in a little less than two months when the Tigers and Bears meet at the Towson Center on Dec. 1 at 7: 30 p.m.

The two-game basketball series will wind up in the 1998-99 season at Morgan State's Hill Fieldhouse at a yet-to-be-determined date.

Morgan and Towson have not met in in basketball in 22 years, with the last meeting occurring in the 1975-76 season, when Morgan defeated Towson, 70-64, to take an 8-4 edge in the series.

The six-year football contract brings Morgan and Towson together on the gridiron for the first time since 1994. Towson leads the football series, 8-3.

The schools first met in football in 1979, and played nine consecutive seasons before there was a five-year break in the series.

They played again in 1993 and 1994, with Towson winning by scores of 56-12 and 42-7. The Tigers have won eight straight in football after losing the first three.

Purnell and Edwards have both been on the job as athletic directors at their respective schools approximately 18 months and have become good friends.

"Thanks to Dr. Edwards, our two schools are getting together again in football and basketball," said Purnell. "He befriended me about 18 months ago when we first got here and we've been talking ever since about playing. We're so close that it makes sense to play economically and for our fans. Our fans don't travel a lot and this gives them a great chance to go a few miles to see us play on the road."

Edwards said: "I don't know why the series with Morgan was ever stopped in football and basketball. It makes no sense for Morgan to be playing games all over the place [only three home games this season] when we're only six miles from Morgan. I would think we'll fill our stadium for the first Morgan game."

Edwards said the football series between the schools has been embraced by Morgan coach Stump Mitchell and Towson coach Gordy Combs.

"Gordy knows Stump well and they have a lot of respect for each other," Edwards said. "Morgan's program has improved under Stump and our program is getting better. There is going to be a lot of interest, not only from the fans, but I think from the media."

Pub Date: 10/04/97

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