Morgan State Shuts Out Howard
Baltimore, MD—October 15—Byron Selby connected with Rodrick Wolfe for a 53-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to lead Morgan State to a 7-0 win over Howard University in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game at Earl C. Banks Field before 14,005.
The win gave the Bears (2-5, 1-3 in the MEAC) their first shutout since 2001 against Savannah State.
The Bison (3-3, 0-3 in the MEAC) came into the game with a two-game win streak and a national ranking on defense, but it was the much-maligned Morgan State defense that was the difference, limiting the Bison to a season-low 120 yards of total offense.
Howard squandered several scoring opportunities, but Morgan State was not able to take advantage until Selby found Wolfe alone at the Howard 23-yard. He zigzagged his way the final 30 yards to the end zone at the 8:43 mark of the fourth quarter.
The Bears’ defense came into game ranked Number 114 out of 116 teams in 1-AA, but with a spirited and concerted effort, was able to limit Howard to a season-low 48 net yards rushing and only 72 passing.
Quarterback Ronald Venters of Howard came into the game as the conference leader in passer with almost 200 yards per game, but he was limited to 3-of-22 passing, was sacked twice and was hit hard on several occasions. Venters was eventually knocked from the game with a wrist injury and never returned.
“We played great defense as team and they were not able to score,” said a relieved Morgan State Coach Donald Hill-Eley, who has been under fire for his team’s defensive problems. “Our game plan was to shut down the run first and not allow the play action to beat us. We pretty much accomplished that.”
Selby proved to be the difference for the Bears, leading all rushers with 78 yards on 15 caries and 128 yards passing and the game’s only TD. But the numbers do not really tell the story. Selby’s uncanny ability to break down the Bison defense on third down scrambles was the X factor.
“I thought we had a good game plan going in,” admitted Howard Coach Ray Petty. “But we just didn’t execute and they showed us some things we had not seen before.”
Darius Leak had an outstanding performance on defense for Morgan State, recording 8 tackles, 2.5 for losses and one of four sacks recorded on the day by the Bears.
Howard, on the other hand, played well enough to win, limiting the two-head attack of Jason Jackson and Sean Nelson to 74 total yards rushing between them and forcing three Morgan State turnovers.
But untimely penalties (10 for 61 yards) and the rejuvenated Bears’ defense thwarted several potential scoring drives.
Danual Pearce (11 tackles, 1.5 for losses), Edwin Piner (9 tackles, 1.5 sacks) and Antoine Bethea (6 tackles, an interception) played brilliantly in defeat.
GAME NOTES: The shutout was the first for Howard in 43 games, dating back to 2001 in a 7-0 overtime loss at Norfolk State where ironically, head coach Ray Petty was the defensive coordinator for the Spartans…The Bison are still without a field goal this season…Noam Dror missed from 35 yards, making him 0 for 5 on the season…Howard was all but eliminated from title contention with this loss…the Bison will try to get their first conference win of the season when they host the rival Aggies of North Carolina A&T for hoecoming next Saturday at 1 p.m. in Greene Stadium…the Bears travel to Dover, DE to take on the streaking Hornets of Delaware State at 1 p.m.