In rain, mud, Morgan plays sloppy, loses

Delaware State 41 Morgan State 14

College football


Dover, Del. -- Last week was a fluke; there's no question.

Morgan State's troubles stopping opposing offenses seemed to have come to a halt last week in a shutout of Howard.

But that was Howard and its sixth-best Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference offense.

Yesterday, the Bears couldn't stop Delaware State as the Hornets reeled off 20 second-half points en route to a 41-14 win before 4,616 at homecoming.

"The thing is, you have to play defense for 60 minutes," Bears coach Donald Hill-Eley said. "We had some tackles for a loss. But guys just ran through our arms.

"The [field] conditions were bad, but we still have to wrap people up and stop them."

The loss continues Morgan State's defensive woes in the MEAC. The Bears came in surrendering 42.7 points per game in their three conference losses.

However, Morgan State did have success on defense early, gaining a sack and a fumble recovery that led to a 14-yard touchdown reception by Jason Jackson in the first quarter.

The Bears took a 14-7 lead on Craig Nelson's 3-yard run.

"We came out with the expectations that we could win," quarterback Byron Selby said. "We came out early and we were moving the ball on them.

"But in the second half, everything just went downhill."

The Bears' lead didn't last long.

Delaware State couldn't move the ball until Hornets defensive back Akeem Green partially blocked James Meade's punt.

The block gave the Hornets (5-3, 4-1 MEAC) the ball on their own 44. Six plays later, quarterback Vashon Winton found receiver Shaheer McBride on a fade route in the corner of the end zone.

And after Peter Gaertner converted the extra point, Delaware State led 21-14 at halftime.

"The first half we were able to move the ball around and do what we wanted to do offensively," Hill-Eley said. "That last minute, things started to unfold and unravel."

The Bears' offense sputtered in the second half, primarily due to Hornets cornerback Deon Rheubottom blanketing 2004 first-team All-MEAC receiver Kelvin Dickens.

Dickens' lone catch came with 2:19 left in the game - but it was negated by a personal foul penalty against the Bears. Selby's only other attempt at finding Dickens was picked off by Rheubottom in the third.

Selby was forced to find receivers Roderick Wolfe (four catches, 75 yards) and Sean Napper (five catches, 40 yards). But without the Bears' big-play receiver in Dickens, Morgan State (2-6, 1-4) was held at bay.

"They had the safety over the top," said Selby, who went 15-for-34 for 161 yards and a touchdown. "If [Dickens] is not open, I'm not going to force it.

"I just sprinkled it around to the other guys."

With a steady rain falling all morning and during the game, the field became muddy in spots and made it tough for Nelson (46 yards on nine attempts) and Jackson (6 yards on nine tries) to run. The Bears gained 30 of their 191 total yards rushing the ball.

Ultimately, the conditions led to the demise of an offense that had been averaging 190 yards a game on the ground.

Morgan State 7 7 0 0-14

Delaware State 7 14 17 3-41

First quarter DSU-Winton 1 run (Gaertner kick), 10:37.

MSU-Jackson 14 pass from Selby (Meade kick), 5:30.

Second quarter MSU-Nelson 3 run (Meade kick), 14:33. DSU-Roy 1 run (Gaertner kick), 4:55.

DSU-McBride 8 pass from Winton (Gaertner kick), :39.

Third quarter DSU-McBride 56 pass from Winton (Gaertner kick), 13:39. DSU-FG Gaertner 23, 7:39.

DSU-Roy 3 run (Gaertner kick), 5:08.

Fourth quarter DSU-FG Gaertner 27, 11:17. A-4,616.


First downs 13 15

Rushes-yards 33-30 43-136

Passing 161 227

Comp-Att-Int 15-34-1 11-18-0

Return Yards 87 75

Punts-Avg. 8-33.9 4-33.0

Fumbles-Lost 1-0 2-2

Penalties-Yards 7-56 8-55

Time of Possession 31:05 28:55

Rushing-MSU, Nelson 9-46, Douglas 2-20, Selby 9-17, Jackson 9-3, Team 4-minus 56. DSU, Roy 28-139, Marc 7-21, Pollard 1-1, Team 2-0, Winton 5-minus 25. Passing-MSU, Selby 15-34-1-161. DSU, Winton 11-18-0-227. Receiving-MSU, Napper 5-40, Wolfe 4-75, Jackson 2-28, Wilson 2-12, Spinner 1-3, Ellison 1-3. DSU, McBride 6-138, Savedge 3-15, Marc 1-65, Roy 1-9.

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