Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC
By Hal Lamar
Photos by Patsy Collier-Lamar
Miles becomes the first true champ of the SIAC
11th hour field goal wins it for the Golden Bears
ATLANTA, Ga- In 26 meetings between the Miles Golden Bears of Fairfield Alabama (home of baseball hall of famer Willie Mays) and the Rams of Dougherty County’s Albany State University, the Bears have beaten the Rams only four times.
You can now make that five thanks to the toe of sophomore Patton Chambers of Gasden, Alabama. His 29-yard field goal with 9 seconds remaining in the contest lifted Miles to a upsetting 20-17 win over highly favored and defending conference champ ASU before an inaugural crowd of 6374.. The win puts the “bear paws” on SIAC and football history by making Miles the first “true” conference champs.
T hat didn’t escape the school’s president, George French. “This feels fabulous,” he told INSIDE following the win. “ The college made a major investment with this coach and team and it paid off.” Frankly, few people gave Miles a snowball’s chance in hell of beating the Rams who dominated most of their opponents offensively and were incredibly stingy surrendering rushing yards.
Perhaps that’s why Miles celebrated junior running back Jordan Lewis, a juco transfer from Samford University, was surprised when he was able to amass 82 rushing yards. “This is the number one rushing defense in the country,” he said. Coming in, we knew it wouldn’t be an easy task but we kept telling ourselves that we had to get those want-to yards.”
The scoring drive that won all the marbles for Miles started with 3:20 left in the game and right after Albany State’s attempt to break a 17-17 tie with a 38-yard field goal failed. Behind the quarterbacking of junior David Thomas, Miles worked the oval from their own 31 to the Albany State 12. Despite having four fresh downs to try and get into the end zone for 6, Miles head coach Reginald Ruffin decided to attempt the win with a field goal on 1st and 10.
“I was nervous,” said Chambers who had successfully kicked a 34-yarder at the end of the third quarter. “ It wasn’t too long of a field goal and, even with me being a little nervous, I knew I could make that.”
“The idea was that we wanted to make sure we could run the clock down to one second,” Ruffin said. “ But the referee overheard us talking about getting into position and calling a timeout .He assumed I had called timeout. I didn’t but it still worked out for the best. Our motto all year was stay on course, stay focused. You saw the product. We stayed on course, we were focused and the results speak for themselves.”
Despite their loss to Miles, Albany State was selected to play in the first round of the NCAA Division II Playoff. ASU will face North Greenville this saturday at noon. The playoff selection should pave the way for Morehouse, which finished 2001 at 8-2 and the second best SIAC record, to be invited to Pioneer Bowl 13 on December 3 in Columbus, GA
Meanwhile, Stillman College ended its 2011 grid campaign on a losing note to Concordia College of Selma, Alabama 12-7. The Hornets were Stillman’s homecoming opponent. What might have been a 12th man, so to speak, for Concordia was defensive coordinator LC Cole. He was former head coach at Stillman and familiar with their offensive and defensive schemes.
The loss was Stillman’s third in the last four games of the season. Prior to that, the Tigers ruled the SIAC west until their 9-7 loss to Miles on November 3. Yet, the Tigers under first year coach Teddy Keaton, finished with a winning 7-4 mark. Concordia, meanwhile, managed to finish 6-4.
MOREHOUSE’S CARTER NAMED SIAC PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Morehouse’s celebrated running back David Carter was chosen the player of the year in the SIAC. The metro Atlanta native finished the 2011 regular season with 1495 yards and 19 touchdowns. He was also named first team All-SIAC along with four other Morehouse gridders. Clark-Atlanta University had one player, defensive lineman Darel Strong selected. Kentucky State led the pack with six of its players selected first team all conference…..
SIAC HOOPS-Morehouse kicked off basketball 2011 with two exhibition games against the University of Georgia and then an historic contest with the University of Kentucky. The Marooners lost to UGA, 74-50, November 4 and then 125-40 to UK on Monday, November 7 . The Tigers played before over 20,000 fans at Rupp Arena in Lexington. The game was actually arranged in Atlanta during a meeting between Morehouse head coach Grady Brewer and Kentucky Coach John Calipari .”Brew” agreed to allow the Kentucky coach to take a picture with his team in exchange for scheduling an exhibition game. Several weeks before the contest, Brewer told INSIDE that he wanted to expose the Tiger cagers to “big time Division I basketball” and considering Kentucky, it doesn’t get too much bigger than that.
Last weekend, Morehouse commenced their regular season playing the University of North Alabama and West Georgia. The host Tigers were edged by West Georgia 50-49 and lost 73-67 to UNA…. Clark-AU also commenced its 2011 with a 76-73 loss to UNA and 79-53 loss to West Georgia. It was the opening game for new CAU Head coach Dale Brown…..Speaking of CAU, their former basketball coach Daryl Jacobs opened his first season with the Trojans beating Towson State 50-43 in an exhibition game. His team then dropped two games 73-71 in overtime to Shepherd University and 73-71 to West Virginia State…….
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