Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC
By Hal Lamar
Photos by Patsy Collier-Lamar
Ragsdale, New Grambling Coach has SIAC Connections
George Ragsdale, who picked up the baton (or handed same) from the deposed Doug Williams as interim head coach of Grambling University, is no stranger to the SIAC. From 1986-1990, Ragsdale was offensive coordinator for the Wolverines of Morris Brown College. Unless my memory fails me, he was on the staff of former MBC head coach and athletic director Greg Thompson. Speaking of Williams who also once coached in the conference as head coach at Morehouse College , I was a bit surprised at what seemed and felt like a rush by school administrators to give him the “see ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya”. But in a local newspaper account, Williams seemed to be taking everything in stride. I got to meet and know Doug when he coached at Morehouse in the mid 1990s. He was only there one season when mother Grambling called and I think that the Zachery, Louisiana native couldn’t wait to get “home”. You can’t blame anyone for wanting to go home. I just kinda wonder what his private thoughts about his alma mater are now?
Meanwhile, the struggle continues for the “G” men. They lost last week 47-34 to Division II opponent Lincoln (Missouri). …post Doug.
IN THE SIAC: Neither of the AU Center teams could forge a victory last week. CAU had their home opener spoiled by tough Stillman College 27-6 behind the 312 passing yards of sophomore quarterback Joshua Straughan who also threw two touchdowns. The win gives Stillman a 2-0 start and made their head coach Teddy Keaton happy….to a degree.“ I’m always glad to get a victory but we’ve got some things to wotk on,” said the Stillman grad who returned to his alma mater as head coach in 2011. “ We have to get some things cleaned up penalty wise ( Stillman drew ten penalties for 95 yards against CAU) . I think we hurt ourselves with drives, especially on defense with undisciplined things. Turnovers hurt us early in the first half. We could have scored more points on CAU. I think our team underestimated them. I take my hat off to coach ( Kevin Weston). He’s doing a great job. They are young . When he gets those guys into his system, they will do well.”
Much like the season opener a fortnight ago against West Alabama on the road, the Panthers were able to avoid a shutout . With 8:36 to go in the game, CAU mounted a 10 play, 88 yard drive helped by two Stillman penalties. It ended with a one yard run to the end zone by freshman Montavious Taylor of Atlanta. He led all rushers with 85 yards. In fact,. CAU outrushed Stillman 224-163 but likely that was due to their rush-prone offense. The Panthers only passed for ten yards while collectively, Straughan and backup Torrance Moise, a senior transfer from Webber International, threw for 345 yards. Moise also threw for one of Stillman’s four touchdowns.
Defensively, CAU junior linebacker Bre’nard Williams, a pre –season al-SIAC pick, led all tacklers with 14, 10 of them solo shots.
Meanwhile, Morehouse College is aching after losing their second straight football game of the young season to Lane College 31-17. The 0-2 start is the poorest for Head Coach Richard Freeman since arriving on campus in 2007 and the poorest for the school since 2004 when they opened that season 0-2 with losses to Fort Valley and Edward Waters. In last week’s Lane game, the Marooners attempted to overcome a deficit by scoring twice in the fourth period but much like the season opener against Howard, it proved too little, too late. The Dragons were led by their senior quarterback Chris Riniwho completed 25 of his 32 passing attempts for 270 yards and three touchdowns. Morehouse conversely, may have found a second diamond-in-the-rough quarterback in freshman Mongavious Johnson. He relieved starter Joshua Harris and threw for 76 yards and two touchdowns. …….
Benedict’s Marcus Graham did it once more ( give that boy a steak for dinner). His 211 passing yards and three scores led the Tigers to a 30-14 win in NYC at the annual Urban League football classic. 25,815 showed up at MetLife Stadium……Kentucky State rallied after a 17-14 halftime deficit to score 24 unanswered points and defeat Central State 35-17. The hero of this piece? Junior Jacquise Lockett.Dig my man: 240 rushing yards and three scores.….Savannah State quarterback Antonio Bostick threw for 326 yards and scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to shock Fort Valley State 27-20. It’s Savannah State’s first win of the season and only their second since defeating Edward Waters 42-35 last year….
A late hour 75 yard scoring drive allowed Tuskegee to skirt by tough Albany State 19-13, spoiling the home opener for the Rams. Gotta get my man Wlllie Slater to say more in his press interviews. …..And Miles scored first in last week’s game against West Georgia but then got shut out by the Wolves the rest of the way and lost 31-7. Reggie Ruffin must be having nightmares starting the season at 0-2. Fortunately, they are non-conference games.
XTRA POINTS: High School coaches and especially those with predominately black players need to encourage more of them to specialize in punting and kicking. I see no Africanj-American field goal kickers or punters at the pro level, none at the major colleges and not even that many among HBCU schools. Are these kids being funneled off to other positions or is the punter/kicker post one that is not “glamorous “ enough for them. The coaches need to let them know that a good punter/kicker is worth his/her weight in gold an can get them college scholarships and maybe even a pro contract. A specialty like that gives you a much better chance of taking your skill to a higher level……….Singer Gladys Knight (Morris Brown), an Atlanta native has opened another of her Chicken and Waffle restaurants. The latest one is located on Cascade Road in southwest Atlanta. They started out as Gladys Knight and Ron Winans Chicken and waffles but apparently the Georgia crooner is going solo……And last week, I failed to mention the Tuskegee-Alabama A&M game and I promised a fan who e-mailed me about the omission that I would right(or write) the wrong. Tuskegee upset the growl off the Bulldogs 23-7 in the fourth annual Louis Crews Classic. It’s the first time the Goldens have beaten A&m since 2008 when they beat them in that year’s Circle City Classic in Indianapolis ( Pat and I were there for that at Lucas Oil Stadium).
THIS WEEK’S GAMES AND PICKS
Lane over Taylor
Tuskegee over Winston Salem
Morehouse over Central State
Stillman over St Augustine
Fort Valley over CAU
SC State over Benedict
Kentucky State over Va. State
Miles over Concordia-Selma
Albany State over Elizabeth City
LAST WEEK’S RIGHT AND WRONG-4-3
Got an item? Contact Hal -> hallamar at comcast.net