For the first time since 2015 Morgan State was able to give their fans something to cheer about by getting a win in their home opener. Behind a strong defensive effort and an offense that got in gea for the first time this season, Morgan State was able to get their fists win of the season, 24-9, over Sacred Heart.
Sacred Heart got to an abysmal start with quarterback Marquez McCray’s pass picked off by Carl Decius on their first offensive play, setting up the Morgan State offense at the SHU 36 yard line. The drive stalled and the Bears had to settle for a Beckett Leary 20-yard field goal to give Morgan State a 3-0 just 2:26 into the contest.
The teams exchanged punts for the better part of the remainder of the quarter until Morgan State embarked on a 13-play, 73 yard drive that spilled into the second quarter but found the end zone on Duce Taylor’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Avery Jones to put Morgan up 10-0.
Sacred Heart would break the seal on their side of the score board when Tyreke Brown blocked a Morgan State punt ( a harbinger of things to come for that unit on the day) for a safety to make it a 10-2 game.
After a Sam Renzi missed forty-yard field goal attempt, the teams would again exchange punt, including a 9-yard beauty from Morgan State, continuing their day of special teams excellences as the Bears took a, 10-2 lead into the half.
Following a drive that saw Sacred Heart face a 4th and 32, Morgan state needed just six plays on a drive, that was aided by three defensive pass interference penalties, to find paydirt when Jabriel Johnson got in on a three-yard run to push the Morgan State lead to 17-3.
On the subsequent Pioneer drive, the Morgan State Defense stood tall, denying Sacred Heart on 4th and 1, giving the ball back to Duce Taylor and the Morgan State offense. Andre Crawley’s 21-yard reception an 3rd and 7 kept the drive alive and two plays later the Bears got in the endzone for the third time on the afternoon equalling their total from the first two games combined, when Alphonso Graham nailed in a 13-yard scoring reception to extend the Morgan State advantage to 24-2.
Morgan State started off the fourth quarter with an ill-advised pass from Taylor that was easily intercepted by John Wood. Five plays later the Pioneers’ offense would get the end zone not only fdo the game, but the season via a 32-yard McCray touchdown pass to Troy Holland to bring the score to its final count of 24-9.
The win evens the series at one apiece; the Pioneers defected the Bears 21-7 in their first meeting last season.
Next up for Morgan St.is a bye-week followed by playing host to Virginia University of Lynchburg. Kickoff is scheduled for noon EST.