Bears roar back, win 1st

Simpson rushes for 178 yards, 3 TDs as Morgan rallies from 13 down

Morgan State 28 Bowie State 20

September 17, 2006|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun Reporter

After opening with two consecutive losses, Morgan State's philosophy for yesterday's home opener was to condense the playbook, keep things simple and let its athleticism and instinctive play rule.

For the first 10 minutes, the approach was in serious jeopardy as Bowie State vaulted to a 13-point first-quarter lead, but a blocked extra point after the second touchdown turned around the game and the Bears dominated the remainder of the way for a 28-20 victory before 9,504 at Hughes Stadium.

It was a coming-out party for Morgan running back Chad Simpson, a transfer from the University of South Florida. The quick junior amassed 178 yards on 10 carries and raced to three touchdowns to jump-start a Bears offense that had been averaging 5.5 points a game.

"You have to minimize when you're having trouble with execution, so not so much thought goes with it," Morgan coach Donald Hill-Eley said. "We narrowed it down to six runs, five passes and three play-actions."

The victory broke a six-game losing streak for Morgan (1-2) and avenged a 35-21 defeat to Bowie at home last season.

"It was very important," Hill-Eley said. "Anytime you haven't won since your last homecoming, and that was last October, it's a lot of time doing the harvest without getting any fruit."

Division II Bowie (2-1) entered as the top-ranked offense and defense in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association and played like it early, converting a botched punt and a defensive stop into scoring drives of 46 and 66 yards. The drives were culminated by passes of 17 and 8 yards from City alumnus Lamar Manigo to DeMarcus Reeves and ex-Bear Sean Napper, respectively.

Then, the Bears awakened. Catlyn Clark blocked John Riley's extra-point attempt and defensive end Anthony Young picked up the ball and rumbled downfield inside Bowie's 15-yard line. The Morgan sideline was energized by the play.

"I was going to pitch it, but I kept going," Young said. "I think that was a big turning point. It kind of gave us some life."

Devan James returned the ensuing kickoff 51 yards to the Bowie 40, and then Simpson took over.

Quarterback Byron Selby (Dunbar) was about to be tackled when he dumped the ball off to Simpson, who followed two crunching downfield blocks and ran 40 yards to the end zone, bringing Morgan to within 13-7 before the first quarter ended.

Decent kick returns kept giving the Bears good field position, and 1:30 into the second period they had the lead on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Selby to Rodrick Wolfe (Edmondson).

After holding the Bulldogs again, Simpson showed his moves on a 54-yard scoring run, giving Morgan an eight-point halftime cushion.

"I always had speed, ever since I was a little kid," said Simpson, who had run for only 54 yards in the previous two games. "Running from dogs or whatever. I always played with bigger kids and didn't want to get hit."

He capped his performance by sprinting 60 yards down the left sideline to give Morgan a 28-13 advantage with 11:51 to go in the game.

Meanwhile, the Bears' defense kept Bowie off the scoreboard for more than 49 minutes before the Bulldogs scored with 40 seconds to go.

"The past couple of weeks, we beat ourselves," Young said. "Today, we brought everything together. We know we can play and stop people. We just have to control our mistakes."

Bowie played without running back Isaac Redman, who attended the game but is still not ready after missing several weeks attending to family business in New Jersey. Redman led the CIAA in rushing last season with a school-record 1,512 yards.

Bulldogs coach Mike Lynn said he was so short-handed on a banged-up offensive line that he had to shift a fullback to the unit at one point.

"Guys we can count on just are not there," he said. "But Morgan played tough. They made the plays when they needed to, and we didn't stop them."

Bowie St. 13 0 0 7-20

Morgan St. 7 14 0 7-28

First quarter Bowie-Reeves 17 pass from Manigo (Riley kick), 8:07. Bowie-Napper 8 pass from Manigo (kick blocked), 2:25. Morgan-Simpson 40 run (Skeete kick), 1:46.

Second quarter Morgan-Wolfe 29 pass from Selby (Skeete kick), 13:31. Morgan-Simpson 54 run (Skeete kick), 8:32.

Fourth quarter Morgan-Simpson 60 run (Skeete kick), 11:51. Bowie-Green 15 pass from Manigo (Riley kick), :40. A-9,504.

Bow Morg

First downs 16 8

Rushes-Yards 35-144 29-230

Passing 179 29

Comp-Att-Int 16-34-0 5-10-0

Return yards 25 33

Punts-Avg. 7-37.3 4-25.3

Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-2

Penalties-Yards 13-106 8-79

Time of possession 35:21 24:39 Rushing-Bowie St., Queen 22-76, Manigo 12-64, Trotter 1-4. Morgan St., Simpson 10-178, C.Nelson 7-48, Selby 7-18, James 2-4, Melton 1-1, Team 1-(minus 3), Meade 1-(minus 16). Passing-Bowie St., Manigo 16-34-0-179. Morgan St., Selby 5-10-0-29. Receiving-Bowie St., L.Dixon 7-77, Napper 3-24, Reeves 2-39, Green 1-15, J.Wright 1-11, Queen 1-8, J.Johnson 1-5. Morgan St., Wolfe 2-38, C.Nelson 1-(minus 1), J.Wilson 1-(minus 3), Sykes 1-(minus 5).

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