For the third consecutive time since the AT&T Nation’s Football Classic was renewed in 2011, Morehouse College was defeated by Howard University in the college football rivalry between the two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 7.
Quarterback Greg McGhee passed for 242 yards and three touchdowns while adding 54 more yards on the ground to lead the Bison to a 27-16 win. Meanwhile, Howard’s defensive unit recorded nine sacks before a crowd of 17,012 at JFK Stadium.
The Bison now own a 24-10 all-time advantage over the Maroon Tigers in the annual event that ran from 1923-1997 before its 14-year hiatus.
In Saturday’s matchup, Morehouse jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but surrendered 27 straight points, before rallying for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to narrow the gap. The drive went 68 years in 13 plays before Morehouse had to settle for a 37-yard field goal by Hector Solis.
Despite constant pressure in which he was sacked seven times, Morehouse quarterback Joshua Harris completed 18-of-31 passes, for 193 yards and a touchdown. He also gained 78 yards rushing on 22 attempts. Lake McGuffie, a Hampton, Ga. native playing in his first Morehouse game, had a big day at the wideout position, hauling in four passes for 102 yards to lead all receivers.
But following Solis’ kick, the Bison (1-1) responded on their next possession when they countered with a 42-yard field goal by John Fleck that knotted the score at 3-3 at the end of the first quarter.
From there, the Howard defense began to harass the Morehouse quarterbacks while McGhee took advantage of the Tigers’ defense by stringing together three impressive drives. The first took six plays and resulted in a 20-yard strike in the corner of the endzone to freshman running back Anthony Philyaw. McGhee, a junior from Pittsburgh, Pa., came right back with another six-play drive, but it stalled and Howard had to settle for another 33-yard field goal by Fleck.
McGhee then closed out the half with a 27-yard pass to Matt Colvin that upped the margin to 20-3 at the half.
“It was a matter of tempo for us,” said McGhee. “Our controlling the tempo of the game was the key to us being successful. Once we got our rhythm, we were able to have some success.”
The Bison put the game out of reach when McGhee capped off another short trek with a 26-yard run and catch to Rodney Tyson midway through the third period.
The Maroon Tigers then made it interesting. Following a Bison turnover, Joshua Harris, after scrambling his way through and around Howard’sdefense, found Brandon Sartin on the nine-yard line for a touchdown to cut the deficit to 27-9 with 49 seconds left in the third quarter.
From there, it appeared that Morehouse seized the momentum. The Maroon Tigers put together decisive nine-play, 90-yard drive that was capped off with a three-yard run by Shelton Hamilton. That reduced the deficit to 27-16 with 10:06 still remaining in the game.
From there, Howard clapped down defensively and was able to claim victory.
ADW’s Deitra P. Johnson contributed to this report.