Morgan’s football team loses 27-14 to Saint Francis, remains winless

The Bears are still in search of their first victory of the season after losing to the Red Flash Saturday.


Kelia Briscoe

Morgan sophomore running back Jabriel Johnson rushed for 106 yards in his team’s 27-14 loss on Saturday.

Tariq Turner, Sports Editor

On Saturday, the Morgan State Bears (0-4) were defeated 27-14 by the Saint Francis Red Flash (2-3) in Hughes Stadium.

Morgan head coach Tyrone Wheatley attributed his team committing too many mental errors to their loss.

“We can’t continue to make mental mistakes on simple things,” Wheatley said after the game.

At the beginning of the game, Morgan’s prospects of winning looked positive.

Led by quarterback Neil Boudreau, Morgan picked up four first downs on their first two possessions while Saint Francis only had one.

With 14:40 left in the second quarter, Morgan had a 1st and 10 on their own 48-yard line when Boudreau aired out a 30-yard pass to wide receiver Wesley Wolfolk, giving Morgan the ball at Saint Francis’ 22-yard line.

In the next play, Morgan running back Jabriel Johnson rushed for three yards giving Morgan their first red zone opportunity of the day.

However, their time in the red zone was short-lived.

On the next play, Boudreau was sacked by linebacker Yosuke Sagano for a loss of six yards. Boudreau also fumbled the ball on the play, but it was recovered by Morgan.

Morgan then had a delay of game penalty which pushed them back five more yards.

On 3rd and 18 from Saint Francis’ 30-yard line, Boudreau threw an incomplete pass after being rushed.

On 4th and 18, Morgan kicker Kluivert Akubuo missed a 47-yard field goal attempt wide left.

The Bears’ mistakes persisted on Saint Francis’ third possession of the game.

With 11:10 left in the second quarter, Saint Francis faced a 2nd and 12 on their own 28-yard line.

Quarterback Justin Sliwoski rushed for four yards to Saint Francis’ own 32-yard line before being illegally hit by Morgan linebacker Erick Hunter.

A personal foul penalty was called on Hunter and Saint Francis was awarded the ball on their own 47-yard line.

A few plays later, Saint Francis faced a 3rd and 7 on the 50-yard line, but they were given five free yards after Morgan committed an offside penalty.

Silwoski made Morgan pay after he capped off Saint Francis’ 11 play, 70-yard drive with a 23-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kahtero Summers.

After Saint Francis kicker Alex Schmoke made the extra point, the Red Flash led 7-0.

Morgan responded by scoring a touchdown on their next possession.

Running back Romello Kimbrough capped off a 13 play, 82-yard drive with a two-yard rushing touchdown.

Akubuo’s successful extra point tied the game at 7.

At halftime, the score was 7-7, and there was a sense of optimism within Morgan’s home crowd that the team would earn their first win of the season.

But, Saint Francis dominated the second half.

Excluding the final play of the game when Sliwoski executed a quarterback kneel, Saint Francis had five possessions in the second half and scored on the first four.

“There were a lot of missed assignments,” said Morgan linebacker Lawrence Richardson.

The Red Flash began the second half with the football.

With 12:30 left in the third quarter, Saint Francis faced a 3rd and 7 on Morgan’s 37-yard line but an offside penalty on Morgan’s defensive lineman Marcus Coleman gave them a 3rd and 2 on Morgan’s 32-yard line.

Saint Francis converted the third down after running back Lovell Armstead rushed for four yards.

Five plays later, Schmoke made a 47-yard field goal giving the Red Flash a 10-7 lead.

With 10:32 left in the third quarter, Morgan began their first possession of the second half. The possession started off encouraging after Johnson had a 44-yard run on the first play.

“It was an inside zone play,” Johnson said. “I just came around the second hole and I just hit it.”

Morgan did not pick up another first down on the drive so they settled for a 46-yard field goal attempt by Akubuo with 8:12 remaining in the third quarter.

Akubuo’s field goal attempt was blocked by Saint Francis safety Ray Crittenden keeping the score at 10-7.

The Red Flash began their sixth possession on their own 34-yard line with 8:36 left in the third quarter.

With 6:34 remaining in the quarter, Saint Francis had a 1st and 10 on Morgan’s 47-yard line, and Silwoski rushed for 45 yards to Morgan’s three-yard line.

Two plays later, Sliwoski threw a three-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tate Myers. Schmoke’s extra point extended the Red Flash’s lead to 17-7.

Morgan’s next possession ended in a three and out.

After Morgan’s three and out, Saint Francis began their third possession of the half on Morgan’s 48-yard line with 3:59 remaining in the quarter.

Saint Francis only needed two plays to score a touchdown.

On the first play, the Red Flash perfectly executed a play-action pass which resulted in Silwoski connecting with wide receiver Brandan Lisenby on a wide open 45-yard pass.

The next play, Armstead scored a three-yard rushing touchdown. Schmoke’s extra point made the score 24-7.

Morgan’s next possession, which lasted 4:34, consisted of 10 plays for 35 yards and ended in a punt.

Following Morgan’s punt, Saint Francis began their first possession of the fourth quarter on their own 10-yard line. Their possession consisted of 15 plays, 84 yards, and ended with a successful 23-yard field goal by Schmoke.

Down 27-7, Morgan began their eighth drive of the game on their own 25-yard line with 7:05 left in the fourth quarter.

On the fourth play of the drive, Morgan had a 1st and 10 on their own 40-yard line when Boudreau completed a 41-yard pass to wide receiver Devon Mondy.

With 3:40 left in the game, Morgan faced a 4th and 10 when Boudreau completed a 19-yard touchdown pass to Wolfolk. Akubuo’s extra point made the score 27-14 but it was too late for the Bears.

Saint Francis began their second to last possession of the game on their own 22-yard line with 3:37 remaining.

They rushed the ball three times to milk the clock before punting.

Morgan began their final possession of the game on their own 39-yard line with 1:05 left.

With seven seconds remaining, Boudreau had a pass intended for wide receiver Andre Crawley intercepted by defensive back Terrell Smith.

Boudreau finished the game with 16 passing completions on 31 attempts for 206 yards and one interception.

“He put the ball in spots where our receivers could get them,” Wheatley said. “He threw the ball a lot better today.”

The Bears were led in rushing yards by Johnson who had 106 on 12 carries.

“Jabriel has put that work in and has done a great job of getting his body ready and his mind right,” Wheatley said.

Mondy led the team in receiving yards with 52 on two catches.

With the Bears’ 27-14 loss, they remain winless on the season as they gear up for conference play on Friday, Oct. 8.

The Bears will face their first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) opponent of the season on Oct. 8 when they face the Howard Bison (1-4) at 8 p.m. in Greene Stadium in Washington, D.C.