Sunday, September 25, 2016

Harrell runs Morgan State past Howard, 28-24

BALTIMORE, Maryland -- The game started fast and furious but it all came down to the last minute at Hughes Stadium on Saturday night.

Eric Harrell scored on a four yard touchdown run with 30 seconds left capping a 13-play drive to help lead the Morgan State Bears to a 28-24 victory over the Howard Bison. This was the Bears' first victory for interim head coach Fred T. Farrier and his squad.

For Harrell, it was his first ever touchdown for the Bears, which came at the perfect time.

"When coach called my number, I did what I had to do," said Harrell. "We did what we had to do as a team. O-Line, fullback made their blocks, wide receivers made their blocks. I just got in."

"We just said we're going to run it in," said Farrier. "I said we're either going to win or lose it running the ball. If we didn't, we were going to send in the field goal unit. Eric did a great job on that (touchdown run). That could've been OJ [Orlando Johnson], Lamont [Brown] or anybody. The offensive line got that touchdown for us."

It didn't take long for Morgan State (1-2, 1-0 MEAC) to get on the board. Chris Andrews threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Willie Gillus just 41 seconds into the game. The extra point was missed by Alex Raya. The Bears led 6-0.

Howard (0-4, 0-2 MEAC) answered the Bears with a one yard touchdown run by William Parker. The extra point was good, giving the Bison a 7-6 lead with 5:44 left.

The Bears roared back with Andrews connecting on a 51-yard touchdown pass to Ladarious Spearman who seemed to juggle the ball before securing it. Duchon Davis ran in the two-point conversion to give the Bears a 14-7 lead with 3:51 left in the first quarter.

On Howard's possession, MSU junior Jai Franklin forced and recovered a Kalen Johnson fumble at the Howard 32. Andrews made the Bison pay on the next play, connecting on a 32-yard touchdown pass to Ricky Fisk with 42.4 seconds left. The extra point by Raya extended the Bear advantage to 21-7.

Howard answered with a 34-yard field goal from Jordan Griggs with 4:35 left in the second quarter. That was Griggs' first ever kick made for the Bison on his first attempt. That cut the Morgan State advantage to 21-10, which would be the halftime score.

Howard struck first to begin the second half with a one yard touchdown run from Da'Vaun Johnson with 9:29 left in the third quarter. Robert Mercer caught the two-point conversion pass to further cut the MSU lead to 21-18.

After forcing a Bears three and out, Howard marched for 13 plays to the Morgan State 6 yard line. The defense forced Griggs to convert a field goal from 24 yards to tie the score at 21 with 8:07 left in regulation.

On the next Bear possession, it didn't take long for Howard's defense to strike again as Chris Andrews' pass was intercepted by David Lee at the Howard 37 with 8:02 remaining.

The Bison took nine plays to drive the ball inside the Morgan State red zone. Griggs came through again with a 35-yard field goal to put the Bison ahead 24-21 with four minutes left in the game.

The key to Morgan State's last drive was Andrews converting on a 4th down and 8 with a 10-yard run to the Bears' 43 yard line to keep their hopes alive. The offensive line stepped up huge on the Bears last drive.

"I love my O line," said Andrews. "I love them big guys. They gave me a lot of room to pass for our touchdowns and on that last drive for the runs we needed. So as long as we keep moving like this, I don't see who is going to be able to stop us. But we got to keep getting better."

Next week, the Bears host Delaware State at Hughes Stadium. Kickoff time is scheduled for 1 pm.




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