WASHINGTON – The Howard University football team had its best defensive performance of the season at the HBCU New York City Classic against Morehouse College. The offense came alive in the second half as the Bison scored 31 points to post a 31-0 shutout win over the Morehouse Tigers before a lively crowd of 35,042 at MetLife Stadium in the HBCU NYC Classic. It was the first win of the season for the Bison (1-3), who were playing their fourth straight game on the road.
MetLife Stadium is home to the iconic New York Giants. It is one of the largest stadiums in the NFL, hosting the world’s biggest events on the world’s biggest stage, including the first outdoor, cold-weather Super Bowl XLVIII, WrestleMania 29 and 35, and the 2021 Army-Navy Game.
“Morehouse applied a lot of pressure on us the first half,” notes Larry Scott, head football coach. “We made some adjustments and came out more focused after halftime. Some of the adversity that we have faced helped in this game. The team has gone through a lot and even with the injuries, they make no excuses.”
Although this was a game built for rivals, when HBCUs unite, it’s a family reunion. Football fans, alumni and students along the east coast reunited to enjoy the pageantry, excitement and camaraderie associated with the HBCU football experience. The game is certainly the highlight of the weekend, which also included several ancillary events, such as the Howard University Alumni Mixer, scholarship gala, pep rally and step show, Pre-Game Show, and of course, The Fan Festival Tailgate.
“It’s always beautiful to see us being our authentic selves and in different permutations,” said Steve Grevious, a graduate of Morehouse (BS ’88) whose son is a Howard alumnus. “I love the camaraderie and the interplay. It’s not just our two schools that are here. I saw FAMU, TSU, Xavier University. I think the opportunity to not just make this an event between the two schools, but [to have it be about] the HBCU experience, and on this platform for the world to see, is fantastic.” Grevious traveled from Oakland, California to attend the classic and support the Tigers.
Jennifer and Corey Davis (BA ’06) met at Howard and brought their four daughters to the game, one of whom is applying to Howard this year. Each of them, down to their five-month-old daughter, were sporting Howard gear.
Howard is family. We have to teach the next generation.
To start the weekend, Bison and Tigers from far and wide gathered in Times Square for the HBCU NYC Classic Pep Rally, sponsored by MJ The Musical on Broadway. Cast members, Apollo Levine (Shaw University graduate), Myles Foster (Bowie State University student), and Michelle Mercedes, hosted the crowd calling spectacle on behalf of Black Theatre Day, an open call to action to all Black theater institutions and supporters to join together and amplify the importance of Black theater institutions by recognizing the 200-year legacy of Black theater in the U.S. During the pep rally, senior Gregory Coleman (BA ’23) was presented with a $10,000 scholarship for being an outstanding student.
“It was really fun to perform in Times Square,” said Coleman. “Folks were vibing with the band, and the energy was amazing. I was extremely surprised to receive the scholarship becauses it will help pay for my education. I had no prior knowledge of winning this award and it was good being able to share the moment with my family.”
At the alumni reception, the Howard New York alumni chapter in partnership with the Howard University Alumni Association walked down memory lane over food, drinks and remarks from President Wayne A. I. Frederick, athletic director Kery Davis, Coach Larry Scott, and Director of Alumni Relations Sharon Strange Lewis.
“I am totally inspired, knowing that our young men are in the hands of such an awesome coach,” said Strange Lewis. “Anyone who was a student at Howard knows that you get drilled into you from the day you step on campus to the day you graduate that you are good enough. That is what he is doing with our football team and it is absolutely awesome. I am reminded of that and I hope our alumni joining us here in New York City are reminded of that as well.”
In addition to the trophy, Bison received multiple awards on game day. As the official retail banking sponsor, Wells Fargo leaders presented a $25,000 scholarship to Howard University in support of school programming of choice during the second quarter. Wells Fargo also served as the sponsor of the Fifth Quarter, a musical display of the stylistic sounds of the Howard University Showtime Marching Band and Morehouse College House of Funk Marching Band. Both marching band programs received $5,000 donations from Wells Fargo.
“The HBCU NYC Classic was a huge success,” said Davis. “Howard University has a large alumni base in New Jersey and New York, so this was a great opportunity for our fans and alum to connect and watch our football team prevail to victory in front of a nationally televised audience. We would like to especially thank sponsors of the classic for hosting an incredible event. We’re looking forward to coming back again in the future.”
About Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 14 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.
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