Big First Quarter Helps Morgan Beat NC Central

Seth Higgins helped Morgan State jump out to a big first-half lead against NC Central. 

It was homecoming for North Carolina Central, but Morgan State quickly made itself at home in Durham. Morgan scored three first-quarter touchdowns and used a strong rushing attack to preserve the lead, picking up a 34-22 win at O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium on Saturday to hand NCCU its third-straight home loss.

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The first quarter belong to Morgan State, specifically quarterback Seth Higgins. Higgins completed five of his eight pass attempts, including a 27-yard touchdown pass to Graylin Harrison before being sidelined with an injury late in the second quarter. He also made plays with his feet, carrying the ball nine times for 55 yards and a touchdown. His pass to Harrison just as the first quarter ended put NCCU in a hole it would never climb out of.

// NCCU showed signs of life in the second quarter, scoring on a run by quarterback Jordan Reid, and an Oleg Parent field goal to cut Morgan’s lead to 24-10 at halftime.

Morgan sapped NCCU’s momentum in the second half by sticking with the run, chewing up the clock and keeping its defense fresh. MSU added a field goal and a Robert Council touchdown run to take a 34-10 lead early in the fourth quarter.

As he has all season, Adrian Wilkins provided a spark on special teams, returning the ensuing kickoff 91 yards to cut the deficit to 34-16. But the PAT was blocked, pretty much summing up the day for the Eagles.

NCCU struggled offensively for much of the game, especially on the ground, as it gained just 44 yards on the day.

Passing didn’t work much better for the Eagles, as starter Jordan Reid threw two interceptions before being replaced by Malcolm Bell in the fourth quarter. Bell went 6 for 12, including a five-yard pass to DeMario Johnson for the final margin.

Morgan State improves to 2-5 on the year, picking up its second win in three games. NCCU drops to 3-5 overall, 1-3 in the MEAC.

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