Bethune-Cookman outlasts Morgan State, 41-27

Three late touchdowns improve Wildcats to 6-0

College Football

October 06, 2002|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Underdog Morgan State gave unbeaten Bethune-Cookman a fit last night before three late touchdowns carried the Wildcats to a hard-earned 41-27 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference victory at Hughes Stadium.

Bethune-Cookman quarterback Allen Suber, the preseason MEAC Player of the Year, proved a tad too much for the Morgan defense, rushing for 233 yards and four touchdowns, including the game-winner from three yards out with 5:05 left in the game.

It was a heartbreaking defeat for the Bears, who had two weeks to prepare for the pivotal game in their league season after beating Monmouth for their first win.

Morgan (1-4, 0-2 MEAC) seized a 27-20 edge early in the fourth period with a 78-yard touchdown drive culminated by T.J. Stallings' stutter-step scoring run from the 6. Jon Voroshilin successfully kicked an extra point for the only time in the game.

But the Wildcats answered with a 59-yard equalizer and tied the game on Daniel King's placement after Morgan was offside on a failed first attempt.

Kenny Heatly recovered Bethune's ensuing squib kick at the Bears' 46 and Suber wasted no time running and passing his team into the end zone, scoring from the 3 to clinch Bethune's sixth win and second in the MEAC.

Morgan coach Donald Hill-Eley said the loss of possession on the squib kick was a crushing blow. "We truly believed we could play with anybody," he said. "But losing that kick kind of took the air out of us. The intensity went right back to their side."

Bethune coach Alvin Wyatt praised defensive back Tor-El Robinson for taking tight end Vishante Shiancoe out of the Morgan offense. The Bears' biggest deep threat was never a factor.

As for Suber, the first Wildcat to rush for four touchdowns in 29 years, Wyatt said: "He truly has it all. He finds a way to make this team excel. I think he is going to take it to new heights."

The Wildcats, 17th in one Division I-AA poll, tacked on an insurance score in the final minute.

Morgan hung in gamely against the unbeaten Wildcats, settling for a halftime tie after spending almost the entire second quarter threatening to score.

Early in the quarter, the Bears drove from their 24 to inside the Bethune-Cookman 10 when Isaiah Long lost a fumble recovered by linebacker Nick Collins.

Field position continued to favor the home side as the Wildcats twice punted from inside their 10 after failing to move the ball.

Morgan took the first punt from the Bethune 40 to the 3 in two plays, then stalled. Littlejohn nearly scored but was stopped inches short of the end zone on fourth down.

After receiving another punt, the Bears advanced to the Bethune 30 before being halted by an incomplete fourth-down pass.

A carom interception by Morgan linebacker Carlos Watts gave the team another good opportunity against a defense that had allowed an average of only eight points in five games.

Bethune-Cookman held yet again, forcing a field-goal try that was aborted by a delay-of- game penalty. Morgan then punted and the Wildcats battled the clock and the defense before halftime. They failed to score, leaving it at 14-14.

The game started late while the teams awaited the arrival of paramedic personnel for safety reasons.

Next for Morgan

Opponent:North Carolina A&T

Site:Aggie Stadium, Greensboro, N.C.

When:Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

Record:3-2

Yesterday:Defeated Norfolk State, 36-10

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