Depressing Morgan year ends on a dismal note Hampton sends 1-10 Bears packing with 55-0 defeat

November 22, 1998|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

What began as Morgan State's most promising season this decade was finally laid to rest yesterday in a tailspin of humiliation.

The Bears displayed no desire or cohesion yesterday, opting to just go through the motions in a 55-0 loss to Hampton at Hughes Stadium. It marks the first back-to-back defeats of 50 points or more in the 68-year football history of Morgan, which lost to Howard by 66 points a week earlier.

"I'm totally, totally embarrassed about the way the season went to be perfectly honest," said Morgan coach Stump Mitchell.

Hampton (9-2, 7-1) clinched a share of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title, scoring on six of its first seven possessions. Morgan (1-10, 1-7) appeared to be merely spectators with listless tackling and a deliberate offense to finish its sixth 10-loss season in 15 years.

The Bears had high expectations with a nucleus of 16 starters back from last year, but injuries forced eight redshirt freshmen to be pressed into action yesterday. Nonetheless, Mitchell acknowledged hearing criticism from alumni as Morgan has only won five of its last 28 games.

"My plea would be to leave everybody on the staff intact next year," said Mitchell, who passed up an NFL assistant's position this summer to stay at Morgan State. "You can fire your coaches, but the bottom line is players have been in position to make plays.

"They gave me a three-year deal because they felt we were headed in the right direction. But once we got a lot of guys hurt, it was devastating. If we have just one more year with all my coaches and things still don't go well, I won't grumble or say I should keep my job."

Defensively, Morgan played passively, haplessly trying to tackle the Pirates, who accumulated 509 yards of total offense and bolted to a 34-0 halftime lead.

Case in point: Hampton running back Montrell Coley rushed for 223 yards and three touchdowns despite being limited to 19 carries due to a groin pull. Coley scored on touchdown runs of 46 and 15 yards before the Bears recorded a first down.

Offensively, the Bears showed no creativity and never attempted a pass beyond 15 yards for the first three quarters as the Pirates keyed on the run. Morgan only moved the ball once past its own 37-yard line for the first 46 minutes, punted 10 times and failed to score a touchdown in the final eight quarters of the season.

Bears quarterback Willie McGirt spent more time evading Pirates than looking downfield. He finished with eight completions while being tackled behind the line of scrimmage six times.

Hampton ........ 21 .... 13 .... 14 .... 7 -- 55

Morgan State ... 0 ..... 0 ..... 0 ..... 0 -- 0

Pub Date: 11/22/98

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