Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC
By Hal Lamar
Photos by Patsy Collier-Lamar
Will the HBCU Bowl first played last December in Montgomery Alabama do an encore for 2010?
According to their web site, one has been planned for December 18th and again will be sponsored by Russell Athletics. Kickoff time hasn’t been confirmed but the game is listed on the events page of the Ga Dome web site (gadome.com). This also confirms rumors I had been hearing earlier this year that the bowl’s originators, led by Derick Moore, CEO of the Atlanta based Synergy Company, planned to relocate to Atlanta. It was puzzling since they made such a big deal of the Montgomery venue and their plans for a long association with the city.
Actually, moving to Hotlanta is not a bad move. Bringing the game indoors could attract more fans through the turnstiles (last year’s game drew about 3000 fans who shivered through four quarters) and encourage more HBCU fans to attend the game, pay the bucks for tickets and travel in the midst of holiday shopping. The dome web site says tickets went on sale October 1….
I wish I could get more official information on this Legacy Bowl. The skinny on the street says the game will pit the champs of the MEAC and SWAC in a battle at the Georgia Dome. Additional scuttlebutt involved in the mix. If this game sound familiar, its because its been tried before. Then, it was called the Heritage Bowl and spent most of its short nine years in Atlanta
THE SECOND BATTLE OF ATLANTA
Albany State transfer quarterback Stanley Jennings had guaranteed that no one would beat the Rams the rest of the season. That dangerous boast came before the Rams mixed with the Morehouse Maroon Tigers on Morehouse’s homecoming Saturday, October 23 here in Atlanta.
The 19,234 who overflowed BT Harvey Stadium built for about 800 got a whole lot more from this annual frolicking than enjoying the usual pursuits like backslapping, glad handing and consuming spirits. This time, they were forced to keep their eyes affixed to the proceedings on the field all four quarters.
After halftime, the mostly partisan fans who thought they would witness their Tigers knocking the Rams off undefeated mountain were bitterly disappointed when ASU mounted an 87 yard drive that ended with a controversial five yard touchdown pass from Jennings to Ronnie Childs with 18 seconds remaining. It allowed ASU to escape Atlanta with a 13-12 victory. Despite protests that Childs caught the touchdown pass out-of-bounds, referee Charles Balloon scoped the situation and ruled the call on the field would stand. Morehouse attempted to make the most of the few seconds remaining. After moving the oval to near midfield and with only four seconds remaining, the Tigers trotted out place-kicker Ian Mullen for a 61 yard field goal attempt. The oval got nowhere near the goal posts which didn’t surprise most of the hard-core Morehouse fans.
What did surprise Marooner fans was the two PAT attempts which the usually sure-footed Mullen missed following the Tigers two touchdowns in the second and third quarters. In fact, Morehouse had shut out the Rams until the 12:09 mark of the fourth period. Morehouse’s defense had successfully managed to keep the Rams out of the end zone for three quarters which ASU head coach James “Mike” White excused to their usual slow start. But then Jennings, perhaps sensing Morehouse was about to make him eat his “guaranteed” words, went to work in the fourth, first ending a 60 yard drive himself with a 12 yard run, then the five yard pass to Childs which became the game winning points.
Notwithstanding the disappointing loss at homecoming, Morehouse head coach Rich Freeman is concerned with how it might affect their chances for post-season play. Morehouse lost ground in most of the polls, dropped out of sight in the AFCA and D2 Football polls, but only lost a peg from 8th to 9th in the SBN tally, The win did wonders for ASU, moving the Rams from 8th to 6th in the AFCA, 11th to 7th in the D2football.com and to third in the SBN poll ( though ole’ INSIDE can’t figure why they aren’t at least number two behind Bethune-Cookman who really ought to be number one at 7-0. Grambling is tops in the poll but they are 6-1.BC and ASU have the only unblemished records in HBCU football) . Morehouse has two games remaining on their regular season schedule. This weekend, they show down against cross-campus rival Clark-AU and wind up the season on the road against Miles.
Speaking of CAU, the Panthers led visiting Tuskegee 10-9 at halftime but apparently left some of their team in the locker room and wound up being shut out 28-0 in the second half and losing 37-10. The Panthers were held to 56 rushing yards while giving up 132 yards to Tuskegee which was licking its wounds after being shut out 26-0 a fortnight ago against Fort Valley. Tuskegee’s Nykeem Barton, whose three touchdowns beat Morehouse in the Columbus Georgia classic October 16, led the way for the Golden Tigers with 67 rushing yards and two scores.
AROUND THE SIAC: An 11th hour touchdown by Fort Valley gave the Wildcats a 14-12 victory over Kentucky State. It was their seventh straight victory
…Only 750 turned out in Jackson Tennessee Saturday to see the conferences two winless schools battle. After a back and forth between both schools, Stillman scored as time elapsed in the game to edge Lane College, 26-25…
…Miles quarterback Carlton Hill threw two touchdown strikes in the last 30 minutes of their ballgame with Benedict but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Tigers 20-0 lead and they wound up taking it on the chin from their visitors, 20-14, before 13,551 at Miles’ Sloan Stadium…
THIS WEEK’S GAMES AND PICKS
Tuskegee over Kentucky State
Kentucky Wesleyan over Miles
Fort Valley over Lane
Albany State over Stillman
Concordia over Benedict
Morehouse over Clark-Atlant
PS-Thanks to Fred Suttles, sports anchor for 98.1FM Albany Georgia for streaming the ASU-Morehouse game. I got to listen to the entire game while under the weather last week…
Also a tip of the helmet to Julius Royals of HL News Service, Atlanta for contributng to this report