Howard's 38-14 trouncing of Virginia State today might best be described as a mismatch.
Behind the accurate passing of Ron Wilson, who completed 15 of 17 for 231 yards and two touchdowns, and the receiving of Wallace Mason and record-breaking Tracy Singleton, the Bison scored four first-quarter touchdowns and coasted to their third victory (3-2-1) of the season.
Singleton, the fleet sophomore split end, set a school record by catching nine passes for 145 yards and one touchdown, breaking the old mark of eight catches held by Steve Wilson, now a Dallas Cowboy. Mason caught four passes for 79 yards and one touchdown.
Their jobs were made considerably easier by Wilson, who said he could hardly believe he had completed that many passes.
"You better look at those stats again, because I had to miss more than two passes," said the senior from Anacostia High School, who led the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in individual total offense before today.
"Well, we do have more confidence in our passing game now," said Wilson after his best day, statistically, as a collegiate quarterback.
"Don't make me out to be a star, though. Everybody wanted this one badly. We were thinking all week about how Virginia State had laughed and pointed at us last year when they beat us, 17-15, on our homecoming day. It was definitely a revenge thing."
Singleton's record-breaking catch was a 46-yard completion from Wilson that kept alive a 94-yard scoring drive in the fourth quarter. That touchdown helped kill a Trojan rally that began in the second half with substitute quarterback Benny Stewart tossing two touchdown passes, cutting Howard's lead to 31-14. But Bison fullback Bufus Outlaw dashed all hopes of a Trojan uprising with a two-yard plunge to complete the drive and secure Howard's second straight lopsided win.
The drive was set up by Cedric Wilson's interception of a Stewart pass. Stewart had already thrown touchdown passes of 15 and 32 yards and was threatening again before the turnover. Wilson and fellow cornerback Chris Jackson tied another Bison record by picking off four Trojans passes, including three by Jackson. b
Defense end Larry Hamilton and tackle Craig Cason helped shut down the State running attack as Howard allowed only 65 yards rushing.
Howard gained 206 yards rushing on 47 carries against the smaller, outmanned Virginia State. Leading rusher Greg Banes had 82 yards and one touchdown in 11 carries and Cornelius Quarles ran for 75 yards as a substitute for tailback Ivan Thompson, who remined in Washington with tendinitis in his right knee.