Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC
By Hal Lamar
Photos by Patsy Collier-Lamar
Surprise Surprise! Tuskegee loses its season opener
Its been eight years since Tuskegee can point to losing a season opener which, by the way, was at the hands of Miles College and 13 years since they lost a home opener (to Morris Brown). So it no doubt had to come as a bit of a shock to the 6,698 mostly partisan fans at Cleve Abbott Stadium last Saturday when visiting Langston (Oklahoma) University defeated the Goldens 33-19. I guess the Golden Lions decided they weren’t traveling 1734 miles round-trip and return to their campus empty handed! As I have said in previous columns and other fare I am humbled to write for, the oval takes funny bounces and here is a case in point. It still still puzzles me how the SIAC forecasters could predict Albany State and Tuskegee in the first conference championship game before the season starts!
‘Skegee head coach Willie Slater and his staff will probably spend a lot of time this week in the film room evaluating their two quarterbacks Jeremy Williams and Terry Braden to see who is ready to play a full game. They shared roles in the Langston game and their numbers were fair but nothing to really write home about. But Williams and Braden appear to be just part of Tuskegee’s troubles. Slater admitted to media in Tuskegee that the team made too many mistakes and, not uncharacteristically, blamed himself for the loss.
(THE REST OF THE (SIAC) STORY:The 41-7 loss to Georgia State nearly a fortnight ago didn’t stop Clark-AU from pushing toward the winners circle. They got there September 10 with a 21-3 victory over visiting Lane College at Clark-AU stadium.
“It’s the second week of the season. “ said CAU senior quarterback TJ Smith, who threw for 108 yards and one score against Lane. “(Against Georgia State), it was the first game of the season and we had to work out the kinks.”
CAU head coach Daryl McNeill admitted a win was better than a loss but not so sure if all the kinks have been worked out. “ You can’t put the ball on the ground, “ he told INSIDE. “ Last week it was interceptions, this week it was fumbles.”
In fact, CAU muffed the oval three times in the game. Fortunately, the visiting Dragons were unable to convert the miscues into points and that, among other things, upset their second year head coach Derrick Burroughs.
“ We had the turnovers but we just got whipped up front,” he said. “ I don’t know what else to say. We just got our tails beat.”
The only scoring for Lane was a 35 yard field goal at the beginning of the second quarter by freshman Ryan Bullock.
Clark-AU led 9-3 at the half and didn’t really explode offensively until the 4th quarter when they added a field goal and two touchdown to a third quarter strike from Smith to junior wide receiver Jonathan Johnson.
The game ball should have gone to CAU’s defensive unit. They stopped Lane’s run game, got them out of their offensive rhythm and turned the Dragons’ offensive line every way but loose, sacking quarterback Alan Ferguson six times and holding him to completing 13 of his 20 passing attempts for 65 yards.
“Being associated with those guys on defense is a blessing,” said McNeill. “I’m happy we only have to practice against them and not play them on Saturday.”
The Panther defense was led by senior linebacker Kiece Crite who had four solo tackles and two sacks. Freshman running back Rashad Lewis rushed 20 times for 119 yards and scored once.
CAU faces their first big test September 17 when they face the Fort Valley Wildcats at home.
HOWARD EDGES MOREHOUSE
The final minutes of Howard vs. Morehouse were dramatic to say the least.
A 57 yard pass from Morehouse quarterback Byron Ingram to wide receiver Derrick Hector gave the Maroon Tigers the ball at the Howard University 25. That put the Marooners within field goal and touchdown range which would have either tied the 30-27 score at 30-all or won the game, 33-30. With only 17 seconds left and Morehouse out of timeouts, a decision was made to go to the end zone. Unfortunately, Howard defensive end Corey Berry derailed those plans by sacking Ingram.
Howard escaped RFK Stadium with the win, their first since beating Lincoln of Pennsylvania last year in a 1-10 finish.
Morehouse led 14-9 at halftime. The Bison scored 8 points in the third but gave up six more to the Marooners which allowed Morehouse to carry a 20-17 lead into the fourth quarter. That’s when Howard scored twice to take a 30-20 lead but turned the ball over to Morehouse who made the most of it via a 15 yard fumble recovery for a score by junior defensive back Latavius Watts with 2:20 to go. It would be the final points for the Maroon Tigers, who hadn’t played the Bison since 1997 when they were shut out 52-0.. The Morehouse –Howard series began in 1955. The two teams met off and on 30 times with the Bison currently leading the series 18-11 with one tie.
Kentucky State made it 2-0 overall with a 43-27 win over Lincoln (PA)……..Fort Valley lost its second straight 27-7 to visiting Delta State. Valley played most of the game without the services of starting quarterback Antonio Henton , who suffered knee and ankle injuries…Albany State all-conference quarterback Stan Jennings threw four touchdown passes and racked up 307 yards to lead Albany State past Wingate 49-28…Miles rebounded from their 49-7 loss a fortnight ago to Morehouse and defeated Concordia-Selma 13-6…Stillman’s upset win over ranked Shaw University was short lived as the Tigers surrendered four rushing touchdowns to lose to Samford 48-6….
THIS WEEK’S GAMES AND PICKS
Albany State over Valdosta State in Albany
Shaw over Benedict in Columbia SC
CAU over Fort Valley in Atlanta
Kentucky State over Stillman in Frankfort Ky.
Lane over Point University in Jackson Tn.
Miles over West Ga in Carrollton Ga (Thursday game)
Morehouse over Edward Waters in Atlanta
Alabama A&M over Tuskegee in Huntsville Alabama