Junior kicker John Fleck nailed a game-winning field goal to help the Howard Bison edge the Hampton Pirates, 30-29, in comeback fashion on Nov. 22 at Greene Stadium in Washington, D.C., in the “battle of the real HU.” Fleck’s 17-yard field goal came with just 21 seconds left on the game clock, shortly following Hampton kicking its own field goal that pushed them ahead, 29-27, with three minutes left in the game.
Both Howard and Hampton battled, tooth and nail, with five score exchanges throughout the game. Howard took the first lead in the opening quarter with an 8-yard touchdown run by junior running back William Parker. But Hampton scored three unanswered touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 19-7 lead into halftime. Hampton extended its lead to 26-7 with another touchdown score in the third quarter before Howard finally began to make its comeback, scoring three consecutive touchdowns to reclaim the lead. That set up for the dramatic finish capped off by Fleck’s game-winning kick.
Howard was led by senior running back Aquanius Freeman with 102 rushing yards and two touchdowns; senior quarterback Greg McGhee also had a strong game on the ground, rushing for 97 yards and a touchdown. McGhee, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s (MEAC) leading passer, passed for a modest 157 yards with no touchdowns and an interception. He nevertheless had a high completion percentage in this game, connecting on 20-of-26 pass attempts. McGhee finished his season with a MEAC-best 2,388 passing yards.
Hampton freshman running back Eric Carter Jr. ran for a game-high 103 yards in the loss, and freshman quarterback Jerrell Antoine passed for 240 yards and two touchdowns, with three interceptions.
With its win Saturday, Howard (5-7 overall, 3-5 MEAC) successfully finished its season on a four-game winning streak, marking a huge turnout for the team after losing five straight games earlier during the year. Hampton finished 3-9 overall, 2-6 in the MEAC.