Howard University continued their dominance of Morehouse College with a 27-16 victory over the Maroon Tigers in the 3rd annual AT&T Nation’s Football Classic in front of 17,012 at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC.
Bison junior quarterback Greg McGhee lit up the Morehouse defense with 242 yards passing and three touchdowns, while Howard’s defense also contributed by sacking the Morehouse quarterbacks nine times.
“This game is big,” said Howard head coach Ray Petty. “We wanted to come in and control the tempo of this game. Greg did an outstanding job. We looked good on defense and we were able to take advantage of that.”
Howard, which was coming off a tough 34-24 loss at Eastern Michigan to start the season, shook off a sluggish start before taking control of the contest late in the first half.
After both teams traded field goals in the opening frame, Howard erupted for 17 unanswered points in the second quarter, fueled by a pair of McGhee scoring passes to Anthony Philyaw for 20 yards and Matthew Colvin on a 27-yard strike. John Fleck added a 33-yard field goal to give the Bison a 20-3 advantage at the break.
Not to be outdone, Morehouse made things interesting in the second half, tallying a pair of touchdowns, including a nice hook-up between Maroon Tiger quarterback Joshua Harris and Brandon Sartine to cut it to 27-16.
The Bison defense, however, stood tall and sealed their sixth straight win over Morehouse since the rivalry between the two popular African-American colleges was revived in the first annual AT&T Nation’s Football Classic back in 2011.
Harris completed 18 of 31 for 193 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 78 yards in a losing effort for Morehouse (0-1).
“I think we’ll be okay as the season goes along”, said Morehouse head coach Rich Freeman. “I want to take my hat off to the Howard University football team and their coach.”
McGhee was named the game’s Most Valuable Player, accounting for 296 of Howard’s 342 yards of total offense.
“I had a lot of success today because of the offensive line,” said McGhee. “They gave me time to throw the ball and find the open gap. I definitely want to give a big shout out to those guys.”
The pregame and halftime festivities were highlighted by celebrity sightings throughout the stadium, including actress and Howard alum Wendy Raquel Robinson, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Grammy-nominated recording artist Ciara and LeToya Luckett of Centric’s “Culture List.”