Howard Defense Stifles Buccaneers in 24-6 WinOctober 9, 2004
By CSU Sports Information
|CSU's leading rusher Travis Mays|
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Howard University came into Saturday’s game against Charleston Southern with one of the top defensive units in I-AA and stifled the Buccaneers offensively in a 24-6 victory at William H. Greene Stadium.
Howard (3-2) limited the Buccaneers to 310 total yards, putting constant pressure on quarterback Collin Drafts and limiting CSU to 101 yards on the ground on the day. Charleston Southern had their three-game winning streak snapped and falls to 3-2 on the season.
Howard’s defense boasts several NFL prospects, including All-American corner Ronald Bartell, drawing the attention of Houston Texans general manager Charlie Casserly, who attended the game for the sole purpose of scouting Bartell.
"We played an excellent defensive football team today," said CSU head coach Jay Mills. "They were well-coached, very disciplined and they controlled the line of scrimmage. I was impressed with them on film during the week and even more so today. We were never able to get into any kind of offensive rhythm today and most of that was due to their athleticism and talent."
Drafts, who was completing 65 percent of his passes coming into the game, completed 25-of-48 passes for 209 yards, spending most of his time on the run and throwing off balance.
"They’re the best defense we have seen, definitely the most athletic," said Drafts. "I can’t fault the offensive line at all. They fought very hard. We were just overmatched today. I was very impressed with their defense."
Charleston Southern’s defense, also ranked in the top 25 nationally in I-AA, also had a solid game. Tavares Shorter intercepted two passes inside the five-yard line to thwart two scoring drives. Howard’s first three scoring drives (two touchdowns, one field goal) totaled 84 yards. The final drive, late in the fourth quarter, was an 88-yard drive.
"I am extremely proud of the defensive effort today," said Mills. "We put them in some very tough situations and they saved us several times. Howard is one of the top running teams in I-AA and I thought we did a good job against them. The final stats are probably a little skewed because of the last drive but our defense kept us in the game."
Howard finished the game with 383 total yards and 216 yards rushing, with 88 yards coming on the final scoring drive of the game.
Howard took a 10-0 halftime lead, despite an overwhelming advantage in time of possession and field position.
After a scoreless first quarter, Howard drew first blood with a touchdown early in the second quarter when quarterback Marcus Moreno connected with Larry Duncan on a 15-yard pass with 12:20 to play in the period.
Later in the quarter, Drafts was hit as he was trying to pitch to Travis Mays on an option with Howard recovering on the CSU 17. The Buccaneers defense held, forcing a 30-yard field from Justin Brantley with 6:34 to play in the half.
Howard made it 17-0 with 11:43 to play in the third on a three-yard run by Moreno. CSU moved the ball effectively later in the quarter, coming up short on a fourth-and-one from the six-yard line to end their biggest scoring opportunity.
"If we can punch it in there, it’s a new ball game," said Mills.
Howard added the finishing touches with their best drive of the game in the fourth quarter with Moreno finishing it off with a 26-yard run with 4:17 to play. CSU scored their only touchdown with :31 remaining when Drafts hit tight end Bryan Meers with a 12-yard scoring pass.
Charleston Southern is off next week and returns to action on October 23 with a homecoming date against North Related Item: Box Score