Morgan goes OT, scores 31-24 upset

Bethune-Cookman takes its first loss

Washington passes for 233, runs for 131

College Football

October 05, 2003|By Shannon Shelton | Shannon Shelton,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Morgan State quarterback LeJominick Washington had no idea he had anywhere near 233 passing yards or 131 rushing yards after he led the Bears to a 31-24 upset of Bethune-Cookman yesterday.

But he did remember shaking off at least three Wildcats defenders to set up the 2-yard touchdown run in overtime that gave Morgan State its biggest win of the season.

Bethune-Cookman was the top-ranked team in the Sheridan Black College football poll, was ranked first in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and was No. 5 in Division I-AA.

"I always had a philosophy, even from midget league," Washington said. "Don't let one man tackle you. On a couple of different plays, I had three guys trying to tackle me. I didn't want to let any of my teammates down."

Washington was the offensive catalyst in the victory, and once Morgan State's defense figured out how to stifle Bethune-Cookman's all-everything quarterback, Allen Suber, it was all over for the Wildcats.

The Bears often had Suber pedaling backward, as the quarterback finished with 32 rushing yards.

"They have a great defense, we knew that all year," said Bethune-Cookman coach Alvin Wyatt. "They haven't been out of any of their football games, and their defense has been right there. They just couldn't get anything offensively. But they found a way to get something done offensively, and we couldn't."

Suber didn't do much better playing out of the option, finishing 3 of 17 for 88 passing yards, with one interception and one sack. In comparison, Washington was 12-for-26 for the Bears.

"We knew we had to contain Suber," said Morgan State coach Donald Hill-Eley. "He's responsible for 70 percent of their offense. We wanted somebody else on that team to have to step up to beat us. We knew if we could contain him and force those other guys to carry the load, it would be something they weren't used to, and that would work in our favor."

The Bears (2-3, 1-3 MEAC) got the ball first in overtime, and scored on Washington's 2-yard run. The Morgan State quarterback had barreled through Bethune-Cookman defenders, fighting off three tackle attempts on second-and-seven to make the 6-yard rush to set up his touchdown.

When it was Bethune-Cookman's turn, the Wildcats (4-1, 1-1) only lost yards. Suber was tackled 11 yards behind the line of scrimmage on the first play, sacked for an 11-yard loss on the second play, then intercepted on his third attempt.

Yardage loss was the story for most of the fourth quarter. Neither team scored with the game tied at 24.

Morgan battled back from a 17-7 first-quarter deficit, scoring on Jon Voroshilin's 39-yard field goal halfway through the second quarter, then narrowing the Wildcats' lead to 17-16 when Chris Cash caught a 39-yard scoring pass from Washington.

Although Suber would score on a 9-yard run to open the third quarter, it was all Morgan State after that.

With the Wildcats ahead 24-16, Washington connected with Tommie Manus for a 49-yard touchdown pass, then made up for the point disparity by running for the two-point conversion.

This was Bethune-Cookman's first overtime loss since 1986.

Morgan State 7 9 8 0 7 -- 31

Bethune-Cookman 17 0 7 0 0 -- 24 First quarter MSU--Washington 2 run (Voroshilin kick), 10:23. B-C--Suber 40 run (Cortez kick), 8:59. B-C--Summers 49 pass from Suber (Cortez kick), 6:09. B-C--FG Cortez 50, 2:30. Second quarter MSU--FG Voroshilin 39, 8:36. MSU--Cash 39 pass from Washington (run failed), 1;25. Third quarter B-C--Suber 9 run (Cortez kick), 10:26. MSU--Manus 49 pass from Washington (Washington run), 1:58. Fourth quarter None. Overtime MSU--Washington 2 run (Voroshilin kick). A--7,465.

MSU B-C

First downs 19 10

Rushes-yards 48-182 37-138

Passing 233 88

Comp-Att-Int 12-26-0 3-17-1

Return Yards 46 145

Punts-Avg. 7-44.3 8-40.9

Fumbles-Lost 2-1 2-0

Penalties-Yards 11-89 3-33

Time of Possession 35:38 24:22 Rushing--Morgan State, Washington 29-131, Sweat 19-51. Bethune-Cookman, Weems 4-36, Butler 2-34, Suber 20-32, Johnson 8-26. Passing--Morgan State, Washington 12-26-0-233. Bethune-Cookman, Suber 3-17-1-88. Receiving--Morgan State, Napper 4-73, Manus 3-81, Dickens 3-26, Cash 1-39, Henson 1-14. Bethune-Cookman, Weems 2-39, Summers 1-49.

Next for Morgan

Matchup: North Carolina A&T (4-1, 1-0) vs. Morgan State (2-3, 1-3)

Site: Hughes Stadium

When: Saturday, 3 p.m.

Radio: WEAA (88.9 FM)

Yesterday: North Carolina A&T beat Norfolk State, 34-14.

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