Morgan State came close to winning a share of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) title this year, but head coach Donald Hill-Eley will enter the offseason knowing his team failed to achieve a winning record.

MSU fell, 42-18, at Hampton University in a game that knocked Morgan State down to a 5-6 overall record, 4-4 in the MEAC. The loss marks the second straight year Morgan State has finished below .500, and the sixth time in the past 10 years.

The Bears trailed 7-3 at halftime, before they were decimated in the third quarter for the third game in a row. Hampton outscored the Bears 14-0 in the third quarter behind the play of backup quarterback Travis Champion. Champion threw a pair of touchdowns, including a 33-yard touchdown strike to Taurean Durham to give the Pirates a 21-3 lead at the end of the quarter.

Hampton’s freshman quarterback duo of Travis Champion and Bradford Hudson were solid, as Champion completed 13-of-17 passes for 192 yards and tossed three touchdowns, while Hudson was 6-of-13 for 59 yards and threw a touchdown.

“Offensively we moved the ball but we made too many crazy mistakes,” Hill-Eley said.

“During the first half we really didn’t have any offense. We had a couple of scores that we left out on the field. We got down in the red-zone and threw an interception and we got in the red zone and jumped offside. We settled down in the second half and got some plays going, but you have to win as a team. Once we picked up on offense in the second half, then the defense dropped off. We just didn’t get a collective effort today.”

MSU posted 311 total yards on offense, while the Pirates finished with 405. Nonetheless, Hill praised the play of his talented young players this season.

“With all the injuries that we’ve had this season, from both tailbacks going down, to our center going down to playing a freshman center, freshman quarterback and freshman tailback—I’m just glad those kids stepped up to the challenge, because it could’ve been a lot worse,” he said.


Leonard Haynes IV

Special to the AFRO