The Howard Bison football team traveled to Baltimore, Maryland in late November for their last game of the season where they defeated the Morgan State University Bears. Last season, the Bears played Howard at Greene Stadium in Bison territory. The Bison defeated the Bears with a final score of 27-0.
This season’s game marked the fifth straight win for the Bison against Morgan State University, resulting in a co-conference championship title, alongside the North Carolina Central Eagles for the 2022-23 season. However, on Nov. 5 of this year, the Bison were defeated by the North Carolina Central Eagles with a final score of 50-21.
Therefore, the Eagles will represent the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference (MEAC) at the 2022 Celebration Bowl on Dec. 17 against the SWAC champion Jackson State Tigers.
When asked by the Hilltop about the feeling of becoming the 2022-23 MEAC football champions, senior quarterback Quinton Williams responded by saying, “It feels amazing. We put in a lot of hard work to be here throughout the season and just four years, in general, to get to this moment. To finally see it all pay off, it’s exciting.”
The Bison struck first with a three-play 65-yard scoring drive, executed by Bison senior quarterback Quinton Williams that was capped off within play connection with sophomore wide receiver Nah’shawn Hezekiah. This resulted in an increase in game score for the Bison marking a score of 7-0 at 6:57 in the first quarter.
With the Bison dominating early on in the game, the Morgan State Bears just could not move the ball up the field. The Bears executed a poor punt allowing the Bison to take control again. Senior running back Ian Wheeler increased the score for the Bison resulting in a score of 14-0 ending the first half.
Once the third quarter arrived, the Bison stayed strong and continued to dominate, quickly moving the ball down the field. Senior quarterback Quinton Williams executed a toss-in play connection with senior tight end Brennan Brown increasing the score to 21-0. Junior running back Jarett Hunter was able to make his own touchdown contribution through his execution in connecting a four-yard touchdown pass to senior quarterback Quinton Williams. This appeared to be Hunter’s first career touchdown pass as a Bison.
Quinton Williams closed out a dominant game for the Bison by scoring off of a 15-yard run. This increased their lead to 35-0. However, the Morgan State Bears were able to add a touchdown to the scoreboard. This touchdown was executed via a two-yard plunge by Bears’ sophomore quarterback Roderick Walker.
The final game score declaring the Howard Bison as Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference (MEAC) Champions was 35-6. This marks the first MEAC championship for the Bison since 1993. Unfortunately, this win did not secure their spot to play at the Celebration Bowl. In spite of this, the Bison were able to win five games during the regular season which has not been done since 2017 and seventeen Bison players received 2022 Football Postseason All-MEAC Honors.
When asked by the Hilltop about the mindset and impact going into this championship game from Coach Scott and the team’s perspective, Quinton Williams responded by saying, “He preached that all week is just a lifetime of memories all for this one moment. How much this moment meant not only to us as a program but to the school in general. Like I said, it’s been thirty years since this was able to be done, that’s just big, and it’s something that we can talk about when we’re older and just look back on us on this exact day in this moment.”
This season has been special for the Bison as well as Howard University as a whole. There has been a major shift in game pace and player development throughout the season. The Bison did not start this season off on strong terms. Williams can agree as he said, “I think in the first half of the season we started off a little slow. We learned from our mistakes throughout the end of the second half of the season, myself included. Just a big shift throughout the first half to the second half of the season, which was big that we needed to overcome.” Overcome is something that the Bison did very well. This mindset allowed them to not only dominate in the MEAC but develop a new reputation as a team.
The Howard Bison end this season with a new beginning and hope to come back stronger and keep the same mindset next year. Senior quarterback Quinton Williams was able to share his reflection on this season in his closing statements with the Hilltop. He said, “I think we’re a lot more play driven than we’ve been in the past. We hold ourselves accountable a lot more than we have in the past and that’s big just to see as a program and as an offense in general. We had some guys really step up this year and that was big for us.”
Copy edited by Nhandi Long-Shipman