Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC
By Hal Lamar
Photos by Patsy Collier-Lamar
Stillman on fire with three straight wins
The Stillman Tigers are hotter than a firefighter’s hat. Normally I would expect Ted Keaton and his elevens to come out the chute at the alpha of the season kicking butt and taking names. However, they lost their first two games to University of West Alabama and to Division I opponent Samford University and then came St Augustine's, Kentucky State (two home games by the way) and last week Lane College. They whipped the Dragons on the road 55-21 for their third straight . Junior quarterback Josh Straughan , who struggled in the first two games of the season, came alive against Lane. He passed for 292 yards and tossed six touchdown strikes. In the last three games, the junior from Colton Washington has averaged 199 yards per and has thrown 10 touchdowns. That performance and contributions from other Tigers like senior Jovante Thurmon and senior free safety Cameron Stallings, the Tigers are now in a first place tie in the SIAC west.
Speaking of hot, the 20-7 victory by Morehouse over CAU in last weekend’s 86th mix between the two cross street rivals of the six school Atlanta University center was essentially all Morehouse . Give some credit for that to the Panthers who committed six turnovers and should have been grateful that Morehouse could only convert one of them to scores. The Marooners managed to penetrate into the Panther red zone 11 times.
“ We ‘re going to have to get together as a staff and figure out how to make some changes so we don’t leave that ball on the ground,” said CAU head coach Kevin Weston. “We’ve got to shuffle some people around and get the ball in the hands of people who won’t leave it on the ground.”
“We are a decent team but not a real good team. If you are real good, you don’t leave points on the field and expect to win all the time,” said Morehouse head coach Richard Freeman. “But this year’s team and this win proves that you can be a decent team but not a bad team. Last year, we were racked with injuries which is not making excuses for our (3-8) finish. This year, we are getting help from the bench (sophomore running back Malik Johnson came on in the second half, scored twice and led all rushers with 118 yards). Last year, we might have found a way to lose a game like this. But now, we are operating by committee. It doesn’t matter who gets the limelight because the team gets the credit and the Lord gets the glory. We are just happy with the victory.”
Morehouse faces a pivotal contest this weekend versus the Golden Tigers of Tuskegee University in the 79th annual Morehouse-Tuskegee classic, one time known as the Columbus Classic. Back in 2010, Morehouse found themselves in the position they are in now going against the Goldens. Then, they went to Columbus 5-0 but lost to ‘Skegee 31-15. The Tigers are anxious to come away from Columbus this year with a win for no less than two reasons. One, they want to avenge the 54-10 drubbing they took from the Golden Tigers in 2013 and to capture their first victory since 2011 when the Marooners went 8-2.
MeanwhileClark- AU keeps it home this weekend to take on the 0-3 College of Faith Saints of Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers, 1-4 overall can improve those figures some with a victory over the Saints. Unfortunately, the win cannot help their division or conference won-loss which has placed the Panthers next to the bottom in the SIAC’s eastern division . Only the winless record of Paine College has kept CAU from landing in the division’s basement.
ELSEWHERE IN THE CONFERENCE: Miles defeated Benedict 23-13 before 7249 at Sloan Stadium in Fairfield, Alabama and before a national audience via CBS. It was the Bears’ second conference victory and improved their overall to 2-3…..,Tuskegee overcame a 14-7 halftime lead by Fort Valley to score 21 points in the fourth period, then withstood an aggressive charge by the Wildcats in the fourth to hang on and win 35-28…..Kentucky State defeated Central State 31-24 despite Marauder quarterback Michael Wilson’s 210 passing yards and a score and his 161 yards rushing and two more scores…..Paine College remains winless thanks to a a rugged Albany State defense that sacked Paine quarterback Loranzo Hammond four times and Paine’s four turnovers which led to a 17-0 shutout by the Rams
XTRA POINTS: Thanks to some INSIDERS, I found out what happened to the CAU band which was a no-show for halftime of the Panthers home opener September 14. Seems CAU at the time didn’t have a band director. A replacement hired didn’t measure up. The school has hired a new director and the band did perform at last weekend’s contest and the September 27th homer against West Georgia. Their numbers are low but as the band’s announcer put it, “yes we are low in numbers but high in spirit.” He was right. All things considered, the band played on and played well. The announcer also put out a clarion call for former band members to return and urged students interested to sign up…….Speaking of numbers, attendance at this year’s Atlanta Football Classic was 24,441. Save this year, I have covered the Classic ( once called the Ebony Classic ) since inception in 1989 and I have never known the turnout to be so puny. Why the fans aren’t coming is open to conjecture but I think the lack of a FAMU band is keeping a lot of the locals away (with all due respect to the South Carolina State and A&T bands).
THIS WEEK’S GAMES AND PICKS
- Stillman over Benedict
- CAU over College of Faith-Charlotte
- Kentucky State over Fort Valley
- Paine over Limestone
- Morehouse over Tuskegee
- Miles over Central State
- Albany State over Lane
Got an item? Contact Hal -> hallamar at comcast.net