DURHAM, N.C. -- Morgan State relied on a stingy defense after losing its starting quarterback to a first-half injury, roughing up North Carolina Central, 34-22, in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game on Saturday afternoon at O'Kelly-Riddick Stadium.
The Bears benefited from four turnovers, spoiling N.C. Central's homecoming.
Morgan State (2-5, 2-1 in the MEAC) won its second game in a row despite playing the second half without starting quarterback Seth Higgins, who exited because of an injured right shoulder.
Higgins ran for a touchdown and passed for another score before departing. Backup quarterback Robert Council ran for a four-yard touchdown with 10:45 left, boosting the advantage to 34-10.
Adrian Wilkins of N.C. Central returned the ensuing kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown for the Eagles' only points during a 35-minute stretch.
Higgins racked up 72 yards in the air and 55 yards on the ground in less than a half.
Trailing, 24-10, earlier, N.C. Central (3-4, 1-2) came up empty on consecutive possessions that advanced into Morgan State territory and doomed reasonable hopes of a comeback.
Cody Acker's fumble recovery at the N.C. Central 17 set up Chris Moller's 26-yard field goal with 3:19 to play in the third quarter, increasing the edge to 27-10.
Higgins went out with 1:44 left in the first half when he was tackled at the N.C. Central one-yard-line.
Council was stuffed on a third-down run before an illegal procedure penalty caused the Bears to settle for Moller's 22-yard field goal, which bounced through off the right upright with 30 seconds on the clock.
The Bears opened the game by marching 75 yards, with running back Lamont Brown scoring on a six-yard run.
Morgan State got the ball back in N.C. Central territory on the first of Paul Eatman's two interceptions.
Higgins scored on an 11-yard keeper as the Bears bumped ahead 14-0, capping the 48-yard drive.
Morgan State started its next possession at N.C. Central's 42 after Acker recovered a bad N.C. Central pitch. That resulted in Grayling Harrison's acrobatic, 27-yard touchdown catch on the final play of the first quarter.
The 21-0 lead lasted 53 seconds, as N.C. Central scored on quarterback Jordan Reid's 9-yard run to put the Eagles on the board.
Oleg Parent's 41-yard field goal trimmed the gap to 21-10 with 9:29 left in the second quarter.
NOTES: The Eagles have a 59-19-2 record in homecoming games. ... N.C. Central won last year on Morgan State's homecoming day. ... Morgan State won in Durham, 52-3, two years ago in N.C. Central's worst home loss in 60 years. ... Morgan State notched its first road victory in more than a year, since an Oct. 6, 2012, victory at Savannah State. ... Adrian Wilkins has two kickoff returns for touchdowns this season, the other a 100-yarder against Charlotte. ... MEAC tackles leader LB Tazmon Foster of N.C. Central recorded his first sack of the season. ... N.C. Central DL Phillip Mitchell was ejected with 3:09 remaining for throwing a punch. ... The N.C. Central band was given warnings in the first and third quarters because it was playing while Morgan State had the ball.