Howard Pulls Victory Against Hampton, 20-10
Published: Monday, November 5, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 08:11
As the workhorse of a loaded Bison backfield, Terrence Leffall is accustomed to getting the bulk of the carries onoffense. At Greene Stadium on Saturday, Leffall’s 37 carries didn’t just seal the 20-10 victory over rival HamptonUniversity, it also helped carry Howard football out of almost a decade of anonymity, as Howard secured its firstwinning season since 2004.
Leffall, a senior from Stone Mountain, Georgia, rushed for 182 yards and 2 touchdowns as Howard (6-3, 5-2 in theMid-Eastern Athletic Conference) re-affirmed who the Real HU is. Howard snapped a 14-game losing streak toHampton (2-6, 2-4) last year—a game in which Leffall had a record 42 carries—primarily by pounding the ball on theground, and this year the game plan was on different.
“We knew exactly what they were going to run,” Hampton linebacker Keith McAfee said, who had a game-high 12tackles. “[But] when it came down to execution and being exactly where you were supposed to be, we just had somemiscommunication and it really hurt us in the long run.”
Early on, Hampton’s attempts to contain the ground game had mixed results, but suddenly all uncertainty was erasedas Leffall and the Bison offense ripped off an explosive sequence of runs right through the middle of the Pirate’sdefense for 15, 19, and then 15 yards again. Despite a missed 24 yard field goal attempt by John Fleck to end thatdrive, the momentum had largely shifted away from the Pirates.
“It’s one of those games where we came out old-fashioned, we felt like we could establish the run and we were able to do that,” says Howard head coach Gary ‘Flea’ Harrell. “We looked at last year’s film and saw we had some successin the run game, so we felt, why change if it’s not broken.”
Howard would finish the job on their next drive after Damon Gresham-Chisholm’s third forced fumble of the game wasrecovered by Howard defensive back Jordan Monette. Four plays later it was Leffall who would run it in from 18 yardsout. By halftime Howard led 13-3 and Leffall was already over 100 yards, a benchmark he’s surpassed in all six gameshe’s played this season.
“I give credit to the O-line, they got the job done today and they’re the unsung heroes for today,” said Leffall, “I can’tgain a single yard without them.”
Things got interesting in the third quarter as all eyes in the crowd were on former Philadelphia 76ers guard AllenIverson who made a brief appearance at the game. Apparently Bison defenders had their eyes on him too asHampton’s walk-on quarterback Brian Swain sprinted 33 yards down the middle of the field to cut the Bison lead to13-10 after the extra point.
Already with 31carries, Leffall’s day was not over as he took the next one eight yards for a game-sealing touchdownearly in the fourth. Hampton’s final two drives were marred by penalties and a lack of urgency as Howard moved back into the MEAC title chase with two games remaining.
“We have a lot of things we want to fix in these last two games,” said Harrell, “right now we’re still trying to stay in thehunt as far as the MEAC title and hopefully be one of two teams in the playoffs.”
Howard travels to Statesboro, Georgia to play Georgia Southern, the top team in college football, on November 10th. They close out the regular season at Greene Stadium on November 17th against Delaware State for Senior Day.