WASHINGTON, D C. - Howard University turned in another sterling performance, but six turnovers proved to be too much to overcome as Delaware State capitalized and edged the Bison, 10-6 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference regular season finale at Greene Stadium.
For the second straight week, Howard (1-10 overall, 0-8 in the MEAC) was able to hold an opponent in check, limiting the Hornets to 96 yards total offense in the first half. In the previous game against Bethune-Cookman, the Bison shut down the vaunted Wyatt-Bone offense and held it to one TD.
"Our defense was phenomenal over the last couple of weeks," noted Howard second year head coach Carey Bailey. "You can't ask for more from them. Our guys won't quit."
The Bison offense, which has struggled over the second half of the season, was able to put together a 13-play, 72-yard drive that consumed over six minutes and was capped off with a 2-yard pass from Floyd Haigler to Brandon Sherman. The two-point conversion failed and Howard led, 6-0 at the half.
"It was obvious going into the half that both teams weren't executing the basic things that you need to do to score points and stop people," said Delaware State Coach Al Lavan.
The Hornets (5-6 overall, 5-3 in the MEAC) changed quarterbacks at the half. Starter Vashon Winton, who had problems getting the offense untracked, gave way to Anthony Glaud, a red-shirt sophomore who is more of a passer.
The Bison defense gave Glaud much of the same that treatment that Winton received. But he was able to take advantage of a Bison turnover with a short drive that he finished off with a 15-yard TD pass to Erick Jones. Riley Flickinger's PAT kick gave Delaware State the lead at 7-6.
"We clearly weren't throwing the ball well," said Coach Al Lavan. "We really needed a change. Anthony came in and hit a few passes and moved us down the field."
Howard would have chances to regain the lead but each time it got something going, it would make a mistake.
"Our offense was anemic," lamented Coach Bailey. "You can't have six turnovers and punt as poorly as we did in the fourth quarter and expect to win the ball game. Our offense has not been good and I will address that. We only scored three touchdowns over the last three weeks." Howard finished the game with a season-low 160 yards of total offense while Patrick Wolff averaged 34 yards per punt.
Following still another Bison turnover, the Hornets were able to capitalize with a 28-yard field Flickinger that served as an insurance score. Howard still had a chance when the stout defense forced the Hornets to punt with two minutes left in the fourth quarter. But the Bison committed their sixth turnover of the game and with no timeouts left, Delaware State ran out the clock and handed Howard its seventh straight loss.
Offensively, senior running back Karlos Whittaker had his best day of the season with 95 yards on 31 carries but he fumbled twice. Haigler was limited to 13 of 29 passing for a season-low 67 yards.
Defensively, Endor Cooper (9 tackles, 1.5 for losses), Robert parker (10 tackles), Will Croner (7 tackles, an interception) and Sackie Kerkulah (5 tackles, a fumble recovery) all played well in defeat, holding the Hornets to 191 yards of total offense.
"This game showed that we are capable and we need to stay consistent," said Croner, who also played fullback and was a key to Whittaker's success with his blocking. "We need to become more consistent so we can keep moving forward."