CAU, Morehouse again in Atlanta; same city but different times…finally
No, it’s not a two-for-one deal , but the two schools are at least halfway there. The Panthers will celebrate homecoming Saturday at their stadium against Paine college.
That’s at 2pm
Then, across the street (and virtually within walking distance), Morehouse will attempt to stay in the race for first place in the SIAC’s eastern division race by taking on Fort Valley State University at the Marooners turf , BT Harvey Stadium .
That’s at 7pm.
Maybe next year, the two schools will sit down together and avoid pulling that scheduling boner the weekend of October 25 playing games at the same time on the same date and then maybe arrange a two –for-one deal allowing hard core fans to see both games with one ticket.
Well, back to the gridiron.
Last weekend’s turnout didn’t help matters at all for the ‘House who lost on the road 33-15 to Benedict which was celebrating its homecoming and currently in third place in the SIAC east with an identical 2-3 mark to Morehouse.
The Tigers from Columbia, South Carolina took an early 9-0 lead at the half and used three Morehouse turnovers in the fourth quarter to win plus clean sweep both AU center schools this season and win their second straight. Benedict quarterback GrahamMarcus Graham finished the game with 146 passing yards and two touchdowns. Morehouse signal caller Monquavious Johnson returned after a two week absence from a badly sprained ankle to throw a touchdown. It was too little, too late. The Marooners were sent home after suffering their third straight loss.
The fate for CAU. homecoming opponents for Albany State, were little better. The Rams, like Benedict, beat the Panthers 34-12 and knocked off Morehouse a fortnight ago in Atlanta. The Rams were led by running back Jarvis Small who rushed 122 yards and scored twice and senior quarterback Frank Rivers, who threw 174 yards and two scores. The Rams led AU 20-0 at the half. CAU managed 12 points in the second half. Freshman Mathew Daniels accounted for both, with rushes of 18 and 52 yards.
Elsewhere in the SIAC, Tuskegee continues to roll, beating Kentucky State 38-9 before a homecoming crowd of 31,352 crammed ( and I DO mean crammed) into Cleve Abbott Stadium, sometimes referred to as “Death Valley”. Both Kentucky State quarterbacks were sacked a collective four times. Tuskegee senior Justin Nared threw for two touchdowns and sophomore Kevin Lacey accounted for 180 passing yards. Tuskegee’s defense held the Thororbreds’ offense to two scores thanks to an effort led by senior El Malik Chinn who collected 10 tackles, five of them unassisted and one sack……Central State University won their third game of the season and their second division victory by surprising Stillman 41-14. Stillman’s quarterback Josh Straughn was sacked six times, three of them credited to sophomore Artell McMillen, who also collected seven tackles, four of them unassisted…….Miles became homecoming spoilers last weekend, blanking Lane 51-0. The Bears were led by sophomore quarterback David Whipple who threw for 132 yards and two scores. Miles led 37-0 at the half…… A 77 yard interception return for a score in the fourth period helped sealed the fate of Paine College which lost 23-10 to homecoming host Fort Valley. Fort Valley led 14-10 at the half but at one point found themselves tied with the Lions in the third period. The fourth period was the deciding factor, however. Aside the interception which resulted in a score for the Wildcats, the Lions wee intercepted a second time with 34 seconds remaining in the ballgame….Legion Field
XTRA POINTS- Down Birmingham Alabama way last weekend, 67,710 fans almost filled Legion Field for the 73rd Magic City Classic between ex-SIAC teams Alabama State and Alabama A&M (they came within 3884 of filling every seat in the place with a derriere!!!). And every one of those ticket buyers got their money’s worth, especially in the final 11:23. ASU led 36-28 but goit themselves shut out by A&M through a field goal which cut the Hornet lead to four. Then , Alabama State charged back down field on an eight play drive that was stopped at the A&M 32. In lieu of a field goal, the Hornets made a decision to punt. The 27 yard boot landed at the A&M 5. The Bulldogs seemed hemmed up. Instead, with 5:14 to go, the Dawgs marched 95 yards,scored and took the lead . With 2:15 left, State then launched a 15 play drive which stalled at the A&M 13. A field goal attempt to re-take the lead sailed wide wide left. The, A&M took charge with 12 seconds remaining. Game over…… FYI, the classic started in 1924 with several breaks in years until 1946. …..A Spelman grad turned minister Alonia JonesAlonia Jones of Atlanta has created an organization called BFLY which she describes as a “movement to inspire people to hold on to hope, based on the premise that life is a series of metamorphoses.” Find out more by visiting www.aloniajones.com or www.borntoinspire.net
If the Garden was Eden, Earl Monroe in the CIAA was heaven
by Lut Williams
Anyone who saw Earl “The Pearl“ Monroe play in the NBA, never really saw him play.THE PEARL: Earl Monroe earned nicknames like “Black Jesus,“ “Black Magic,“ and “The Truth“ during his career at Winston-Salem State.
