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Morgan State rubs in first win over Florida A&M in 34 years

After snapping a 34-year victory drought against Florida A&M and winning their first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference road game, the players from Morgan State didn't know how to act.

Amid screams of joy, the Bears stomped on the FAMU logo at midfield, tore at the Rattler turf in the end zone and mockingly did the wave after their 24-20 victory Saturday.

Such a reaction isn't a surprise when you consider it was only Morgan's 15th victory since 1984, its first win against FAMU since 1965 and its first MEAC road win since joining the conference in 1985.

Morgan's joy was FAMU's pain. The Bears (2-6) left a demoralized team and a demoralized homecoming crowd of 30,858 in their wake.

"We've only lost one game," Rattlers coach Billy Joe said. "It's devastating and the players are devastated. It may feel like we lost five games, but we've only lost one."

Bears quarterback Michael Moore, who threw for 276 yards and two touchdowns, knew all about the disappointment that enveloped the Rattlers (4-4) and their returning alumni. Delaware State spoiled Morgan's homecoming last week, 50-21.

"This was our homecoming," said Moore, whose 12 completions averaged 22.7 yards. "We messed our own homecoming up, so we had to mess theirs up."

Moore threw a 49-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter to give Morgan a 24-20 lead, its first of the game.

"Their middle has been open all year," Morgan coach Ricky Diggs said. "It's just no one tried to attack it."

The Rattlers, playing without injured quarterback Ray Domingo, had two possessions after the Bears went ahead. Quarterback Ernest Cooper, who was pulled at the beginning of the second half, returned for the final drive. But it ended on the Morgan 21-yard line when Cooper's toss to receiver Tony Bland sailed out of the end zone.

"Their 11 just outplayed our 11," Joe said. "It would have been real nice to have our best 11 in there, but we thought no matter what 11 we had in there we could beat Morgan State."

Cooper and backup Erick Hawkins combined for only 87 passing yards, and Hawkins completed only one pass for 9 yards.

The three Rattlers' touchdowns resulted from Bears' miscues. Morgan allowed a punt return for a touchdown, and two fumbles led to scoring drives of 23 and 13 yards.

The second drive gave FAMU a 20-10 lead with 2:37 remaining in the third quarter, but the extra point was blocked.

"We thought we had those problems (with the extra point) sewn up because it wasn't a problem against South Carolina State last week," Joe said. "But we returned back to our ugly ways in the blocking today."

The Bears spotted FAMU a 14-0 first-quarter lead.

Jay Young's 71-yard punt return at 13:52 of the first quarter got FAMU on the scoreboard. Morgan fumbled on its next possession and the Rattlers scored on a 10-yard run.

Using a spread formation, Morgan began to move the ball after its first two drives failed to produce a first down. Moore sparked the offense, throwing a 54-yard pass to D'Anthony Cameron to make the score 14-10 at the 5:39 mark of the first half.

UCF stifles Liberty

LYNCHBURG, Va. _ Darrin Hinshaw threw for two scores and ran for two more as Central Florida scored 21 points in the second quarter en route to a 49-24 victory over Liberty. Hinshaw was 24 of 36 for 387 yards and scored on a pair of 1-yard plunges. Central Florida (6-3)had 600 yards of offense, while Liberty (3-5) totaled 408.

After the Flames scored on a 1-yard pass in the first quarter, Central Florida ran off 28 unanswered points. Hinshaw scored on a 1-yard run, hit Todd Cleveland on a 26-yard TD pass and hooked up with Cleveland again for a 14-yarder in the second quarter.

_ AP contributed to this report.

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