Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC
By Hal Lamar
Photos by Patsy Collier-Lamar
Black Chicago Biz trio set to launch 16th Chi Football Classic
The 16th annual Chicago Football Classic, brainchild of three African-American business types of the windy city, kicks off September 21 at Chicago’s Soldier Field between the Maroon Tigers of Morehouse College (0-1) and the Marauders of Central State of Ohio (0-1).
The classic was started by Larry Huggins, Everett Rand and Tim Rand as a way to encourage education among African American youth, complete their high school degrees and enroll in an historically black college or university. Proceeds from the classic fund scholarships for many deserving youth.
The Morehouse-CSU pairing is the second contest to feature schools from the SIAC. Last year, Kentucky State and Albany State collided with the Rams eking out a narrow 17-14 win over the Thorobreds. There have also been at least two nail-biters in the last 16 years. In 2003, Texas Southern slipped past the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff 7-6 and in 2011, the MEAC’s Hampton Pirates narrowly beat Anthony Jones’ Alabama A&M’s Bulldogs, 21-20. The upcoming Morehouse-Central State showdown promises to imitate 2011 and ‘12 provided the two clubs can get past this weekend’s opponents Lane and Kentucky State respectively.
ROUND THE SIAC: Last weekend, both AU Center teams faced the agony of defeat. A late fourth quarter surge by the “House” was not enough to overcome a deficit against Howard University and they fell to the Bison, 27-16, in the third annual AT&T Nation’s Classic in Washington DC. Morehouse is now 0-3 in the series. Morehouse took an early ,albeit short 3-0 lead over Howard but then gave up 27 unanswered points to the Bison who led 27-3 until the end of the third period when Morehouse scored six on a pass from Joshua Harris to Brandon Sartin. Then at the 10:09 mark of the fourth period, Morehouse launched a 9 play, 90 yard drive that resulted in a 9 yard run to the end zone by Shelton Hamilton. Trailing by 11 points, Morehouse launched two promising drives in the fourth period but failed to get pass the Howard 47 in each.
A bright spot for the Marooners was finding diamond-in-the-rough quarterback Harris. The junior from Detroit, Michigan whose future ambitions include becoming mayor of his hometown, completed 18 of his 31 passing attempts for 193 yards and a touchdown.
Things were much tougher (and hotter) for the CAU Panthers and their baby-brand-new head coach Kevin Weston. In 93-plus degree heat in Livingston, Alabama and before a partisan crowd of 5838, the host West Alabama Tigers scored 42 points through the third quarter including 28 by halftime to defeat Clark Atlanta, 42-6. The Panthers, with over half their roster true freshman (39) and facing a much bigger and more experienced Tiger eleven, did get on the scoreboard early in the fourth period to avoid being shutout as they were last year when CAU hosted UWA and got whitewashed 44-0. The Panthers collected 155 yards of total offense while UWA rolled up 509. The Panthers, though seemingly overwhelmed, never gave up however. The defense was ample evidence of that. Junior Bernard Williams, a pre –season all conference first team selection, picked up 9 tackles, 8 of them solo to tie UWA’s leading tackler Tevin Thomas who also had 9 totals but only 5 solo shots.
Elsewhere in the conference, Lane College profited from a two touchdown performance by quarterback Chris Rini to win 38-13 on the road against Virginia –Lynchburg. Don’t look over Lane lest you be slain (or burned) by the Dragon….
Benedict welcomed newest SIAC member Central State with a 42-9 win over the Marauders. Has former Tuskegee assistant James Woody found himself in Columbia, South Carolina? His QB Marcus Graham certainly has. The redshirt sophomore from Daytton, Ohio passed for 269 yards and scored three times….
Fort Valley launched a valiant rally against Valdosta State after trailing 36-8 but lost to the defending NCAA Division II champ, 36-21, in Macon Georgia. Fort Valley drew first blood in the opening minutes of the first quarter taking a 6-0 lead but missed the PAT which Valdosta scooped up and returned 99 yards for a score. Valley scored TDs in the third and fourth quarter and had at least two opportunities to score more that but couldn’t take advantage….
Stillman College, behind the 206 yards of passing by Joshua Straughan, shellacked Concordia-Selma, 52-0. Stillman’s defense sacked Concordia-Selma quarterbacks 10 times….
An 11th hour field goal by North Greenville allowed them to squeeze by Albany State 26-24. With 2:55 remaining, ASU took a 24-23 lead but missed an attempt at two points which would have forced the Crusaders to score a touchdown to win it. Then on the ensuing kickoff, North Greenville drove the oval in range for a 31 yard field goal. The Rams had one more opportunity but couldn’t mount a drive.
XTRA POINTS: I’m still waiting for ruffles ,flourishes, bells and whistles from the Atlanta chapter of 100 Black Men over their 25th Atlanta Football Classic. So far, nothing from the BMOA’s press office. The clock is ticking. They’ve got less than a month…..
This is the weekend for the 41st Urban League Classic played in New York’s Metlife Stadium. Benedict College will mix with the Trojans of Virginia State. Proceeds benefit a scholarship fund named for former Urban League director Whitney Young who was also one of the speakers at the 1963 March on Washington. A documentary produced two years ago by CBS Sports on the 1968 Grambling-Morgan State team which was a precursor to the classic and the first black college grid game to be played in the “Big Apple” is scheduled to be shown sometime within the next two weeks. Check your local listings for days and times….
INSIDE PICKS THIS WEEK
Kentucky State over Central State
Morehouse over Lane
Benedict over Virginia State
Stillman over CAU
Fort Valley over Savannah State
Tuskegee over Albany State
Miles over West Georgia
Last week’s prediction performance : 7-3
Got an item? Contact Hal -> hallamar at comcast.net