To do that, you had to see him at Winston-Salem State College (now Winston- Salem State University) in the 1966-67 season.
As much as he was a marvel in the NBA, he was more than that at WSSU.
Just as they say the only person that could hold Michael Jordan to 16 points (per game) was his college coach – North Carolina‘s Dean Smith – for all practical purposes, that is what you could say in the reverse about Earl Monroe.
Only the NBA could hold “The Pearl“ to 24 points per game, his average in 1967 when he won the NBA Rookie of the Year award with the Baltimore Bullets, or 18.8 points per game, his NBA career average.
At Winston-Salem State, he would get held to 34.
That‘s about what he was held to when the Rams lost in the CIAA Tournament semifinals in 1967 to rival North Carolina A&T. A&T put two players on him, George Mack and Carl Hubbard. One played in front of him and one behind him. They didn‘t play zone, they just had two people play Monroe. Besides a loss to High Point to open the season, the 105-82 decision to A&T was the only game Monroe and the 31-2 Rams lost that year.
Under legendary head coach Clarence “Big House“ Gaines and with Monroe as the unquestioned leader, WSSC became the first black college team to win an NCAA championship when they won the Small College Division title, 77-74 over Southwest Missouri State.
Monroe averaged an unbelievable 41.5 points per game that year, numbers hardly ever heard of before or since in college basketball. It was unbelievable until you saw him.
That was the case for the national media who continually downplayed Monroe‘s talent and that of the Rams, continually ranking them below others in the nation until they witnessed them firsthand. Once you saw him however, you were a believer. He‘d drop 40, almost effortlessy, and you‘d believe.
He was relentlessly smooth as silk.
During the national tournament, Monroe put up 49 on #6 Akron in a secondround win. He scored pedestrian totals of 34 in a first-round win (over Baldwin-Wallace), 29 in the quarterfinals (vs. Long Island) and 23 in the semis (over #2 Kentucky Wesleyan).
In the championship game, before a national TV audience, Monroe fhrew in 40, with all the flash and panache in his repertoire. Behind-the-back and between-the-legs dribbles, no-look passes, long-range as well as contested jumpers over taller defenders, he showed it all - and they all believed.
He had so many moves – hesitations, head fakes, shot fakes, spins and reverse spins, hang-in-the-air double-clutches, pull-back jumpers – that you were in awe whenever he had the ball. And the points kept coming.
But Monroe wasn‘t just a scorer. He was a player, as adept at passing the ball and setting up his teammates as he was at dazzling you with his scoring. And he wasn‘t some one-man team as some have asserted. Gaines had other players like Eugene Smiley, the other guard if you can call Monroe a guard, burly 6-7 forward William “Bill“ English and 6-8 center James Reid on the team. But make no mistake, Monroe was the orchestrator.
Admiring 41.5 points per game from a distance is highly questionable. Seeing it in person makes it very real.
Being from Danville, Va., I was relegated to watching Monroe only during the CIAA Tournament or the one time my father ventured down Route 29 to Greensboro, N.C. to catch Earl and the Rams play in the regular season against North Carolina A&T.
Other than that, it was only through word-of-mouth or through reading the box scores of the Rams games, when I could find them, that he and the Rams could be followed.
But I saw enough of him in the Tournament to know the phenom that he was. Those lucky enough to be at Winston-Salem State or on the CIAA circuit were the truly fortunate ones.
When you did see him is when all the nicknames started to make sense.
“The Pearl“ was certainly apropos, perhaps the best nickname in all of sport. But “Black Jesus,“ “Black Magic“ and “The Truth“ are nicknames you come to when you‘ve run out of ways to describe somebody.
And as thrilling as the CI-double A was, and it was indeed thrilling, Monroe brought it to another level. What you were witnessing was a once-in-a-lifetime occurence. There‘s been nobody like him since.
My brother Jerry (eight years older) has always said that another Winston- Salem State great, Cleo Hill, was the greatest player he‘d ever seen (other than Oscar Robertson). And when you look as his numbers – 23.5 ppg., 24.5 ppg., 27.7 ppg. and 26.7 over his four-year career – its easy to see why. Hill, those who saw him say, could shoot hook shots with either hand, had Michael Jordan ups, and was virtually unstoppable.
Monroe was 6-3 or so and probably never dunked in his life. What he did didn‘t require much jumping ability, only a flair for the dramatic and the acrobatics of a virutoso.
The NBA saw it and believed, as did the Baltimore Bullets who made him the second pick in the first round of the NBA Draft behind Div. I Player of the Year, Jimmy Walker of Providence. But Monroe was second to none. He weaved and twirled his way to an outstanding 12-year NBA career including an eight-year stint with the New York Knicks.
I understand he‘s one of the players featured in an upcoming ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, When The Garden Was Eden. If the New York Knicks‘ NBA championship teams made Madison Square Garden Eden, Monroe made the CIAA heaven.
