Nonstop TD flurry lifts Morgan

Five second-half TDs, INT TD before half drop Delaware State, 53-36

College Football

October 26, 2003|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

DOVER, Del. - Morgan State reached the .500 level for the first time since early September and ruined the head coaching debut of Delaware State's Butch Posey with a wild 53-36 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference victory at Alumni Stadium yesterday.

By scoring touchdowns every time the offense touched the ball in the second half, the Bears pulled away from the winless but pesky Hornets, who were celebrating homecoming.

The catalyst for the offensive outburst actually came from the Morgan defense on the final play before intermission.

Delaware State (0-7, 0-3 MEAC) had overcome an early 13-0 deficit by thriving on Morgan turnovers to shoot ahead by 15 points and had the ball. But instead of sitting on a comfortable lead, Delaware State quarterback Keon Frazier lofted a bomb. It was intercepted by Bears defensive back Thomas Potts, who made an over-the-shoulder catch at the Morgan 14, cut to the left sideline, reversed his field and outraced the pursuit for an 86-yard touchdown. Quarterback LeJominick Washington ran in a two-point conversion and suddenly Morgan (4-4, 3-3) was down only by a touchdown.

"Potts made a great play and that turned it all around," said Bears linebacker Vincent Brown, who had a hand in 10 tackles.

"We needed that like a convict needs prayer," said Morgan coach Donald Hill-Eley. "We had been flat the whole second quarter, which we just seemed to take off."

With Washington at the controls, the Bears then drove the second-half kickoff 84 yards to the end zone. The Hornets blocked the extra-point attempt and James Spence returned it for two points and a 30-27 Delaware State lead, but the Bears responded. Following a Delaware State field goal, Craig Nelson returned the kickoff 69 yards to the Hornets' 26 and, two plays later, Washington hit Tommie Manus on a 23-yard fly pattern for a touchdown and a 34-33 advantage.

The Morgan defense held and with the 6-foot-6 Manus catching three passes for 55 yards, the Bears marched 92 yards for another TD to take firm command.

Manus finished with six receptions for 127 yards in a breakout game.

"We decided we had to get him the ball," said Washington. "He was going against guys 5-8."

"I've been struggling lately," added Manus. "They just called my number a [few] times. We stepped up as a total offense."

In a four-hour game of drastic momentum changes and 315 yards in penalties, big plays were the rule.

A blocked punt returned by Sean Garris to the Hornets' 2 set up Morgan's second touchdown and Delaware State first scored when Justin Mitchell (Overlea) dashed 7 yards with a Bradshaw Littlejohn fumble. Thomas Bolden caught two Frazier passes for Hornets TDs and Littlejohn and Manus connected on a 46-yard bomb to pave the way for a 22-yard scoring run by Littlejohn.

"It's always a battle in the MEAC," said Brown. "You can't go to sleep on anyone in this league."

"When they got the lead, it woke us up," added Washington. "Then, what we needed was the playmakers to make big plays."

The big plays came as the Bears won for the third time in four games to send the homecoming crowd of 5,349 home in a sour mood.


Morgan St. 13 8 19 13 - 53

Delaware St. 0 28 5 3 - 36

First quarter MSU-Cash 3 pass from Littlejohn (Voroshilin kick), 4:57.

MSU-Nelson 1 run (Pena pass failed), 2:41. Second quarter DSU-Mitchell 7 fumble recovery (Bussey kick), 14:49.

DSU-Bolden 5 pass from Frazier (Bussey kick), 10:13.

DSU-Frazier 1 run (Keating kick), 7:45.

DSU-Bolden 11 pass from Frazier (Bussey kick), 4:22.

MSU-Potts 86 interception return (Washington rush), 00:00. Third Quarter MSU-Washington 4 run (Voroshilin kick blocked), 12:35.

DSU-Spence point after touchdown returned, 12:35.

DSU-FG Bussey 49, 8:59.

MSU-Manus 23 pass from Washington (Voroshilin kick), 8:33.

MSU-Elder 15 pass from Washington (Voroshilin kick failed), 1:30. Fourth Quarter DSU-FG Keating 29, 9:37.

MSU-Littlejohn 22 run (Voroshilin kick), 6:33.

MSU-Hughley 13 run (Voroshilin kick failed), 5:30. A-5,349.


First downs 23 22

Rushes-yards 42-192 33-71

Passing 183 252

Comp-Att-Int 11-21-1 19-43-2

Return Yards 163 137

Punts-Yards 2-75 5-155

Fumbles-Lost 1-1 0-0

Penalties-Yards 10-155 13-160

Time of Possession 26:05 33:55

Rushing-Morgan St., Nelson 15-71, Sweat 12-66, Littlejohn 4-24, Elder 5-15, Hughley 1-13, Washington 5-3. Delaware St., Jenkins 9-27, Bussey 1-15, Frazier 12-13, Coleman 4-12, Ross 2-9, Smith 1-(-1), McFadden 4-(-4). Passing-Morgan St., Washington 6-11-1-98, Littlejohn 5-10-0-85. Delaware St., Frazier 19-42-2-252, Smith 0-1-0-0. Receiving-Morgan St., Manus 6-127, Cash 2-16, Napper 1-17, Elder 1-15, Roache 1-8. Delaware St. Middlebrooks 6-103, Bolden 4-42, Jenkins 2-33, Ross 2-30, Rheubottom 2-21, Coleman 2-14, McFadden 1-9.

Next for Morgan

Matchup: Savannah State (0-8) vs. Morgan State (4-4)

Site: Theodore Wright Stadium, Savannah, Ga.

When: Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

Radio: WEAA (88.9 FM)

Yesterday: Coastal Carolina beat Savannah State, 29-19

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