Howard avenges '91 loss to Morgan with 68-21 win Bears suffer 6th consecutive defeat

Next for Morgan:



When: Saturday, 1:30 p.m., at Baltimore.

Record: 2-7.


Yesterday: Beat Norfolk State, 31-26, on J.D. Hall's 29-yard touchdown pass to John Jones with 1:36 left. Hall was 25 of 35 for 321 yards.

Last year: The Wildcats scored 23 points in the first quarter on the way to a 38-6 victory.

WASHINGTON -- A year ago, Morgan State upset Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference rival Howard to salvage some joy from an otherwise-winless season.

Yesterday, the Bison was ready at payback time.

Howard scored in practically every conceivable fashion, including two points on a blocked Morgan extra-point attempt, and steamrolled past the Bears, 68-21, in a 3 1/2 -hour marathon at Greene Stadium.

The game was reminiscent of Howard's consecutive routs in 1986-87 when it outscored Morgan 122-6.

"I'm sure last year played into it," said Bears coach Ricky Diggs. "But that shouldn't have made a difference. We just didn't come to play football. If we had, it wouldn't have been such a blowout."

Howard (6-4, 2-3 MEAC) intercepted a school record seven passes, recovered two fumbles, scored four touchdowns and the rare safety during a wild, 44-point second quarter and averaged 8 yards per offensive play.


"We had a few guys who thought about last year's game with them," said Bison coach Steve Wilson. "But we didn't harp on it. We've played some pretty good football all year."

The loss was the sixth straight for the Bears (2-8, 0-5 MEAC), who absorbed a 63-13 trouncing at Western Illinois a week earlier and have allowed an average of 44.5 points a game.

Diggs went to backup quarterback Maurice Chase after Howard had forged ahead 40-14 in the third period and his starter, Orlando Percell, had been picked off four times.

"Orlando wasn't playing very well. He just wasn't mentally into it," said Diggs. "In fact, I thought the team as a whole was flat."

The game changed tone dramatically after a first period that included seven punts, two turnovers, a blocked Morgan field goal attempt and a single score, a 38-yard field goal by Cedric Rawls after Howard capitalized on field position following the punt exchanges.

But all points broke loose in the second quarter, including the two by Tim Watson after he had blocked the PAT try following Morgan's first touchdown and raced 80 yards to the opposite end zone.


The Bears were within 19-14 with two minutes to play in the half, but Howard extended the lead to 19 on a 10-yard touchdown pass from its record-setting quarterback Jay (Sky) Walker to Gary (Flea) Harrell, and a gift score.

On the ensuing Morgan series, Ransom Miller tipped Percell's attempted pass and David Carrington intercepted and returned 16 yards to the Bear 3.

Rhadi Ferguson, a Bison freshman in his first start, banged in for the touchdown with 50 seconds to go in the half and the rout was underway.

Morgan accumulated 314 yards passing against the best pass defense in the MEAC, slightly above the average (296.8) that ranked it fourth in Division I-AA.

, Morgan State 0 14 0 7 -- 21

Howard 3 30 14 21 -- 68