Morgan State football coach Fred T. Farrier.
Morgan State football coach Fred T. Farrier. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

If you were looking for a beautifully played football game, you wouldn't have found it at Hughes Stadium at Morgan State on Saturday. Morgan State still got what it wanted.

The Bears used a timely offense and a bend-but-don't-break defense to defeat visiting Delaware State 20-17 in a rainy Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game.

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Morgan State (2-2, 2-0) overcome 13 penalties for 108 yards.

"At the end of the day it was a win," Morgan State coach Fred T Farrier said. "There were days when a win with all these mistakes would make me miserable, but we'll take this one."

Quarterback Chris Andrews completed 16 of 31 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns for Morgan State . Lamont Brown III led the Bears with 74 yards rushing.

Morgan got on the board first, using a six-play, 64-yard drive on its second possession to take the lead. The biggest play of the drive came on a first-and-10 at the Morgan 48-yard line, when Andrews hit Ricky Fisk in stride for a 44-yard completion to take the ball to the Hornets' 8-yard line. Three plays later, Andrews spotted Amonta Poteat open in the back of the end zone. After a missed extra point, Morgan led 6-0 with 7:38 left in the first quarter.

Delaware State (0-4, 0-1) responded on the next drive, using its ground game to take the lead. Running back Brycen Alleyne accounted for 22 of the 51 yards on the drive, but it was freshman Mike Waters who ran the ball in from the 1-yard line to tie the score with 2:09 left inthe first quarter. After a Wisdom Nzidee kick, the Hornets led 7-6. It was their first lead of the season.

Delaware State extended their lead to 10-6 on the next possession, when Nzidee made a 28-yard field goal with 12:35 left in the first quarter.

Even though the Morgan offense looked flat,the Bears began to put things together at the end of the half.

First, the Morgan defense stopped the Hornets on a fourth-and-1 at the Morgan State 48, and then the offense went to work. After two runs by Orlando Johnson gained a combined 27 yards, Andrews found Thomas Martin on a sideline route in the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown with 24.7 seconds left in the half. The Bears took a 14-10 lead on Dushon David's 2-point conversion run.

"It was a great way to go into the half," Andrews said. "We caught them in a defense we liked, and coach just made a great call, and we made the play. We just attacked them."

Morgan extended the lead late in the third quarter, when kicker Alex Raya hit a 35-yard field goal to bring the lead to 17-10 with 2:30 left in the quarter. He added another field goal on the Bears' next possession.

The Hornets made the game interesting. Delaware State mounted its longest drive of the game, going 20 plays and 89 yards to cut the lead to 20-17 when Aris Scott caught a Daniel Epperson pass from 6 yards out with 24.7 seconds remaining in the game.

Delaware State tried an onside kick, but the ball went out of bounds and the Bears ran out the clock for the win.

The Bears will now go on the road to Savannah State and to Hampton the next two weeks, and Andrews hopes they can build on their two-game winning streak.

"We're looking forward to it," Brown said of the challenge. "We have some things to work on, but we will get ready and prepare."

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