by Devon Ashby
The Morgan State Bears received their first conference loss on Saturday, conceding defeat to the visiting Hampton University Pirates 20-10 on homecoming weekend.
The Bears offense struggled tremendously, turning the ball over three times in the first half, including an intercepted pitch that Hampton took 93 yards for a score. They drove the ball on multiple occasions into the redzone, but turnovers, penalties and missed field goals cost them. “We couldn’t capitalize in the redzone,” running back Orlando Johnson said after the game. “We were in the redzone around eight times and couldn’t punch it in.”
Although an early 80-yard passing touchdown from the Pirates put the Bears down early, the defense played well. Sophomore defensive lineman Jai Franklin had a big interception in the first half that helped them gain some momentum and, at times, the defense picked up the slack for the offense and kept Morgan’s chances alive. However, they struggled with committing untimely penalties including an unsportsmanlike conduct call against junior defensive lineman Andrew Mitchell at the end of the first half that put Hampton in field goal range.
“There were turnovers in our hands and we didn’t get them; we just had to capitalize and turn the turnovers into points,” safety Peterson Janvier said. “We got too [re]laxed, and when you’re on top, everyone’s gunning for you.”
Next, the Bears will travel to Durham, NC, to take on North Carolina Central University. “We got this one stolen,” Janvier said, “but next week we’re going to prepare even more, come out hard and faster, take the coaching even more and let this be the last loss we get in the MEAC and continue rolling.”