Stallings' high-five lifts Morgan, 38-20

Record 5 TDs top Howard

third win most in 5 years

College Football

October 20, 2002|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WASHINGTON - T.J. Stallings had a hard time sleeping Friday night thinking about Morgan State's matchup with Howard. He gave the Bison nightmares yesterday.

The senior all-purpose back spoiled Howard's homecoming with a school-record five rushing touchdowns along with a career-high 206 yards, leading the Bears to a 38-20 victory in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference contest. The Randallstown High grad finished with 312 all-purpose yards.

"Last night [Friday], we had curfew at 9 o'clock with lights out at 10. I laid in bed from 9 until 12:30 trying to go to sleep, but for some reason I just couldn't," said Stallings, who broke a 36-year record. "I just knew today was going to be a big day, I didn't know I was going to break a record."

The victory gives Morgan a 33-32-3 series lead over its longtime rival Bison (3-3, 1-2), who had won the previous seven meetings. At 3-4 (2-2 in the MEAC), Morgan has surpassed its win total from last season and has three wins for the first time since the 1997 season.

The Bears' offensive line, overwhelmed by the Bison last season (11 sacks), dominated the second half yesterday, rushing for 239 yards. Stallings, who had a then-career high 142 yards in last weekend's win at North Carolina A&T, had 164 in the final two periods against Howard.

"When I first assessed the talent, I knew at that particular time he was one of our better players," Morgan coach Donald Hill said. "In certain situations, you call on your better people."

Despite allowing 406 yards, Morgan's defense was able to withstand several Bison threats, forcing four fumbles and sacking Howard quarterback Donald Clark six times. Sophomore defensive lineman Sekou Goings had three sacks and a fumble recovery.

Following a defensive stand deep in Howard terrority, Morgan constructed a short scoring drive with Stallings going in from 4 yards out, giving the Bears a 31-20 lead late in the third quarter. The key play was a 19-yard pass from LeJominick Washington to Kelvin Dickens, the lone pass sequence by the Bears in the second half.

The Bison turned the ball over on three consecutive possessions in the final quarter before Stallings capped his afternoon with a 20-yard run with 1:42 left. Stallings' 206 rushing yards fell short of the school record of 217, set last season by Ali Culpepper.

"They have a great blocking scheme and their offense is the most difficult to play in this conference," Howard coach Ray Petty said. "You're not sure whether he [Stallings] is going to be in the backfield or line up at wide receiver. He would get our defense going one direction then cut back on us several times."

The Bison sent Morgan reeling immediately as Clark hit Jonathan Brewer (six receptions, 151 yards) for a 79-yard score on the game's first play. The rest, however, belonged to Stallings.

The 5-foot-9, 170 pound dynamo returned the ensuing kickoff 35 yards before fumbling, but Jayson Mosley recovered. The drive culminated with a 6-yard Stallings touchdown run and Morgan never trailed again.

The Bears' offensive front gained control on the opening drive in the second half, with an eight-play, 80-yard scoring drive to make it 24-12.

"The past couple of weeks, the whole line has been coming together," said Stallings. "They blocked and I go where I'm supposed to go."

Morgan State 14 3 14 7 - 38

Howard 12 0 8 0 - 20

Next for Morgan

Opponent:Delaware State

Site:Hughes Stadium

When:Saturday, 1 p.m.

Record:2-5

Yesterday:Idle

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