BALTIMORE, Md. — Homecoming gave Morgan State a unique opportunity to make an impact on the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference football standings as they hosted the high-scoring North Carolina Central Eagles at Hughes Stadium.
Though Morgan State had lost three games by a total of seven points, they dealt the heartbreaking play to the Eagles this time around.
It required some major heroics as the Bears overcame a late 13-point deficit to defeat the Eagles 21-20 on Andrew King’s 15-yard touchdown pass from Robert Council with 32.4 seconds left in regulation.
“It was a great play, great catch and a great read,” said Morgan State head coach Lee Hull. “We knew they were playing man. Robert made a great read on it and Andrew made a great catch.”
“It was great,” said King. “I was surprised that I was so open out there. But it was pretty good.”
NCCU came off of a 48-35 victory @ S.C. State last week while Morgan enjoyed a week off before their homecoming tilt.
So the MSU defense knew they had a tall order on their hands coming into this game attempting to stop a potent NCCU offense. But the Bears found a way when it counted.
Council started off the scoring with a 15-yard touchdown run with 14:26 left in the second quarter, 50 seconds after defensive back Deadrick Jones recovered a muffed punt from NCCU’s Adrian Wilkins with 16 seconds left in the first quarter. That put Morgan State (4-3, 3-1 MEAC) ahead 7-0 after the Chris Moller extra point.
Council had a great game running the ball, recording 122 yards and a touchdown on 22 attempts.
The Eagles started to establish control as they scored 20 straight points.
Already trailing 7-3, NCCU struck paydirt on a 13-yard touchdown run from Deyonta Wright with 34.2 seconds left, pushing the Eagles ahead 10-7 with the Eric Fenton extra point. That was the halftime score.
NCCU (3-4, 2-1 MEAC) struck again late in the third quarter when quarterback Malcolm Bell completed an eight yard touchdown pass to Quentin Atkinson with 3:58 left in the third quarter to help the Eagles balloon the margin to 17-7.
Lastly, the Eagles’ Fenton converted a 29-yard field goal to build the lead to 20-7 with 12:42 left in the fourth quarter.
But Morgan State woke up all of a sudden and got back on the board on a flip from Council to Herb Walker Jr., who ran it in from four yards out with 9:03 remaining in the game. That helped Morgan State draw within 20-14.
The Bears’ defense got a few key stops in that fourth quarter to help set-up the big time comeback.
“These guy… I’m so proud of them,” Hull said. “We fought to the last whistle. We’re just glad the ball bounced (our) way once.”
Council’s takeaway from this game, “Never let it be in the other teams’ hands. Everything we do, we should do what we can do. We can make our corrections. I feel that nobody in the MEAC should stop us, running or passing.”