Metlife Stadium—In an exciting showdown at MetLife Stadium, Albany State secured a hard-fought victory against Morehouse, with a final score of 24-14. The game, played on September 16, 2023, featured several memorable moments and standout performances that kept fans on the edge of their seats.
The victory was the first for head coach Quinn Gray, who was hired to take over the coaching position last December. The former Florida A&M standout quarterback was on the roster of four NFL teams between 2002 and 2008 and was previously the quarterbacks coach for Alcorn State from 2020 to 2022.
First Quarter Dominance: Albany State wasted no time asserting their dominance, with a 13-play, 70-yard drive culminating in a 2-yard touchdown pass from Isaiah Knowles to Ralph Lovett. This early lead set the tone for Albany State’s determination. Just two minutes later, Rashad Jordan caught a spectacular 58-yard pass from Knowles, extending their lead to 14-0.
The second quarter saw a strong defensive effort from both teams, with Albany State’s Eli Mashburn adding a 28-yard field goal, making the score 17-0. However, Morehouse fought back with an impressive 31-yard touchdown pass from Derrach West to Brogan Korta, bringing the halftime score to 17-7 in favor of Albany State.
The third quarter remained scoreless, as both teams’ defenses held firm. However, as the game entered the final quarter, Morehouse launched a comeback. Derrach West connected with Marqueiz Pride for a 7-yard touchdown pass, narrowing the gap to 17-14. Albany State’s Final Push: With the game hanging in the balance, Albany State responded with a crucial 13-yard touchdown pass from Knowles to Rashad Jordan, making it 24-14 in their favor with just under five minutes left on the clock. This late surge sealed the victory for Albany State.
“Eleven of these kids had never been on an airplane before so the experiences this has created for these kids is second to none,” he said. “They got a chance to see some things they have never seen before and play on the field that they may never play on again,” referring to the field where two NFL teams—the Jets and the Giants—play their home games.”
At halftime, hip-hop legend Big Daddy Kane performed. With nearly 20,000 fans inside the stadium and many outside engaging the festivities, it appears that the HBCU Classic is here to stay and not just because of the Black excellence shown on the football field but all the hoopla surrounding the event.
Key Players Shine:
Throughout the game, several standout players made significant contributions. Albany State’s Isaiah Knowles delivered an exceptional performance, throwing for multiple touchdowns and displaying remarkable composure under pressure. Rashad Jordan’s ability to find the end zone proved pivotal, and Eli Mashburn’s field goal added crucial points on the board. On the Morehouse side, Derrach West’s passing game demonstrated resilience and Brogan Korta’s touchdown reception ignited their comeback attempt. A Memorable Day at MetLife Stadium:
“We preach, play the next play,” said Gray. “So for us, If a mistake is made, we’re able to move on and put that mistake behind us and play the next play. Yeah, we had some instances in the game that were, you know, but the defense sort of, kind of stepped up for us offensively, because we got a little stagnant.”
The game, attended by 18,076 fans, enjoyed favorable weather conditions with a temperature of 76°F and a gentle SSE wind at 11 mph. The match lasted for three hours and 48 minutes, providing fans with nearly four hours of thrilling football action. In the end, Albany State emerged victorious, securing their second win of the season.This hard-fought battle showcased the determination and skill of both teams, leaving fans with lasting memories of an exciting day at MetLife Stadium.
Albany State will look to build on this momentum in their upcoming games, while Morehouse continues to strive for their first win of this young season.