Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC
By Hal Lamar
Photos by Patsy Collier-Lamar
BATON ROUGE, La-Albany State captured its first true conference title with a narrow 17-14 win over Miles College.
It was the second time that these two teams have met in the three years the conference title game has been played.. Interestingly in SIAC Championship One, Miles defeated Albany State 20-17 .ASU also won by three points.
The loss by Miles was especially disappointing for the Alabama boys since the Bears led throughout most of the contest 14-7 until the fourth quarter when Zachery Holley booted a 28 yard field goal to narrow the Bears lead to four. Then with 8:51 remaining, a 28 yard punt by ASU at the Miles 13 was muffed by Darren Fife and the fumble recovered by Albany’s Untayous Benson at the 4. One play later, Adrian Alexander romped from the four for what became the winning touchdown.
Miles had two opportunities to launch drives but couldn’t move successfully against ASU’s “dirty blue” defense.
ASU finishes 2013 with an overall 5-4 and first place in the SIAC East. Miles finishes with a 6-4 mark and second in the SIAC west. Tuskegee, who lost the opportunity to defend their 2012 title with a upset loss to Miles a fortnight ago, finished first nonetheless and with an 8-2 overall finish, qualified for the first time in school history for the NCAA Division II playoffs,. They will visit North Alabama in the first round November 23. If the SIAC decides to schedule another Pioneer Bowl, it appears that Albany State would qualify against a rep from the CIAA which will likely be Fayetteville State. SIAC officials would neither confirm nor deny reports there might not be a post-season game this year. SIAC Sports information director Calleb Obumba told INSIDE on Monday of this week that a press release would be issued sometime this week.
Clark-Atlanta, its roster filled with freshmen players didn’t seem to stand a prayer against the more experienced Southern University Jaguars and it showed here in the Bayou State last Saturday night as the Panthers were shut out,albeit only their second time this season, 53-0 before 12,217 mostly partisans at AW Mumford Stadium.
There was little to applaud the Panthers over. Their only solace offensively was true freshman Montavious Taylor. The former Carver High of Atlanta running back rushed 17 times for 51 yards. CAU’s defense also accounted well for themselves with three of their down linemen finishing in double figures in tackles. Juniors Joshua Tate and pre season all conference’s Brenard Williams recorded 12 tackles, followed closely by senior Stevon McGill who had 10 tackles.
The rest of the two hour, twenty-nine minute contest belonged to Southern, however, as the Jaguars led 26-0 in the first half and then returned to the gridiron to complete the job with 27 unanswered points. Did CAU rookie head coach Kevin Weston think his hosts were trying to run up the score? “ I think so, “ said Southern head coach Dawson Odums, who coached at CAU from 2001 to 2005. But he added this. “ When you get beat like that, well, it’s the moment.” But Odums also applauded the Panthers as well. “ The wing T is a difficult offense that takes time to learn. Eventually, that offense is going to work for Coach and CAU. Remember, they are young.”
The season is over for Weston and the Panthers who finished at 3-7. It may not seem like much until you consider that last year, the Panthers finished at 2-8. Meanwhile, the season continues for the Jaguars. They take on 1-10 Grambling November 30 at the 40th annual Bayou Classic and then will represent the western division of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) at the conference championship game December 7 against the east division champion Tigers of Jackson State. Note: Both Odums and Jackson Coach Rick Comegy coached at one time in the SIAC. (Comegy was once head coach at Tuskegee).
ELSEWHERE IN THE SIAC: In the only other SIAC game last week, Central State of Ohio was all but destroyed by West Alabama 91-28. The Marauders, who only won two games this season, trailed 42-28 at the break but got shut out 49-0 in the second. Interestingly, CSU was only the second school to score 28 points on West Alabama’s defense. Valdosta State scored 30 points but lost to UWA 49-30.
The final regular season SIAC game is Thanksgiving day when Stillman takes on Alabama State.
XTRA POINTS: Kudos to whomever is responsible for the press box at Southern’s Mumford Stadium. It was spacey, confortable, well lit ,organized and run and presented us with a great view of the playing field. Although the SIAC is my beat, I will find some way to get back to Southern’s campus in 2014…….Budget axes were busy around Benedict College I’m told. Head football coach James Woody lost several assistants including former ( and original) Atlanta Falcon Lee Calland. With recruiting and competition so tough in this conference, the absence of assistants is not helping Benedict’s cause……
GAMES AND PICK
Alabama State over Stillman
Got an item? Contact Hal -> hallamar at comcast.net