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Howard Trounces Morehouse in AT&T Classic

Special to Informer | , Julee O'Neal | 9/13/2011, 11:20 a.m.

Washington, DC- In front of a crowd of 18,409 people, the Howard University Bison (1-1) defeated the Morehouse College Tigers (1-1) in the first inaugural AT&T Nation's Football Classic Sat., Sept.10, at RFK Stadium.

AT&T donated $10,000 to both Howard and Morehouse to support students' education.

As the colors blue, white and maroon took their seats to cool off from the heat and long lines, live performances by well-known actor and hip-hop legend Marcel "Biz Markie" Hall and others entertained the crowd to "kick-off" a great game.

"This game has so much history and tradition behind it," said first-year Howard head coach Gary "Flea" Harrell.

D.C. native and neo-soul recording artist, Raheem Devaughn, sung the National Anthem and national recording artist, Alison Carney, followed with the African-American national anthem.

Photos by John E De Freitas {gallery}/mh-john{/gallery}

Photos by Donnamaria R. Jones {gallery}/11-09-09-nations-classic{/gallery}

Coach Harrell, who currently holds Howard's all-time record for career receptions in a game against Morehouse, earned his first NCAA career win. Howard's football motto, "Road to Redemption," helped them prevail against the rival, Morehouse, in a final score of 30-27.

"This team has been through so much in the past three years...this win was important for the team to be successful going into the [MEAC]," said Harrell. "I have a great staff...I believe in my staff and I let them coach."

Freshman quarterback, Gregg McGhee led the team with three touchdown passes and finished the game with 22-of-29 for 248 yards while adding another 46 yards on the ground. The Pittsburgh, Pa., native received the MVP award because of his outstanding performance.

"I was excited...[the MVP award] means a lot...it means I came out here and did my job," said McGhee.

In the first quarter, Morehouse threw the first punch when 6-5 senior, Derrick Hector caught an 18 yard pass from sophomore quarterback Donnay Ragland at the 7:42 mark.

However, Howard tied the score 7-7 when McGhee threw his first career, 39 yard, touchdown-pass to 6-3 senior, Willie Carter.

The Bison scored two more points to get their first lead of the game after the Maroon Tigers snapped the ball out of the end-zone safety, giving HU a 9-7 advantage.

In the final seconds of the first quarter, a turnover from HU gave Morehouse a 14-7 lead. The second quarter was quiet with neither team reaching the end zone.

Going into an exciting half-time performance, both Howard and Morehouse bands approached the field with old school and new school jams to appeal the crowd. Former B.E.T host of 106th & Park A.J Calloway, and Spellman graduate and former child-star actress, Keisha Pullman, kept the crowd on their feet to rock with the bands' performances.

Morehouse shook off their first-half jitters and capitalized on the intensity in the stadium. The Tigers quickly scored a touchdown escalating the score to 20-9 with 14 minutes left in the third quarter.

Howard found momentum from Morehouse turnovers when sophomore Cameron Alston caught an interception. From there, the Bison picked up their intensity. HU, however, had to do without the services of linebacker Keith Pough, who left the field for some minor cramping for the entire third quarter.

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