Jackson, Hampton outrun Morgan State, 10-0 Bears hold MEAC champs, except for 214-yard back

November 23, 1997|By Jennifer L. Williams | Jennifer L. Williams,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

HAMPTON, Va. -- Despite becoming just the third team to rush for more than 100 yards against Hampton this season, Morgan State still fell short, losing a 10-0 decision to the Pirates yesterday.

That's because the Bears were not the only ones running around Armstrong Field. Hampton's Charles Jackson carried the ball 22 times for 214 yards, including a 59-yard touchdown.

While the Bears have the whole off-season to mull a disappointing 3-7 season, Hampton (10-1), the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion with a 7-0 record, moves on to the Division I-AA playoffs.

"We pretty much did what we wanted to do against them except for turnovers and penalties while we were driving," said Morgan State's Stump Mitchell, whose team finished 4-7 last season in his first year as coach.

Quarterback Donald Green was the Bears' leading rusher with 57 yards on seven carries. He also completed seven of 16 passes for 72 yards with one interception.

"We had a final chance to prevent them from being undefeated in the league," Mitchell said. "I thought we matched up well and also thought that if we played well we could have won."

Neither team had much going offensively, especially early on. Morgan State punted six times and Hampton four. The only scoring in the first half came when Hampton made one of its two field-goal attempts to lead 3-0 at the half.

Morgan State was able to reach Hampton's 8-yard line with 46 seconds remaining in the half, but Pirates safety Jay Clarke intercepted Green's pass in the end zone to thwart the visitors' threat.

"If he completes that, we have a 7-3 lead and we're looking good," Mitchell said. "Even if it's incomplete, we can still go for the field goal and head into halftime with a 3-3 tie."

Jackson took over in the third quarter as Hampton increased its lead to 10 points. On the third-quarter scoring drive, he ran the ball four consecutive times, breaking several tackles on his TD run.

"That was the back-breaker," explained Mitchell. "That run put them up by 10 and made it so we had to score twice to get the lead. That was tough."

Mitchell yanked Green in favor of Willie McGirt at quarterback midway through the fourth quarter. But Morgan State still was only able to muster one more scoring opportunity, that ending on a Cordell Taylor interception of a potential scoring pass from McGirt with 11 seconds remaining in the game. Taylor returned it 74 yards before being pulled down from behind.

"We made a lot of critical errors," said Morgan State receiver Na'im Greene. "We just ran out of time. We played hard, but just missed some plays that Hampton took advantage of. They executed a little better than we did."

Hampton racked up 392 yards of offense to the Bears' 266.

Pub Date: 11/23/97

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