Howard Ends Streak With Win Over Savannah State
Savannah, Ga---October 1---Greg McGhee provided the offense, throwing for three touchdowns and running for another and the defense posted its second straight dominating performance to lift Howard to a 34-14 win over Savannah State University in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game at T.A. Wright Stadium. The win snapped a 29-game conference losing streak for the Bison (2-3 overall, 1-2 in the MEAC) dating back to 2007.
The game began with a lot excitement for the Tigers (1-4 overall, 1-1 in the MEAC), who were
playing at their newly renovated stadium for the first time this season. The pre-game was highlighted by the coin toss from former SSU standout and recent Hall of Fame inductee Shannon Sharpe who gave an inspiring speech to the team and fans in the pre-game ceremonies.
Following some early anxiety and jitters from both teams, the Tigers finally settled in when they
drew first blood following a Bison turnover. Alfred Defillippis found Darren Hunter from 15 yards out to give SSU a 7-0 lead with four seconds left in the first quarter.
From there, McGhee and his mates changed the tone of the game. The freshman from Pittsburgh
found Willie Carter on the Bison's next possession on a 69-yard bomb to tie the score at 7-7 with 14:49 left in the second quarter.
The defense, which continues to improve, started to dominate and got the ball back to McGhee
a little more than a minute later and he rewarded them with a 23-yard hookup to Carter that gave Howard the lead for good at 14-7.
The Bison defense, led by senior defensive end Sackie Kerkulah, continued its dominance.
Kerkulah recorded a career-high of 4.5 sacks and had the SSU quarterbacks trying to escape his pressure all night long.
Two possessions later, McGhee threw his third TD pass of the game, this time to red-shirt
sophomore Clayton Gidron from 30 yards out to give the Bison 20-7 cushion at the half.
But the Tigers, who had recorded their first MEAC victory the previous week against North
Carolina Central, came out inspired to start the second half. The defense forced three and outs and two turnovers, but the Howard defense continued to keep the Tigers out of the end zone and stymied their attempts to move the ball.
With the game still hanging in the balance, McGhee made the play that pretty much sealed the
deal and sent the Tiger fans to the exit.
Using some deft ballhandling, the freshman signal caller used a sleight of hand to fool the SSU
defenders with a fake handoff to the running back, found a seam in the defense, made a slick move to get free and then raced 57 yards for the first rushing TD of his budding career.
With the comfortable lead, Howard went exclusively to its running game to milk the clock.
Andra Williams scored on a 67-yard TD to close out the scoring for Howard and SSU added a late score on a 41-yard TD pass from Antonio Bostick to Thomas Alakan for the game last points.
McGhee completed 11 of 17 for 152 yards and the three TD passes and added 40 yards on five
carries, including the career-best 57-yard TD run.
Terrance Leffall justed missed his second straight 100-yard rushing effort as he finished with 98
on 22 carries. Aquanius Freeman chipped in with 38 yards on seven carries and Williams added 67 yards to help Howard rush for a season-high 224 yards.
NEXT UP: Howard completes its three-week road swing when it travels to Tallahassee, FL to take on the Rattlers of Florida A&M next Saturday at 3 pm while Savannah State takes its show on the road where it will play the Bears of Morgan State next Saturday at 1 pm.