Morgan stumbles with 4th-quarter fumble

100-yard return brings loss and upset coach

Delaware State 25 Morgan State 17

October 21, 2007|By Chris Murray | Chris Murray,Special to the Sun

DOVER, Del. -- A 100-yard fumble return by Delaware State cornerback Akeem Green and four field goals by Peter Gaertner enabled the Hornets to come away yesterday with a 25-17 win over Morgan State in front of 5,446 at Alumni Stadium.

The one play that will be replayed over and over in the head of Morgan State coach Donald Hill-Eley is running back Courtney Anderson's fumble in the end zone with 9:11 left in the game, when it looked as if he was about to increase the Bears' lead.

Morgan State, leading 17-16, had a first-and-goal at the Delaware State 2-yard line when Anderson fumbled.

The ball was picked up by Green, who returned it 100 yards for a touchdown to give Delaware State a 22-17 lead. Gaertner added a field goal with 4:09 remaining.

After the game, Hill-Eley disputed the call and said the ball came out after Anderson crossed the plane of the end zone. He said the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference has to implement instant replay.

"I've never seen it where you fumble the ball after you're in the goal line," Hill-Eley said. "Once the ball breaks in front of the plane, it's a touchdown. Once again, we come up short. We need to invest in the technology.

"If we're going to have television, we need to play the game by the rules. We need to get in position where we can do instant replay like the major schools."

It didn't help that the Bears committed five turnovers and were without the MEAC's leading rusher, Chad Simpson, who spent most of the game on the bench with an ankle injury. He had just two carries for minus-1 yard.

Delaware State's Brandon Hudson took the opening kickoff 77 yards to the Morgan 15. Three plays later, Hornets quarterback Vashon Winton hit wide receiver Shaheer McBride for a 7-yard touchdown pass to give Delaware State (6-1, 5-0 MEAC) a 7-0 lead with 13:43 left in the first quarter.

The Bears got on the board later in the first quarter with a 36-yard field goal by James Meade, which capped a seven play, 61-yard drive. That made the score 7-3.

On its first possession of the second quarter, Morgan State (4-4, 3-2 MEAC) took a 10-7 lead on a 1-yard plunge by quarterback Mario Melton that capped a 10-play, 77-yard drive.

The teams went into halftime tied at 10 on a 42-yard field goal by Gaertner with 3:02 left in the second quarter.

Delaware State took a 13-10 lead on a 45-yard field goal by Gaertner with 4:26 left in the third quarter.

But the Bears struck back and took a 17-13 lead on their next possession on a 4-yard run by Anderson.

Morgan St. 3 7 7 0-17

Delaware St. 7 3 6 9-25

First quarter DeSt-McBride 7 pass from Winton (Gaertner kick), 13:43. Morg-FG Meade 36, 2:40.

Second quarter Morg-Melton 1 run (Meade kick), 9:53. DeSt-FG Gaertner 42, 3:02.

Third quarter DeSt-FG Gaertner 45, 4:26. Morg-Anderson 4 run (Meade kick), 2:54. DeSt-FG Gaertner 34, :00.

Fourth quarter DeSt-Green 100 fumble return (pass failed), 9:11. DeSt-FG Gaertner 43, 4:09. A-5,446.

Morg DeSt

First downs 14 17

Rushes-yards 37-112 46-192

Passing 206 67

Comp-Att-Int 13-24-2 10-23-1

Return Yards 4 27

Punts-Avg. 5-42.4 4-26.5

Fumbles-Lost 5-3 0-0

Penalties-Yards 4-40 13-121

Time of Possession 26:34 33:26 Rushing-Morgan St., Melton 4-45, Anderson 8-31, Jones 11-25, Selby 3-11, James 8-11, Simpson 2-(minus 1), Team 1-(minus 10). Delaware St., K.Jones 28-122, Shrewsbury 6-38, Winton 9-23, Strother 2-7, Brite 1-2. Passing-Morgan St., Selby 7-13-0-113, Melton 6-11-2-93. Delaware St., Winton 10-23-1-67. Receiving-Morgan St., Jones 4-16, James 3-75, Baptiste 2-41, Surratt 1-33, R.Sykes 1-28, Simpson 1-9, Wolfe 1-4. Delaware St., McBride 5-35, Strother 2-17, McNeil 1-17, Covington 1-4, Moore 1-(minus 6).

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