Rough start dooms Morgan in 77-24 loss to Maine

Bears fall into 35-0 hole as their winning streak is halted at three games

College Football

November 09, 2003|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Morgan State coach Donald Hill-Eley called the game "a test for our program" beforehand, then learned that the Bears have giant strides to take before they can join the elite ranks of NCAA Division I-AA football teams.

A Maine team still stinging from its crushing overtime loss at No. 2 Delaware the previous weekend clicked on all fronts yesterday and handed Morgan a 77-24 pasting on a chilly day at Hughes Stadium.

Not only did the Bears have to contend with Maine's superior talent, they also were confronting an opponent with something to prove.

"The biggest thing we learned is that we are very premature," said Hill-Eley, who is in his second season at Morgan. "Our program is only 2 years old, and theirs has been in the tournament many times. There are a lot of things we have to do to mature."

Morgan (5-5) was down 21-0 after the Black Bears (6-4) had touched the ball only three times, 28-0 after six Maine plays from scrimmage and 35-0 in the second quarter. Morgan then fought back to close within 18 points before withering.

The Atlantic 10 Conference's leading rusher, Marcus Williams, wasn't even involved in the offense until the Black Bears had a three-touchdown advantage, but he finished with a career-high 246 yards and scored four touchdowns.

"We knew we had to come out and win after last week," Williams said. "We weren't packing in the season."

By halftime, the two teams had accumulated just short of 1,000 cumulative yards, including those on returns. At one point late in the second quarter, four touchdowns were scored in slightly more than 1 1/2 minutes. It looked like the game was headed toward a basketball score in a track meet played on a football field.

The 77 points were the most accumulated by Maine in the modern era, shattering the previous high of 62 set several times, and were the most allowed by the Bears since an 83-12 crushing by Florida A&M seven years ago.

Also, Morgan's three-game winning streak ended.

"They were able to make plays at will," Hill-Eley said. "We'll see if we can get to that point in four or five years down the road.

"I still feel pretty good. We worked hard, and the game wasn't sloppy. I'm happy with the way our kids conducted themselves, being down so far. This game will help us in several areas, in recruiting, personnel and so forth."

In the end, the teams combined for 1,082 offensive yards and 316 yards on returns, including the first punt of the game (75 yards) and a kickoff (100 yards) brought to the end zone by Maine's Arel Gordon.

Maine 28 21 7 21 - 77

Morgan State 0 24 0 0 - 24

First quarter Maine-Gordon 75 punt return (Mellow kick), 12:48. Maine-Pereira 65 pass from Whitcomb (Mellow kick), 10:09. Maine-Pereira 31 pass from Whitcomb (Mellow kick), 9:26. Maine-Waller 19 pass from Whitcomb (Mellow kick), 2:48. Second quarter Maine -Williams 13 run (Mellow kick), 13:19. MS-FG Voroshilin 39, 10:57. MS-Cash 14 pass from Littlejohn (Voroshilin kick), 4:15. MS-Davis 37 interception return (Voroshilin kick), 3:47. Maine-Williams 1 run (Mellow kick), 2:56. MS-Dickens 69 pass from Littlejohn (Voroshilin kick), 2:44. Maine-Gordon 100 kickoff return (Mellow kick), 2:33. Third quarter Maine-Williams 12 run (Mellow kick), 11:55. Fourth quarter Maine-Williams 21 run (Mellow kick), 13:25. Maine-Owens 2 run (Mellow kick), 3:52. Maine-Momah 5 run (Mellow kick), 3:31. A-2,176.

Maine MS

First downs 28 20

Rushes-yards 44-350 29-123

Passing 335 274

Comp-Att-Int 15-24-1 22-45-1

Return Yards 237 174

Punts-Avg. 0-00.0 5-40.2

Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-2

Penalties-Yards 4-43 6-94

Time of Possession 33:46 26:14

Rushing-Maine, Williams 21-246, Legree 1-48, Momah 9-39, Owens 7-21, Zyskowski, 1-3, Whitcomb 4-(minus 3), Nwosu 1-(minus 4). Morgan, Littlejohn 12-109, Washington 9-19, Nelson 2-(minus 1), DeShazo 5-(minus 2). Passing-Maine, Whitcomb 13-21-319-1, Waller 1-2-13-0 Meczywor 1-1-3-0. Morgan, Littlejohn 15-30-232-1, Washington 7-15-42-0. Receiving-Maine, Pereira 5-124, McMahan 4-117, Waller 2-36, Fusco 1-30 Gordon 1-13, Williams 1-12, Nwosu 1-3. Morgan, Dickens 7-150, Manus 6-52, Cash 5-56, Henson 3-16.

Next for Morgan

Matchup: Norfolk State (1-9, 0-6) vs. Morgan State (5-5, 3-4)

Site: Hughes Stadium

When: Nov. 22, 1 p.m.

Radio: WEAA (88.9 FM)

Yesterday: Norfolk State lost to Liberty, 69-21.

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