A week ago, Morgan State celebrated its first appearance in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. On Saturday, the party ended quickly.

The Bears could not keep up with No. 18 Richmond and finally succumbed to a 46-24 loss at E. Claiborne Robins Stadium in a first-round postseason game.


Morgan State (7-6) fell into a 22-0 deficit after the first quarter and couldn't catch the Spiders (9-4), who will meet No. 6 Coastal Carolina (11-1) in the second round.

The Bears were making their first appearance in the FCS playoffs against a Spiders program that had made eight trips to the FCS postseason, including winning the national championship in 2008.

Senior inside linebacker Cody Acker conceded that the day's significance caught up to some of the Morgan State players.

"I feel like we came out and were playing in the moment a little too much," said Acker, who finished with 12 tackles and 1½ for a loss. "We just had to settle down. This is the first time we've been here. So it's kind of a big deal for us, and we kind of let it be too big of a deal. I feel like once we settled down and just played our football, we were able to bounce back."

As abrupt as Saturday's end to the season was, the players and coaches can take some pride in their accomplishments. In coach Lee Hull's first season, the team captured a share of its first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title in 35 years and made its first trip to the playoffs.

That is what Hull will remember the most.

"I'm just proud of our guys," he said. "No one gave us a chance to be here, to win the MEAC. We were picked last, and that's just a testament to the guys we have, the character they have. They've fought all year long. We've been in some hard-fought games where we lost in the last seconds, and in the middle of the year, we started winning them. That's how we got here. I'm proud of our seniors. They laid down the foundation for the future for us. I think the future is bright. We've just got to build on this. We got here once, and they got a taste of it. So hopefully, they're hungry and they're ready to work and get back here."

Redshirt junior quarterback Moses Skillon is one of seven starters on offense and 14 overall who is poised to return next season, and he said the players should use this year as motivation for the future.

"Nobody really gave us anything," he said. "We came out every game and took what was ours. We had a great year. The seniors helped us out a lot. We've just got to come out and have another great year next year. That's the biggest part about it, just trying to do it again next year."