Courtesy of MSU Athletic Communications
BALTIMORE, Md. (Oct. 29, 2022) — Alfonzo Graham ran for 123 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, the defense added three TDs and Morgan scored the final 24 points on their way to a historic 41-14 win over South Carolina State on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Hughes Stadium.
With the win, the Bears snapped a 3-game losing streak and defeated the Bulldogs for the first time since Nov. 15, 2014 when Morgan won a 24-21 decision at Hughes Stadium. It also marked the most points ever scored by the Bears against SCSU in the series.
The contest also held historical significance for Damon Wilson who recorded his first conference win as Morgan’s head coach.
Morgan (3-5, 1-2) finished the game with 328 total offensive yards, including 190 yards on the ground. The Bears limited SCSU to 250 yards on the day (95 rushing, 155 passing).
Duce Taylor, who was making his first start of the season, completed 7 of 25 passes for 138 yards, including two interceptions and a rushing touchdown.
Taylor’s top target in the game was Daymond Hamler, who finished the game with three catches for 38 yards.
Morgan’s stout defense was led by linebacker Erick Hunter, defensive backs Jordan Johnson and Jordan Toles who finished with five tackles apiece.
Morgan’s defense made the first big play of the day when Jordan Toles stripped wideout Shaquan Davis to end the Bulldog’s second possession of the day. The Bears cashed in 5-plays later when Taylor lowered his shoulder and plowed into the end zone for a 2-yard TD run. The extra point by Beckett Leary gave the Bears an early 7-0 lead with 6:04 remaining in the first quarter.
The Bears came up with their second turnover of the quarter when Kendrell Flowers (14 carries, 31 yds) was hit by Jay Wooden and coughed up the ball near midfield. The Bears capitalized with a 28-yard field goal by Leary to go up 10-0 with 14:58 remaining in the second quarter.
Morgan extended to a 17-0 (9:36) lead when Alfonzo Graham bounced outside and turned the corner for an 8-yard TD to cap a 3-play, 25 yard drive.
SCSU got on the scoreboard after Morgan’s first miscue of the day, when Taylor’s pass was intercepted by Duane Nichols and returned 57-yards for a touchdown. Tyrece Nick capped a 9-play, 63-yard drive with a 1-yard rushing touchdown to trim the Bears lead to 17-14 at halftime.
It’s as close as the Bulldogs would be for the rest of the contest.
The teams played to a stalemate in the third quarter, however the Bears absolutely dominated the final quarter.
Leary started off the fourth quarter scoring with a 19-yard field goal, finishing a 10-play, 43-yard drive with 14:02 to play. Jay-Veyon Morton picked off Corey Fields and returned it 41-yards for a score to extend the lead to 27-14 (12:37).
Graham scored his eighth touchdown (7 rushing) of the season when he broke free for a 35-yard touchdown run, giving Morgan a 34-14 lead with 10:00 remaining.
Kaleb Coleman punctuated the win for the Bears when he recovered a fumble and raced 36-yards for a score that gave Morgan its final advantage of 41-14.