Del. State's ground game brings Morgan to earth

Bears' bid for three-game winning streak ends, 38-12

October 21, 2001|By Rob Erdman | Rob Erdman,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

DOVER, Del. - The Morgan State football team traveled to Delaware State looking to win its third consecutive game, a feat the Bears had not accomplished since 1996.

However, the Hornets frustrated Morgan State's defense, using a no-huddle offense, a myriad of motion sets and a powerful ground game to defeat the Bears, 38-12, yesterday."Delaware State did an excellent job of preparing for us," Morgan State coach Stanley Mitchell said. "They beat us in all three aspects of play: offensively, defensively and on special teams."

The Hornets' offense amassed 389 total yards, with 312 of them coming on the ground. Hornets senior running back Maurice Foster returned to action against the Bears after being sidelined with an ankle injury, and collected 110 yards rushing, including a 5-yard touchdown run.

"I was definitely looking forward to getting back on the field," he said. "I didn't expect a big day like this right away, but I got some of the best guys up in front of me, and they showed up big-time today."

Delaware State (2-4, 1-3 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) jumped out to an early lead, scoring on its first possession with a seven-play, 67-yard drive capped by an 11-yard touchdown scramble by sophomore fullback Vincent Sewell.

The Bears (2-5, 1-4) started the second quarter by marching deep into Delaware State territory.

On first-and-10 from the Hornets' 21, Morgan State sophomore quarterback Lejominick Washington attempted to hand off to junior wide-out T.J. Stallings on a draw, only to have the ball bounce free during the exchange.

Delaware State junior defensive back Stephen Brown scooped up the loose ball and sprinted 75 yards for a touchdown, giving the Hornets a 14-0 lead and momentum they would never relinquish.

Delaware State got the ball to start the second half and drove 84 yards in seven plays, pushing the lead to 21-0.

The Hornets added 10 more points before the Bears were able to get on the board.

"We played really focused and did a great job of executing our game plan," Hornets coach Ben Blacknall said. "It really helps your confidence when you can get up early like we did."

After Delaware State took the early lead, its defense was relentless, constantly pressuring Washington and holding senior running back Ali Culpepper to just 53 yards rushing.

The day wasn't a complete loss for Culpepper, however. His 1-yard run in the fourth quarter was the 23rd rushing touchdown of his career, tying John Sykes' school record for rushing touchdowns in a career.

Despite totaling 330 offensive yards, Morgan State only managed two touchdowns. "We thought we could run the ball on them and then spread the defense," Mitchell said, "but [the Hornets] stopped both aspects. They came to play ball today."

Morgan State 0 0 6 6 - 12

Delaware State 7 7 17 7 - 38

Next for Morgan

Opponent: Morris Brown

Site: Herndon Stadium, Atlanta

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Record: 1-4

Yesterday: Lost to Savannah State, 17-14

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