Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC
By Hal Lamar
Photos by Patsy Collier-Lamar
ATLANTA, Ga (Ga Dome)-Corry Brown, senior linebacker for Southern University, became BMOC on the Baton Rouge, Louisiana campus after stripping the football from Florida A&M quarterback Damien Fleming at the FAMU 37 in the fourth period which eventually led to the winning touchdown giving the Jaguars a 21-14 come-from-behind victory over the Rattlers at the 24th Atlanta Football Classic sponsored each year by the Atlanta Chapter of 100 Black Men of Atlanta.
The win was especially satisfying for Southern interim head coach Dawson Odums (if he keeps winning, the school should remove the interim from his title) who was thrust into the head coach’s seat after Stump Mitchell was relieved of similar duties after starting the 2012 season at 0-2.
The FAMU victory was Odums’ second since taking over. “We kept talking about we were losing the turnover battle,” said Odums who’s only other stint as head coach occurred nearly ten years ago as the pilot for Clark-Atlanta U .
”They (FAMU) was plus two on us and we really needed a turnover to ignite the team and if we could just get one, it could shift the momentum,” said Odums. “We didn’t know it would end up being a touchdown.”
“There were a lot of other plays we could have made better,” said FAMU head coach Joe Taylor. “But that was just a good hustle. I always tell my guys everybody doesn’t have the same talent but nobody should out-hustle you. This time, we just got out-hustled.”
Despite, the loss , FAMU sophomore quarterback Damien Fleming accounted well for himself, throwing for 256 yards and two touchdowns. He was also sacked three times but was named FAMU MVP. His Southern counterpart, junior Joseph Dray was named Southern MVP. He passed for 226 yards, threw two touchdowns and was sacked once. It’s Southern’s first victory in the Classic since they rejoined the fray in 2011, replacing Tennessee State University. They previously played in four Classics in 1991,1992 1993 and 1996, winning two of the four games.
A crowd of 41,092 attended this year’s classic (according to FAMU stats on their website. Statsprovided by staff at the end of the game didn’t provide a figure). It was 18,281 fewer than the 59,373 that attended last year’s match-up. Some said it may have been because of the absence of FAMU’s famed Marching 100 but members of the 100 dispute that but it didn’t keep so called “major” media in Atlanta and elsewhere from hammering that point to death. To fill the gap, the 100 arranged a Super Bowl style halftime show that featured the Southern “Human Jukebox” band and a firework and smoke-laden show at midfield that featured entertainers Doug E Fresh and Chaka Khan (though a few in the stands and the press box grumbled about Chaka’s 5 minute performance and two songs). One member of the 100 Black Men addressed assembled media in the press room of the Dome and suggested this could become a trend and didn’t rule out a continuation of the format even if FAMU returns in 2013.
The Southern band, in a show of solidarity with their FAMU contemporaries, faced the FAMU side of the field and created the letters to the tune of “Let’s Stay Together” The gesture met with thunderous applause from FAMU and Southern fans…..
IN THE SIAC: Morehouse has moved from fourth to second in the eastern division of the SIAC following their 34-16 win over AU center campus rival Clark-AU. One of the more exciting moments in the game occurred in the third quarter following halftime when junior Thomas Williams of Knightdale, North Carolina raced 95 yards for a score, his second of threetouchdowns of the afternoon. The game with the improved Panthers must have made Morehouse Head Coach Richard Freeman and his offensive coordinator Leon Murray nervous, especially considering that their two leading rushers, David Carter and Shelton Hamilton were sidelined with injuries. They both must feel a little comforted with the bench strength of Thomas, true freshman Quendarius Hall and senior Darquan McCann who scored five of the team’s six touchdowns……
Tuskegee broke Fort Valley’s two game win streak with a surprising 49-18 win (remember many go in but few come out with a win over Tuskegee in Death Valley). The win puts Tuskegee in first place in the SiAC west…
Stillman, right under ‘Skegee, knocked off Lane 32-22…
Miles, third in the SIAC West, handed Benedict their fifth straight loss with a 50-7 victory in Columbia South Carolina…
Albany State, having its challenges in 2012, skated by Kentucky State 17-14.
XTRA POINTS: The suspension against Clark-AU’ s Marching band has been lifted. An investigation by the school found no hazing activities or other wrongdoing……CAU placekicker Austin Casillas, a former high school soccer star in Arizona, booted a 51 yard field goal in the 4th period of the Morehouse game. The long FG was memorable and probably the second longest effort in SiAC history. The first, a 53 yard field goal, was made last year by Morehouse’s former placekicker Ian Mullen…..
SIAC GAMES AND PICKS FOR THE WEEK
Stillman over Benedict
Morehouse over Tuskegee
Miles over CAU
Albany State over Lane
Fort Valley over Kentucky State
Got an item? Contact Hal -> hallamar at comcast.net