WASHINGTON, DC — William Parker rushed for a career-high 151 yards and Greg McGhee passed for two touchdowns to help Howard defeat Delaware State, 17-10 in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) game at Greene Stadium.
The win snapped a five-game losing streak for the Bison (2-7, 1-5 MEAC) and gave them their first conference win of the season while the Hornets (2-8, 2-4 MEAC) dropped their third straight.
Howard was coached by Associate Head Coach Ted White. Head Coach Gary Harrell had to serve a one-game suspension for a minor NCAA violation.
“Willie Parker did an excellent job,” said White. “The offensive line did an excellent job. With the inclement weather, we kind of knew it was going to be that type of game where we had to run the football and those guys responded. Hats off to Coach Blount and his Del State team. They brought it every single down. The score was not how we wanted it to be but we’re definitely happy about the win.”
Parker, who had sat out the last two games with an injury, set the tone early for the struggling Bison. It was his running that helped set up the game’s first score, a 25-yard field goal by John Fleck to end the first quarter.
Delaware State, which had gone scoreless through six quarters of play, was able to break the drought when Mitchell Ward capped off a 59-yard drive with a 33-yard field goal with just under 10 minutes left before the half.
Two possessions later, Howard was able to get the game’s first touchdown when McGhee found Richard Aiyegoro on a 52-yard run after the catch to make it 10-3 at the half.
Neither team was able to do much in the third quarter, but the Bison got a break early in the fourth quarter when Craig Johnson made his first career interception at the DSU 36, setting up a Howard score. It took the Bison seven plays to go the distance, but McGhee and Parker connected on a eight-yard pass that upped the margin to 17-3 early in the fourth.
The Hornets woke up briefly and put together their best drive of the day, an eight-play, 75-yard drive that was finished off with an 18-yard run by Jamaal Jackson with almost nine minutes still remaining.
But that was the way that it would end as Howard went to Parker, who helped them run out the clock and salt away the victory.
Parker averaged over five yards per carry on 29 lugs. McGhee played an efficient game, completing seven of 12 for 90 yards and the two TDs.
“I really felt like I needed to perform big,” said Parker, who set personal bests in carries and yards. “I feel I haven’t been able to help the team as much as I could have this season so I needed a game that was going to help clinch us a victory and God just allowed it to happen.”
Delaware State, which came into the game with one of the worst rushing attacks in the MEAC, got 107 yards on 21 carries from Jackson. Kelly was 16 of 26 for 184 yards, no TDs and an interception.
Devin Rollins, who came into the game leading the MEAC in tackles, and defensive lineman Tommie Boozer combined to give a strong effort for the Bison defense. Rollins collected eight tackles, a tackle for a loss and a sack while Boozer was credited with six tackles, 2.5 for losses and two sacks.
“The game plan coming in was to stop the pass,” said Rollins, a junior linebacker from Miami, FL, who is having his best season. “That is what they are known for, a passing team. It seemed like they went away from what they do best for a while. We were able to make some adjustments at halftime and I think that was the difference down the stretch.”
NEXT UP: The Hornets get a bye while the Bison will try to extend their win streak at Savannah State next Saturday at 6 pm.
Courtesy: Howard Athletics