Morgan State ends Del. State jinx, 14-7 Defensive stand cuts string of 12 losses dating to 1979

October 26, 1997|By Ed Murphy | Ed Murphy,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

DOVER, Del. -- To Stump Mitchell, it was merely another step in Morgan State's rise in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

"It was a very big win, especially after the two heartbreaking losses," Morgan State's second-year coach said. "I don't worry about who we play. It was easier for the players to get up for this one than me."

After two frustrating losses at home, Morgan State held on and posted a 14-7 victory over longtime nemesis Delaware State in a defensive struggle at Alumni Stadium yesterday afternoon.

Tailback Moses Cody rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown and Donald Green scored the winning touchdown on a 15-yard quarterback draw in the third quarter as the Bears beat the Hornets for the first time in 13 games, dating back to the 1979 season.

"It's very satisfying," Cody said. "We lost a close one on our homecoming, and we came through to ruin Delaware State's homecoming. The offensive line did a heck of a job."

Morgan avenged last year's 35-14 homecoming loss to Delaware State in Baltimore by ruining the Hornets' homecoming before 6,839 spectators. The Bears improved to 3-4 overall, 2-2 in the MEAC with three road games left.

"Right now, we're still in contention for the postseason," Mitchell said. "We must win our final three games. This was an important game for us. We shut down a running attack for the third straight game and contained their quarterback. We kept grinding it out and let our defense keep us in the game."

Morgan, which holds a 23-16 advantage in a series that dates back to 1946, limited Delaware State to 279 yards. The Bears shut down Delaware State's mobile quarterback, Reggie Brown, with a pressure defense. Brown completed five of 26 passes for 65 yards and was sacked three times.

"We had a good defensive scheme," cornerback Kelvin Moore said. "We kept attacking and pressuring their quarterback. We confused him, and the defensive ends contained him."

Delaware State (3-4, 1-2) was 0-13 on third-down plays and lost for the second straight week. The Hornets won the previous 12 meetings by a combined score of 432-166.

"Their defense is pretty good," Delaware State's first-year coach, John McKenzie, said. "Their speed hurt our offense. They blitzed a lot and did a good job bringing the corner. We got frustrated NTC and our guys dropped too many passes."

The Bears dominated the clock in the first half and rushed for 126 yards in taking a 7-0 lead.

Morgan State limited the Hornets to minus-2 yards on their first two possessions. The Bears then used a 35-yard punt return by Na'im Greene to the Delaware State 24 to set up their first touchdown. Cody scored from the 9 off left tackle with 2: 05 left in the first quarter, and Anthony Alexander's kick made it 7-0.

Delaware State started two possessions in the second quarter inside the Morgan 40 and came away empty both times. Safety Anthony Singletary intercepted starting quarterback Willie McGirt in the first minute of the second half on the Bears' 32, but the Hornets went backward. Moore sacked Brown for an 8-yard loss to stall the drive. The Hornets started another series on the Bears' 39 and drove to the 10, but Teddy Johnson's 27-yard field-goal try was wide right.

Morgan later held the ball for 7: 30 and took an 11-play, 77-yard drive to the Delaware State 13. Alexander's first field-goal attempt of the season sailed wide left from 30 yards out with 26 seconds left.

Cody rushed for 58 yards on 11 carries in the first half.

Delaware State broke through after McGirt slipped on the wet field and fumbled on the 8. Wayne Stackhouse recovered for the Hornets, and Kevin Hanks scored from the 4 with 9: 23 left in the third quarter to tie it 7-7.

Donald Green replaced McGirt and led the Bears on a 10-play, 70-yard scoring drive that won the game. Cody gained 35 yards on four carries before Green scored on a draw from the 15 with 5: 01 remaining in the third quarter.

"I'm glad the coach called on me," Green said. "I try to stay in the game all the time so I'm ready when I get the call."

Morgan State ... 7 0 7 0 -- 14

Delaware State.. 0 0 7 0 -- 7

Next for Morgan

Opponent: Florida A&M

Site: Chris Gilman Stadium, Kingsland, Ga.

When: Saturday, 3 p.m.

Record: 5-2

Yesterday: Idle

Pub Date: 10/26/97

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