Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC
By Hal Lamar
Photos by Patsy Collier-Lamar
Southern loses Bayou Classic to Grambling…again
NEW ORLEANS,La- The Southern University Jaguars had hoped to even their Bayou Classic series with intra-state rival Grambling at 19 wins each and for at least one half, it appeared that they would give the Tigers a run for their money.
But whatever Grambling Head Coach Doug Williams told his elevens during the unusually long 25 minute halftime worked. Grambling scored no less than five times in the second half and wound up handing Southern a sound 36-12 licking before better than 40,000 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Freshman quarterback DJ Williams, son of Grambling’s head coach, threw three touchdown passes, two of them part of the second half on-slaught. “We expect to play well every time we hit the field so it (the five scores) was not really surprising,” he said after the game.
Despite the victory, Grambling managed to commit a few faux pas of their own. In the second period, for example, they turned the ball over three times. To that, Coach Williams sidestepped an explanation and, in lieu, applauded his defense. “ The defense played really well,” he told INSIDE. “ I don’t know how many times they sacked the quarterback (it was five) but we got a few. They kept putting pressure on the quarterback and that made a difference in this game.”
The offense also contributed to the win and a lot of the credit can be heaped on running back Dawrence Roberts. The native of Clearwater, Florida rushed for 200 yards and scored one of Grambling’s four touchdowns. “You know, you always want to explode in the first half if you can, you know, start off good and finish good,” he said. “It just so happened we did better in the second half.”
Grambling wide receiver Mario Louis was named the game’s co-MVP along with Southern linebacker Jamie Payton. Payton had 15 total tackles, 10 of them solo shots. Louis snatched three touchdown passes, two of them in the second half.
Grambling’s victory put a lock on the western division title of the Southwestern Athletic Conference and a December 10 trip to Birmingham, Alabama’s Legion Field to take on the Bulldogs of Alabama A&M . “ Coach (Anthony) Jones does an exceptional job coaching his football team,” Williams said. “ We’ve played them before. They beat us this year at home (20-14). We had a lot of turnovers. . If we don’t turn the ball over, we’ve got a great opportunity to (win) this football game.”
MEANWHILE IN THE SIAC: Tuskegee ended a forgettable 2011 grid season Thanksgiving day with a 30-21 loss to Alabama State in the 88th Turkey Day Classic. But what overshadowed the win was the future of the classic. Will there be an 89th? Decision makers are tight-lipped about the future of the game but Julius Royals, inside’s correspondent in Tuskegee tells us the sticking point appears to be the location. Alabama State wants to move the game from the Cramton Bowl in downtown Montgomery to their own campus stadium scheduled to be ready in time for the classic.
XTRA POINTS:One of Southern’s defensive backs is junior Mychal Bell, You readers may remember him as one of the so called “Jena six” a few years back. In fact, the case which brought thousands to the small Louisiana town was centered around gim…
Doug Williams and Alabama A&M’s Anthony Jones share more than a similar profession as head coaches. Jones was Williams’ roommate when the two were with the Washington Redskins…..
Here’s a shameless plug for New Orleans’ Harrah Hotel near the French quarter. After the Bayou Classic, this writer, wife, and friends dined at their buffet. The cashier noticed my Vietnam veterans cap and lopped 25% off the price of the meal which is something they do for veterans. I may never take that cap off again!!!....
I also followed the recommendation of my sister-in-law Ella Collier and feasted at a place in Hammond Louisiana called Don’s Seafood. The bistro has been open since 1934 and is something of an institution in Hammond.
Speaking of Hammond, a lot of the award winning motion picture “:Ray” was shot there. Hammond is the home town of INSIDE Photog Patsy C Lamar ….
Got an item? Contact Hal -> hallamar at comcast.net