Howard Drops Season Finale To Delaware State
Howard Closes Season With Loss To
Dover, DE—Nov. 19—For the second straight week, the Howard University football team led at halftime, only to go scoreless in the second half and drop yet another decision. This time, the Bison (4-7 overall, 1-7 in the MEAC) succumbed to Delaware State, 23-7 in the regular season finale for both teams. It was the fourth straight loss for Howard and its second straight losing season.
The highly-rated Bison defense, which had been victimized by Bethune-Cookman’s Wyatt-Bone rushing attack for 330 yards last week, set out to atone itself against the Hornets, limiting the hosts to 51 yards total offense and only two field goals in the first half.
The Howard offense, which has struggled most of the season, did not fare much better as it was able to manage only 11 TOTAL yards and three first downs, all of which came by way of penalties.
But the special teams unit, which was maligned early in the season for its play, but has played well of late, gave the Bison a shot in the arm when sophomore Lawrence Hellams broke through cleanly and blocked a punt by DSU’s Erik Contos. Geoffrey Pope picked it up and returned it 20 yards for a score with no time left in the first half. Noam Dror’s PAT gave Howard a 7-6 lead, but more importantly some seeming momentum.
But ‘Old Mo’ swung in the other direction, much the same as it had with B-CC the week before when the SWildcats reeled off 28 straight points to start the second half en route to a 45-16 victory. The Hornets (7-4 overall, 6-2 in the MEAC) followed the script and went 66 yards on 9 plays on their first possession to take the lead for good at 13-7.
Howard turned the ball over on its next possession deep in its own territory, but the stalwart defense, which played well all day, forced a DSU field goal by Peter Gaertner. The lead was only 16-7 Delaware State, but it seemed much larger as the swarming Hornets’ defense dominated, picking off threw interceptions and sacking the Howard QBs six times. On the day, the Bison managed only 40 yards total offense, the lowest offensive output of the season.
DSU added some insurance points when Freddie Middlebrooks took a Vashon Winton pass and weaved his way 36 yards for the game’s final score.
The loss overshadowed the efforts of the defense which limited DSU to only 63 yards rushing. Junior linebacker Timothy Lockett (12 tackles, a sack), junior defensive tackle Edwin Piner (8 tackles, 2.5 for losses), senior defensive end Michael Brown (6 tackles, a sack) and senior defensive tackle Jesse Hayes (5 tackles, 1.5 for losses) all played well in defeat.
But it was the play of senior All-American safety Antoine Bethea that created much discussion by the media during the game. Bethea finished with 6 tackles, two of which saved potential touchdowns or long gains and two interceptions, both of which stopped drives deep in Howard territory.