Morgan's woes continue in 19-16 loss to N.C. A&T Bears almost pull it off, but, in end, fall to 0-6

October 18, 1998|By Craig T. Greenlee | Craig T. Greenlee,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The agony continues.

At times yesterday, Morgan State showed promise. At other times, the Bears showed why they have yet to win a game in '98. The result was a 19-16 loss to North Carolina A&T.

The Bears (0-6, 0-4 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) had a legitimate chance to beat the Aggies, but all hope ended when Morgan quarterback Willie McGirt was thrown for a 3-yard loss on fourth down at A&T's 41-yard line with 30 seconds left in the game.

"We had our chance," said Morgan coach Stump Mitchell. "But in the end, we we just made too many costly mistakes. Sometimes, the offense plays well, but the defense doesn't, and vice versa. This team just hasn't been able to put it all together yet. When that starts to happen, we'll win some games."

Morgan's offense never got fully on track yesterday. The Bears, who lead the MEAC in rushing at 252 yards per game, were held to 147. McGirt ran for 97 yards but Jay Hinton, the team's leading rusher, was limited to 24 yards on 15 carries. The Aggies finished with 202 rushing yards. Kevin Hubbard had 91 and Reggie Shuford 65.

It was surprising Morgan was even in contention, much less in position to win. At the end of the third quarter, A&T held what appeared to be a comfortable 19-3 lead. Still, the Bears found a way to get back in the game, their defense setting the tone.

On the third play of the fourth quarter, strong safety Warner Herndon intercepted a pass by A&T quarterback Rodney Woodruff in the right flat and ran it back 22 yards for a touchdown. Five minutes later, McGirt threw a 27-yard scoring pass to Derek Washington to cut the Aggies' lead to 19-16 with 9: 46 to go.

The Bears' score was set up by an Aggies miscue when Woodruff's option pitch to Shuford was mishandled. Morgan's Andrew Tippins picked up the loose ball, ran 44 yards, then lateraled to Wakeem Davis, who was tackled at A&T's 44-yard line. Seven plays later, McGirt connected with Washington.

Leading by just a field goal, A&T (5-2, 2-2 MEAC) drove to Morgan's 25 but came away empty when Darren Dawkins missed a 42-yard field-goal attempt.

Morgan got the ball back at its 25 and started a potential game-winning drive. A pass reception by Marc Lester and runs by Keith Warren and McGirt moved the Bears to the Aggies' 41. But on fourth-and-two, McGirt was stopped as he tried to run for the first down when he couldn't find an open receiver.

The Aggies took the early lead on Kevin Hubbard's 7-yard touchdown run and two Dawkins field goals. Morgan's Cody Vasquez kicked a 24-yard field goal late in the second quarter.

Next for Morgan

Opponent: Delaware State

Site: Ravens stadium When: Saturday, 3: 30 p.m.

Record: 0-6

Yesterday: Lost to Liberty, 53-21

Pub Date: 10/18/98

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