Morgan State falls to Hampton in finale, 21-16, on last-minute TD

Bears manage only 142 yards of total offense in finishing season 4-7

November 20, 2010|By Rich Scherr, SPECIAL TO THE BALTIMORE SUN

A season that began with promise ended with a thud for Morgan State on Saturday.

The Bears managed just 10 first downs and 142 yards of total offense, giving up the game-winning touchdown on a 23-yard pass from David Legree to Javaris Brown with 46 seconds left in a 21-16 loss to Hampton.

Morgan appeared to have had the game in hand, taking a 16-15 lead with 1:42 left on a 1-yard sneak by quarterback Delonte Williams, before allowing the Pirates to drive 78 yards on seven plays in under a minute.

"It just was a minute and 40 seconds of guys just packing it in early," Morgan coach Donald Hill-Eley said.

Added Bears linebacker Brian Saunders: "It was just [not] containing the football and not giving them the opportunity to scramble and make extra time to throw that ball. We could've pressured them a little better."

The loss ended Morgan's season with a four-game losing streak. The Bears, who finished their season 4-7, including 3-5 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, posted their first sub-.500 season since 2007 after winning six games each of the past two seasons.

Hampton (6-5, 5-3) ended its four-game losing streak, which followed a 5-1 start.

Morgan led 9-3 until late in the third quarter, time and again giving up large swaths of yardage before holding tight in the red zone.

The Bears took the lead 5:57 before halftime when Winfred Diggs fielded a punt at the 19, crossed the field, ducked behind Nico Scott's crushing block on Christopher Cills and dashed 81 yards down the sideline for a touchdown.

Trailing 9-6 early in the fourth quarter, Hampton cut the deficit to one when long snapper Jorge Young, who had replaced injured starter Sha'ka Miller earlier in the game, sent a snap well over the head of punter Nicholas Adams. Adams tapped the ball out of the end zone for a safety.

The Pirates then received the ball on a free kick and drove 54 yards in nine plays, capped by Steve Robinson's 10-yard run around left end to give them a 15-9 lead.

When Morgan regained the lead late in the fourth, Hampton stayed poised, riding the arm and legs of Legree, who was 16-for-34 for 243 yards and rushed for 52 yards.

"We practice [two-minute drills] all the time," Pirates coach Donovan Rose said. "I said, 'Make sure you stay poised.' But we got the ball to the sidelines, and I was just glad to see them do that because all of our losses have basically been down to the end like this. Our offense had to win it, and they did it."

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