In the final seconds of the Morgan State football team's 28-3 thumping of visiting Bowie State (0-2) at Hughes Stadium on Saturday, Lee Hull did his best to avoid what has become a tradition for rookie head coaches: a Gatorade bath.
Hull stood on the far end of the Bears (1-2) sideline while the offense marched downfield. He kept his eyes on assistant coaches who tried to distract him while a couple players grabbed the monstrous jug.
Eventually, Hull appeared to give in, walking back to the end of the field where the offense was putting the finishing touches on the victory. Then came the chilly deluge.
The scene was a welcome sight for a team that had lost its first two games of the season. Morgan State couldn't protect a 28-21 lead in the third quarter of an eventual 31-28 loss to Eastern Michigan on Aug. 30 and couldn't prevent a last-second touchdown in a 29-26 loss to Holy Cross last Saturday.
Hull acknowledged the relief he felt after the team's first win of the season, saying: "It feels great because we could have won our first two games. So it's just great to get the monkey off your back and get that first win. Now we can move on. The pressure is off of us."
The victory sets the Bears up for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference portion of their schedule, which begins Saturday against Howard (1-2) in the New York Urban League Classic at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
"It gives us a lot of momentum," senior quarterback Robert Council said. "Now we've got a win, so now we feel like we can beat everybody. So we feel good. We're more comfortable and we're ready."
Senior inside linebacker Cody Acker emphasized that the win is especially good for team morale.
"I think this game, more so than giving us momentum, gets us tighter as a group," he said. "We are buying into what's going on and how successful we can be."