- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 24, 2002

Howard's turnaround season had a bittersweet ending yesterday as D.C. native William Ross gained 83 yards on 12 carries to lead Delaware State to a 14-7 victory over the Bison before 3,241 at Greene Stadium.
One year after enduring their worst record in a decade (2-9), the Bison finished 6-5 while going 4-4 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
"It was a roller-coaster ride," first-year coach Ray Petty said of the Bison's first winning season in four years. "The ending was disappointing, but any time you beat schools like Florida A&M;, South Carolina State and North Carolina A&T;, you know you have a good football team."
However, the Bison's improvement made no difference to Ross, who played high school ball at DeMatha.
"It feels good to come home and play in front of my aunts and cousins," he said. "They gave us the outside to work with, and we took it. After they stopped, we started going up the middle again."
One of Howard's 23 seniors, All-American linebacker Tracy White, finished his college career in solid fashion with 10 tackles (five solo) and an interception late in the third quarter.
"We didn't sleep on them," White said of the Bison's loss. "We were making mistakes and getting a lot of penalties. We played our worst game of the year."
Sophomore quarterback Marcus Moreno, subbing for injured Donald Clark, completed eight passes for 60 yards and a touchdown, but was forced to scramble from a pesky Delaware State defense all afternoon.
"Marcus handled the pressure well," coach Ray Petty said. "He made some good decisions today."
Despite the loss, the Bison had one positive note on the chilly afternoon. Junior running back Jay Colbert ran for 67 yards, one more than he needed to become the first back in 14 years to rush for 1,000 yards in a season for a MEAC team. He was only the fourth back in conference history to accomplish the feat.
"I wanted to send the seniors off with a win," Colbert said. "We really didn't step up today. I would have rather taken the win than the record."
After a defensive battle in the first quarter, Howard punter Vaughn Waters fumbled away the snap by Tralan Andrews. Delaware State (4-8, 2-6 MEAC) responded with a seven-play, 27-yard drive. with Andrew Blackston passing to Rashod Coleman for a 17-yard score and a 6-0 lead early in the second period.
The visitors scored again in the third quarter, with tight end Burditt Bridge barreling one yard for the TD. Blackston passed to Thomas Bolden for a two-point conversion that boosted the Hornets' lead to 14-0. The big play on the 80-yard drive was Coleman's 26-yard run on second-and-1 from the Howard 47.
The Bison got their only touchdown with 4:46 left in the game when Moreno threw a 3-yard pass to Kevin Simmonds. Moreno also racked up 86 yards on the ground.
Notes
Howard free safety Vontrae Long was ejected late in the second quarter for arguing with the officials after Delaware State took the early lead. The Hornets have won four straight over Howard. Clark tore his ACL in last weekend's loss at Bethune-Cookman and will be evaluated this week.


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