The Holy Cross Crusaders rushed for nearly 260 yards en route to a 51-24 victory over the Morgan State University Bears in the season opener for both schools on Sept. 3 in Baltimore.
Morgan State outplayed Holy Cross early in the game. The Bears led, 10-7, at the end of the first quarter thanks to a field goal by sophomore kicker Alex Raya and a 13-yard touchdown run by senior running back Orlando Johnson. The speedy Johnson finished with 71 rushing yards and scored another touchdown in the second quarter. But the Bears were outscored, 23-7, in the second quarter, giving Holy Cross a 30-17 lead at halftime.
The Crusaders scored two unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter to boost their lead to 44-17, far out of reach for Morgan State to attempt a comeback. Bears senior quarterback Chris Andrews tossed a 25-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Ladarious Spearman in the fourth quarter.
“It’s always tough to lose the first game of the season,” said Morgan State interim head coach Fred Farrier, who made his debut Saturday, according to MSU Sports Information. “There are some good things that we did. Some things we definitely have to clean up. We had way too many pre-snap penalties. There were too many unforced errors. We had way too many penalties to have a chance to beat a good football team.”
Running backs Diquan Walker and Gabe Guild rushed for 92 yards and 85 yards, respectively, leading the Crusaders’ ground attack. Holy Cross quarterback Peter Pujas led the game with 240 passing yards and three touchdown passes, but was also intercepted twice. MSU junior defensive back Eric Alvis Jr. and sophomore defensive back Darius Johnson both snagged interceptions on Pujas. But the Bears turned the ball over three times themselves, and also gave up a safety. They also missed a field goal and too many untimely penalties forced repeated punts.
The Bears (0-1) will now prepare for a road trip to Huntington, W.V. to take on Marshall University on Sept. 10.