Albany is new #1 in SIAC East; Tuskegee first in west
ATLANTA, Ga- James “Iron Mike” White’s blue and gold elevens of Albany State University left Atlanta late Saturday with more than playing homecoming spoilers to Morehouse with a 31-14 victory or besting the Marooners 27 of the 34 years they’ve been playing. They also took the 180 mile bus trip back to Dougherty County the number one team in the SIAC’s eastern division. White’s response to all that when approached by INSIDE just outside the visiting team’s locker room at Morehouse’s Bertram T Harvey Stadium? “Well,” smiled the dean of SIAC head coaches. “We still got to play them all and we got Clark-AU next week.”
Last Saturday before a crowd of 11,234 (an understatement, especially if the number of people outside Harvey Stadium are also counted which would easily double the number of fans actually on the campus) ASU took advantage of too many Morehouse turnovers to take a 27-7 lead in the series that started in 1980.Morehouse's Homecoming CrowdWhite
Unfortunately, the huge crowd and all the frolicking that came with it was hardly reflected on the gridiron. The Marooners couldn’t seem to find consistent offense and wound up penetrating into Albany State’s red zone only twice and converting once. Meanwhile, ASU penetrated Morehouse’s red zone 10 times and scored five times as a result. “I thought we had a slow start but we got it going in the second quarter,” White said to INSIDE. “I thought defensively we played good but there were some breakdowns which allowed Morehouse to complete some long passes on us. Overall, though, we did pretty well.”
Morehouse game highlights were few and far between. One bright spot that was missed by many fans who had turned their attention away from the game in the second half to a tumbling exhibition by the cheerleaders along the sidelines was a possible record- setting 77 yard punt by junior Temitayo Agoro in the fourth period (74 yards of it was in the air). The Tigers did find a sliver of offense late in the fourth which allowed them to score once more before the game ended. Sophomore Justin Tarver had a good outing, throwing for 173 yards and two touchdowns. ASU’s senior QB Frank Rivers led the Ram offense with 240 passing yards and one passing and one rushing score. The loss forces Morehouse to lose ground in the race for the eastern division crown of the SIAC. They have now dropped to third behind Albany State and Fort Valley. INSIDE attempted to get comment from Morehouse head coach Rich Freeman . An assistant told us he was in the training room and would join us in a few minutes. He never came out. “I think he’s angry, “said INSIDE photog Patsy Collier-Lamar. “ Can you blame him?”
At the same time on the same day and just a few blocks north of Morehouse’s stadium, Clark-AU couldn’t overcome a 20-3 halftime lead by Benedict and wound up losing 20-10. The Panthers did have one opportunity to score again late in the fourth period. With a 1st and goal at the Benedict one, the Panthers fumbled. Benedict recovered and then ran out the remaining 2:53 of the final quarter. CAU running back Montavious Taylor, a product from Atlanta’s GW Carver high shool, had his third 100-plus yard rushing game and accounted for the Panther’s lone touchdown.
ELSEWHERE IN THE CONFERENCE: What was thought by me and everybody else to be a major showdown in the SIAC’s western division turned out to be a dud.. Tuskegee had a big first half, led Stillman 42-13 and wound up stomping them 61-19. They also claimed first place in the SIAC west. ‘Skegee was led by quarterback Kevin Lacey’s 188 yard passing and 2 touchdown performance and the three touchdowns of running back Hoderick Rowe…….Miles defeated Kentucky State 19-13. The Bears defense sacked KSU quarterback Adam Robinson five times. They took a 19-0 halftime lead at the break and never gave it up …….Paine finally broke a six game losing streak and won their first football homecoming since 1963, 38-14 over Edward Waters. EWC led 14-7 at the half but the Lions had a big 24 point fourth quarter which handed them the lead…..Fort Valley used their defense , led by senior Levon Furr’s 12 tackles and junior Stephon Harper’s 11 to defeat visiting Limestone College of South Carolina 24-19….
XTRA POINTS: Morehouse’s homecoming last weekend was bittersweet to many who took time from all the fun to pay homage to former grad and great friend Gary BusseyBussey. Three years ago, Bussey left homecoming and went to his lady friend’s home in Clayton County where he was stabbed to death by her son, identified as Chinua Plez. Over the weekend, a judge sentenced him to life in prison without parole. Police said robbery was the motive. A TV news account also suggested that Plez had help robbing Bussey and may have further questions for his mother……Visit Paine College’s web site www.paine.edu and their football media guide. You will read and see some historic pictures of Paine’s football program prior to 1963 when football was dropped. One shows fans seemingly tearing down the goal posts after beating Livingstone 8-6 in 1962 for their first win in nine years. Forty nine years later, football returned to the Augusta Georgia campus and last week, the team won their first game, defeating Edward Waters. All they need now is one more win to break their 1962 record. GO LIONS!!!!!!
THIS WEEK’S GAMES AND PICKS
Tuskegee over Kentucky State (Tuskegee homecoming)