Morgan State logo

For a moment Saturday, football was fun for the Morgan State fans. When the Bears' Will King raced 88 yards with the second-half kickoff at Hughes Stadium, folks looked up from their smart phones and cheered. A minute later, quarterback Chris Andrews scrambled 17 yards for a score and Morgan State crept to within 20-10 of Bethune-Cookman, the four-time defending Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion.

End of rally. Bethune-Cookman scored three more touchdowns to win, 41-10.


It was the fourth straight defeat for the Bears (2-6, 2-4 MEAC), who found yet more ways to lose. Two ugly punts that went a total of 33 yards. Three face-mask penalties. A total of 32 yards rushing, most of that near the end when all was lost. For the day, Morgan State averaged 1.1 yards per carry. The reason, in part, was because the Bears changed their offensive line coach at midseason, players said.

"We're putting in new schemes and simplifying the offense to make plays and get wins," guard Matthew Thompson (Perry Hall) said. "Offensively, we have good chemistry — we've just got to keep pounding the ball. There's light at the end of this tunnel; we're always one block away from breaking a big run."

Afterward, the loss weighed heavy on Andrews, a graduate student and transfer who stepped in to lead Morgan State this season. The quarterback leaned against the wall outside the locker room, a butterfly bandage on his banged-up face. Never mind his touchdown run, he said, or the fact that it marked the first time this year that the Bears have scored a touchdown in the third quarter.

"We shouldn't be losing like this," Andrews said. "We shouldn't be 2-6; we should have two losses, at most. We're just missing it by little things. We keep shooting ourselves in the foot. Something different has happened in every single game, but it's always something we can fix. We've got to make it right."

Bethune-Cookman (3-5, 335), beset by injuries for the first half of the season, stormed out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. A 24-yard field goal by Alex Raya made it 10-3 before the Wildcats — aided by a 17-yard Morgan State punt — drove 45 yards for a touchdown. They added a 25-yard field goal with seven seconds left to lead 20-3 at halftime.

King's 88-yard return to start the third quarter juiced the Bears.

"We talked at halftime about how, in the third quarter, we'd only scored one field goal all season," said King, a walk-on from Perry Hall. "Coach came up to me and said, 'Let's make something happen.' I tried [for a touchdown] but I got caught. I'm just glad [Andrews] then made it in."

That was all for Morgan State

"There is no easy answer for success," interim coach Fred Farrier said. "We made mistakes and we'll continue to clean that up. Three face-mask penalties is unacceptable; we'll address that at practice. There's no excuse for our [lack of a] ground game — we've got to find a way to scheme that up."

And the punting?

"Two weeks ago, Raya was shanking punts, so we made a change [to Chris Clack Jr.]," Farrier said. "Now, he takes his turn shanking them. We're not going to have punting tryouts at practice, but we'll try to coach these guys to make them better.

"The biggest key to solving the punting issue is to move the football, so we don't have to punt."

Recommended on Baltimore Sun