Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC
By Hal Lamar
Miles 41, Tuskegee 36…No Typo!!!!
ATLANTA- The hard core at Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama just a stone’s throw south of downtown Birmingham might scoff at my headline but they know that the odds were against them to beat Willie Slater’s Goldens. After all, they were playing the game at Cleve Abbott Stadium on Tuskegee’s campus. The old-timers call the place “Death Valley” because the bones of so many ‘Skegee opponents are scattered all over the non-lighted field. Tuskegee is defending the crown they won last year. Tuskegee was also arguably the best team in the conference. They boast the best W-L in the conference and until Miles, their only loss of this season was 35-13 to Winston Salem on the road.
But apparently Miles’ Reggie Ruffin paid no attention to that and his “winning disease” became epidemic among his Bear elevens. By halftime, Miles was leading 34-14 .. Tuskegee outscored Miles 22-7 in the second half but turned the ball over twice which Miles took advantage of.
David Thomas, the red-shirt senior, put on a scoring clinic, accounting for all six of Miles’ touchdowns, five of them in the air. In fact, the Bears were poised to score a seventh TD when time ran out. Miles returns for the second time to the conference championship game in Atlanta this Saturday and their opponents will be the team that they beat 20-17 in SIAC Championship one - Albany State. The Rams defeated Fort Valley 19-10 and also utilized the services of their now celebrated quarterback, junior Frank Rivers who threw for two touchdowns, one a game-clinching 63 yarder to Adrian Alexander I must say I was disappointed with the lack of sportsmanship and discipline displayed by some Wildcats. It forced me to the statistical chart which revealed that Donnie Pittman’s Wildcats were the most penalized team in the conference. In nine games. FVSU was flagged 125 times for 1135 yards, which averages to 126.1 negative yards per game. That, to me, is a sign of discipline meltdown. Pittman’s got to get a handle on that fast…..
ELSEWHERE IN THE CONFERENCE- The Panthers of Clark-Atlanta University will wrap up their 2013 season and the maiden voyage of head coach Kevin Weston this Saturday when they travel to Baton Rouge Louisiana to face Southern University.
The Jaguars, first in the western division of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) and with an overall record of 6-4, are coached by Dawson Odums who once piloted CAU in 2004.
Clark-AU travels to Baton Rouge after achieving their third victory of 2013 last weekend over visiting Edward Waters College from Jacksonville Florida. As was the case against Morehouse back in late September, Edward Waters played tough against the Panthers , racking up 21 points in the fourth period after trailing 28-7 at the break . It was too little, too late, however to overcome the CAU lead, much of which was gathered in the first period.
Morehouse, meanwhile, ended the 2013 grid campaign with a bang…..for their opponent. The Tigers were shut out by hosts Kentucky State 44-0. It avenges last year’s 55-7 pasting Morehouse handed the Thorobreds. Credit for the Morehouse whitewashing this year goes to KSU junior quarterback Adam Robinson. The California native threw for 323 yards and five touchdowns. Morehouse, racked by injuries to key players, could only get 50 yards from quarterback Joshua Harris who was sacked five times. The win was also the first for KSU’s Joshua Dean as head coach. He had been serving in the capacity as interim since March.
The season-ending loss for Morehouse leaves them at 2-8, their worst finish since a similar record in 1999. ……Central State couldn’t hold on to a 24-6 lead at halftime over Johnson C Smith and wound up losing to the Golden Bulls 26-24…..Stillman had no troubles defeating the College of Faith 42-0. All of the Tigers’ points came in the first half…..
XTRA POINTS:Former Bethune-Cookman head coach Alvin Wyatt is getting another shot at head coach. He was named interim head coach at Jacksonville Florida’s Edward Waters College last week. He got the job following the firing of Brad Bernard who ironically worked as a position coach 11 of the 13 years of Wyatt’s tenure at BC. Wyatt says he would “absolutely” accept the permanent post if offered. I believe he’ll get it if he can win the team’s final game for the season at home against College of Faith this weekend…… God willing, INSIDE will be Louisiana for the next two weeks covering CAU and Southern this weekend in Baton Rouge and staying over with family in nearby Hammond until the November 30 Bayou Classic between Southern and Grambling in N’Orleans. The so-called “G men” avoided a potentially winless season when they defeated Mississippi Valley last week 47-40. Southern meanwhile, is two games away from a trip to the SWAC championship game in Houston December 7. Returning to the championship for the first time since 2004 would be a feather in the cap for Dawson Odums, who once coached at Clark-AU in 2004. The Jags have been to the big dance three times since they were one of the inaugural teams in 1999. Their record is 2-1…..Speaking of New Orleans and the Bayou, I am reminded that Harrah’s has an excellent buffet and veterans don’t have to wait until Veterans Day to get a break. They offer us military types a 25% discount off the cost of the food. You’re on your own with the gambling…..
THIS WEEK’S GAMES AND PICKS
Southern over Clark-AU- Saturday, 6pm, Baton Rouge Louisiana
Miles over Albany State-Saturday,7pm, Lakewood Stadium, Atlanta (SIAC Championship)
(Note: This is the second meeting between these two schools for the conference crown. In championship game one, Miles used a field goal to defeat ASU 20-17……
Got an item? Contact Hal -> hallamar at comcast.net