Rain, rain go away: Delaware State vs. Morgan State 1st Half
Dover — Stupid rain.
That’s about all there is to say about today’s game in Dover with the Delaware State Hornets (2-5) taking on the Morgan State Bears (4-3). The rain and wind has severely hindered the normally vibrant DSU homecoming game as only a few brave souls in the stands and the Approaching Storm marching band have braved the elements for this one.
Stinks because homecoming at DSU is normally a very fun affair with the stands packed and the grills fired up in the parking lots. I was at last year’s homecoming contest and the atmosphere was electric.
Anyway, the Hornets are looking for a few things out of this game. First, they’ll be looking to stop a five-game losing streak that has seen DSU outscored 228-52. The Hornet defense has not given up less than 34 points during the streak.
On offense, the Hornets have struggled mightily to run the ball and have had to ride the arm of Nick Elko to provide points. Unfortunately, with the wind and the rain, passing might be difficult.
Making things even more difficult for DSU is they will be playing today without seniors Darius Jackson, Tavis Tabb, Darrell Brown and Brandon Harvey, as well as starting tackle Nail Muradymov. All five players were suspended for an unspecified violation of team rules.
Second, DSU will be looking to get some revenge on a Morgan State team that beat them with a last-minute touchdown pass last October in Baltimore.
Neither team looks like it wants to try passing as both teams have stuck to the ground on their first two possessions. Morgan State has had a little more success but has consistently bogged down at the DSU 35-yard line.
Punting looks like it will be an adventure. DSU’s Marco Kano’s first two punts have been into the wind and have been duds. His second kick went 6 yards.
One of the guys in the box pointed out that DSU seems to be biding its time until they have the wind at their backs and I agree. It just goes to prove Bill Parcells’ point that the biggest weather factor in any game is wind.
The last play of the first quarter was our first big play of the game as Travis Davidson ran around right tackle for a 25 yard gain. Things will get tougher for the Bears now though as they have to go into the wind.
Davidson seems to be engendering a lot of frustration from the Morgan coaching staff in the next room. He’s kind of an upright runner and the coaches are losing patience with Davidson trying to bounce everything outside for the big play. Mind you, the Bears coaches say it in more colorful language than that.
The Hornets might need to start putting the ball in the air this quarter. They gained only 2 yards of offense in the 1st quarter and went three-and-out on their first drive of the second quarter. The DSU offense needs to do something because the defense is doing its part.
Let it be said we had our first pass with 6:30 left in the second quarter: a Seth Higgins to Jorge Young completion on 4th-and-5. That play was soon followed by a Tracy Martin 13-yard run to set up the game’s first touchdown: a Martin 1-yard plunge. The Bears tried to go for two and failed, giving Morgan State a 6-0 lead with 4:43 left in a fast-moving first half.
After throwing the first pass, Morgan State got the game’s first break as the Bears pooch-kicked it high. DSU’s Ernest Adjei failed to field the ball clean and Morgan recovered.
The Hornets defense held though and forced a punt by Nicholas Addams that went in the air, got caught in the wind and boomerang-ed backwards for a net punt of ONE yard. In case I didn’t say it before, the wind is fierce out here, even if the sun has poked through.
The Delaware State offense, which only has 6 – repeat, 6 – yards this half, turned the ball over when Elko fumbled the snap. The Bears ran out the clock to end a first half that took under an hour to play. This game may be a sloppy, plodding mess to watch but at least its been fast-moving. Back soon with the second half.