The warm, sunny conditions on Saturday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, only 8.5 miles from midtown Manhattan, were ideal for a late summer matchup on the gridiron between two of the most storied historically Black colleges and universities.

Howard University dominated Morehouse College 31-0 in the HBCU New York Football Classic, but the representations of Black intellectual, academic and cultural excellence were far more significant than the disparity of the final score. Howard and Morehouse have produced some of the world’s most accomplished men and women in various fields, including current U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, a Howard grad, and actors and activists Spike Lee and Samuel L. Jackson, alumni of Morehouse.

Spike Lee Credit: Patric Fharah photo

The home stadium of the NFL’s Jets and Giants hosted over 35,000 fans to experience the unique atmosphere of Black college football, a rarity in the Northeast part of this country as the 102 HBCUs are primarily located in Southern states. There are none in the New York tri-state area. Divine Nine fraternities and sororities, soulful marching bands and the obligatory tailgating gatherings fostered the celebratory aura, more so for the Howard crowd after the result on the field.

After both teams entered the half scoreless, the Bison, who secured their first win of the season, found their offense, as senior quarterback Quinton Williams threw for two touchdowns, both 29-yard strikes to graduate wide receiver Antione Murray, and never let the Maroon Tigers (0-3) get going. It was the 38th time the programs have faced each other since their first meeting in 1923. Howard holds a 26-10-2 advantage.

Howard University “Showtime” Marching Band Credit: Patric Fharah photo

Howard, of the Mid Easterm Athletic Conference (MEAC) is an FCS school, formerly Division 1-AA, while Morehouse is a Division II college competing in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC).

Next up for Howard will be the Ivy League’s Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut on Oct. 1. Morehouse will play at home in Atlanta this Saturday versus conference rival Savannah State.

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