City Sports Report

Morgan Prevails in the Battle of the Beltway but Several Students are the Real Winners by Marc “Razz” Rasbury

It might not get the same recognition as Michigan-Ohio State and the game was not even played in the respective school’s backyard. Nevertheless, when Morgan State and Howard lock horns on the field it is noteworthy regardless of where they play. But play the game in the country’s biggest market and in one of the premiere gridiron facilities and you catapult this already fierce rivalry to another level.

That is why close to 40,000 spectators made their way to the New Meadowlands Stadium on Saturday to watch these two Historically Black College and University powerhouses go at for Beltway Bragging Rights in the 38th Annual Whitney M Young Jr. Football Classic. Morgan scored two TDs in the second quarter and never looked back as they cruised to a 20-3 victory over their arch rivals.

Dickerson hit Chuka Okakpu on a 16-yard fade route for one TD and the defense provided the second as DB Reshaude Miller picked off Howard’s true freshman QB Causey Council’s passing attempt and took it to the house for another score. Morgan’s Kemar Scarlette connected on two FGs from 43 and 46 yards. After watching the Giants’ special team performance the next day, perhaps Jerry Reese should take a look at this kid.

Howard actually dominated statically. Morgan only had 4 first downs compared to 12 by Howard. Howard won the time of possession battle 35 minutes to 25. And the Bison had more total yards, 129 to 64. But as the Giants found out less than 24 hours later, you can not commit four turnovers and expect to win.

Win or lose, the Whitney M Young Classic is more than a game. Yes, it gives both schools get a chance to play in this area which becomes a nice recruitment tool down the road. The families and friends of some of the local players like Morgan’s Jerry Jones and Howard’s Jahmaine Rodriguez also get a chance to see them play. Morgan Coach Donald Hill-Eley indicated that this trip also provides valuable learning experiences.

“It gives our players a chance to travel, learning how to prepare for travel in a business like manner. What to wear, how to be on time for meetings, you know real life lessons,” the coach told reporters in the post-game press conference.

The Classic also offers an environment where not only the school’s alums can get together, but graduates of all of the HCBUs who reside in this area a chance to congregate as if they were back on their respective yards. It is like a Tri-State area collective black college alum homecoming.

All of the above-referenced reasons are worth putting on the game but main purpose of sponsoring the event is that it provides scholarships and resources for local area students who would not be able to attend college if it were not for funding that they receive from the New York Urban League. The scholarship recipients are the real winners regardless of what the scoreboard says.

We appreciate the game and the fabulous halftime show, but this is an event where all of society wins. Because if you could gather all of the scholarship winners over the past 38 years and look at their accomplishments, you would see this world is a better place as a result of the New York Urban League’s efforts.

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