Morgan prevails in 2 OTs

Guyton's fumble recovery, Baker's 79-yard run seal win over Howard

Morgan State 18 Howard 12

College Football

October 15, 2006|By Matt Papuchis | Matt Papuchis,Special to the Sun

WASHINGTON -- It was a game of squandered opportunities and second chances for Morgan State yesterday. Twice the Bears failed to score touchdowns on possessions that started inside the Howard 10-yard line. Then, they missed an extra point with less than a minute left, sending the game into overtime. Still, Morgan found a way to win in double overtime, 18-12, before 7,035 at William H. Greene Stadium.

The Bison had first-and-goal from the 1-yard line in the second extra period, but quarterback William Blanden fumbled, allowing Morgan linebacker Jarrell Guyton to recover the ball, run it about 20 yards, and then pass it back to defensive back Everette Baker. Baker ran another 79 yards for the game-winning touchdown.

"We were just looking for a miracle, and we got one," Baker said. "My only thought was, `Please don't get caught.'"

"After the game, we talked about how we never stop fighting until the last second," said Bears coach Donald Hill-Eley, who lost in overtime when his team last traveled to Howard in 2004. "This game tested our faith to the last inch."

With the win, Morgan improved to 4-3, and 3-1 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, while the Bison remained winless in conference (1-5, 0-3).

The Bears' rally to send the game into overtime started when they trailed 12-6 with 2:20 left in regulation. After the offense generated just 66 total yards in the first half, quarterback Mario Melton put together Morgan's only solid scoring drive of the day. Starting at the Bears' 37, Melton went 4-for-7, including a 7-yard touchdown pass to Rodrick Wolfe (eight catches for 106 yards) to tie the score at 12 with a chance to pull ahead. However, Jonathan Skeete, who made two field goals in the first half including a 46-yarder, had his extra point blocked, sending the game into overtime.

In the first extra period, Howard missed a 35-yard field goal and Morgan got the ball, but Melton's fumble on 3rd-and-1 from the Bison 16 forced a second overtime. And when the Bears opted to go for the touchdown on 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line, Melton was met in the backfield, giving Howard a chance to end it, moving down to the Morgan goal line before Guyton's unlikely fumble recovery.

Despite an uncharacteristically weak Bears offense, the team's defense never relented. Morgan forced 10 punts in the game - seven in the first half - and only allowed the Bison to convert on four of their 16 third-down attempts. The Bears' special teams also performed well, blocking a punt and returning a kickoff 82 yards, both of which allowed Morgan inside the Howard 10-yard line to start drives.

The Bisons' defense also made a solid effort, scoring a safety in the opening quarter, while only allowing Skeete's two field goals, resulting in a 6-2 halftime score.

Morgan St. 0 6 0 6 0 6 - 18

Howard 2 0 7 3 0 0 - 12

First Quarter How-Piner safety, 11:07.

Second Quarter Morg-FG Skeete 46, 14:12. Morg-FG Skeete 23, 6:04.

Third Quarter How-Alexander 26 pass from B.Johnson (Wiehberg kick), :53.

Fourth Quarter How-FG Wiehberg 23, 6:56. Morg-Wolfe 7 pass from Melton (kick blocked), :50.

Second Overtime Morg-Baker 99 fumble return. A-7,035.

Morg How

First downs 10 18

Rushes-yards 35-34 51-190

Passing 172 72

Comp-Att-Int 16-32-0 8-16-0

Return Yards 25 29

Punts-Avg. 6-32.7 10-34.7

Fumbles-Lost 3-1 6-2

Penalties-Yards 11-92 9-111

Time of Possession 30:00 30:00

RUSHING-Morgan St., Simpson 17-31, Melton 11-9, Nelson 6-3, Thompkins 1-(minus 9). Howard, Coleman 12-57, Rutherford 9-49, B.Johnson 18-48, Whittaker 8-27, Blanden 2-7, L.Moore 2-2. PASSING-Morgan St., Melton 16-32-0-172. Howard, B.Johnson 8-16-0-72. RECEIVING-Morgan St., Wolfe 8-106, Baptiste 2-31, Surratt 2-19, Simpson 2-7, Custis 1-8, Sykes 1-1. Howard, Hood 3-15, Duncan 2-18, Alexander 1-26, Whittaker 1-7, Coleman 1-6.

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