Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC
By Hal Lamar
Photos by Patsy Collier-Lamar
It’s Miles vs. Albany State in first SIAC grid championship game
The Golden Bears of Miles College of Fairfield, Alabama (Willie Mays’ hometown) and the Rams of Albany State University of Dougherty County Georgia will square off in the 1st SIAC Championship game Saturday, November 12 at Panther Stadium on the campus of Clark-AU. The game was originally scheduled for Atlanta’s Lakewood Stadium. But renovations to the 40 year old facility weren’t completed and the thinking was not to try holding the game there this year in the interest of player and fan safety.
Now, the best available records provided to ole’ INSIDE shows the series between the schools began in 1985 and played year by year since 1987. ASU holds a commanding 22-4 lead in the series. During the 2011 regular season, ASU got by Miles 34-27.
MEANWHILE IN THE REST OF DA CONFERENCE-The Maroon Tigers of Morehouse College won its final grid match of the season by coming from behind to defeat Kentucky State 28-24 on Saturday, November 5 in Frankfort, Ky.
A crowd of 6729 watched as KSU overcame a 21-7 deficit at half time to take a 24-21 lead with 5:49 remaining in the 4th period.
Morehouse then assembled an 11-play, 62-yard drive which ate up 3:42 seconds of clock to score on a four yard run by junior David Carter. Once again, Carter came through for the Morehouse offense, scoring three touchdowns and rushing for 200 yards. Sixty of those yards came in the second quarter which accounted for the Tigers’ third touchdown of the game.
KSU scored three times in the second half and twice in the fourth quarter which included a crowd-pleasing 51-yard interception return by senior defensive back Keith Massey. KSU’s final possession of the game stalled at their own 45-yard line. Incomplete passes and a stubborn Morehouse defense led by all-conference linebacker Charlie Wilson forced the Thorobreds to surrender the oval to Morehouse with 1:00 remaining in the contest.
The win gives Morehouse a season-ending 8-2 record and provides head coach Richard Freeman his 4th straight winning season since arriving on campus in 2007. Morehouse is currently ranked 8th in the NCAA Division II’s so called “Super” region 2. The win might push the Tigers up to 7th place but they would need to get to sixth place or better to qualify for a shot the Division II playoffs. But their second best finish in the SIAC will likely earn them a trip to Pioneer Bowl 13, December 3 in Columbus, Georgia.
The Marooners might have enjoyed a trip to this weekend’s SIAC championship game had Fort Valley managed to defeat Albany State last weekend at the 22nd annual Fountain City Classic in Columbus, Georgia.
For a while, it seemed the Wildcats, who were pasted 49-12 on October 30 by Morehouse, would pull off the upset.
In fact, Valley held a 14-0 lead through 12:22 of the second period. But ASU’s celebrated quarterback Stanley Jennings led the Rams to 10 quick points the remainder of the quarter and trimmed the Wildcat lead to four at half time.
ASU then took a 17-14 lead in the third period when freshman running back Adrian Alexander scored on a 69-yard run from scrimmage. It was the second of three touchdowns for the Macon, Georgia native.
The 38-29 win gives ASU the SIAC eastern division title and the chance to come to Atlanta for the SIAC championship game against the Bears of Miles College. It will also likely move the Rams to that sixth spot in the region poll and give them another shot at the Division II playoffs for the seventh straight year.
Meanwhile, Clark-AU, which will host the championship game, ended 2011 losing to Stillman College 16-6.. CAU scored first midway through the first quarter when junior Triston Hazelton recovered a blocked punt and raced four yards to the end zone. That ended Panther scoring the entire evening., Stillman scored 16 unanswered points, nine of which came via the toe of place-kicker Huerta Perez via field goals of 23, 48 and 28 yards. The lone Stillman touchdown came on an 8-yard pass from quarterback Dondre Purnell to Deandre Holley.
The win gives Stillman a 7-3 mark. For most of the season, the Tigers led the SIAC West and were thought a shoo-in for the division title. But then, they took a 52-3 drubbing from Fort Valley and a 9-7 loss to Miles which gave the Bears the title.……Tuskegee is ending the 2011 season better than they started it. The Golden Tigers defeated Miles 27-25 in a homecoming victory witnessed by a crowd of 26,645. The Golden Tigers finish the season on Thanksgiving Day against Alabama State.…Lane ended their 2011 season on a happy note by defeating Benedict 19-13…..
XTRA POINTS: The city of Atlanta has renamed one of its parks to honor civil rights icon Rev. James Orange. A lot was said about the man we nicknamed “Shack Daddy” at the dedication ceremonies last week. What a lot of people don’t know about Orange was that before he marched with Martin Luther King Junior, helped instigate the Selma to Montgomery march and later become a union organizer, he was a football star for the Thundering Herd of Parker High School in his hometown of Birmingham Alabama. Orange was a down lineman and played alongside NFL Hall of Famer Junious “Buck” Buchanan .He attended Dallas, Texas’s Bishop College for awhile and was encouraged to try out for the Detroit Lions. He did and made the team, even getting a signing bonus. But during a visit home in 1963, he wondered into the 16th Street Baptist Church. “I sat right on the front pew,” he once told me. “Ralph David Abernathy was speaking. Then, for some reason, he pointed to me and said I would be leading the next day’s march. After that, I never returned to Detroit. I don’t regret the decision.” Patsy and I visited Shack’s hospital room a week before his passing in mid-February 2008. We exchanged “hey leader” greetings, chatted for awhile and then prayed for his recovery. The creator had other plans for my friend, however, and called him home to his reward. Now, thanks to his friends and the leadership of this city, he will never be forgotten.
MY PICK TO WIN THE 1ST SIAC CHAMPIONSHIP:
Albany State by 3
Got an item? Contact Hal -> hallamar at comcast.net