Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC
By Hal Lamar
Photos by Patsy Collier-Lamar
SIAC East needs to win another conference title; they trail west 2-1
Tis’ the time of year that east meets west in the fourth championship mix of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (the SIAC). The game has moved from Atlanta and now domiciles in Montgomery Alabama and the 25,000 seat and newly renovated Cramton Bowl.
This year, the east needs to win another. Most of you fellow and lady hard-core football fans probably haven’t noticed, but the west is dominating the series, having won two of the three events so far.
2011-championshp game one-Mile s College rolls into Atlanta to face the Rams of Albany State University. The game rolled along like a see-saw, you know, up-down-all-around until the final stanza and field goal in the 11th hour made the “good news Bears” the conference’s first “true” champ with a 20-17 victory.
2012: 8-1 Tuskegee tangles with Ronnie Pittman’s 8-3 Fort Valley State University Wildcats. The Wildcats lost 55-24. The ‘Cats lost, thanks to a severe case of the “boo-boo” flu, committing five turnovers that shy Willie Slater and the Goldens took clear advantage of. Justin Nared, then just a sophomore quarterback for ‘Skegee, played a big hand in the lopsided victory and is still hangin’ with the team who will now face” Iron Mike” White’s Albany State Rams this weekend.
2013: 5-4 Albany State returned to their second conference championship game last year , facing the 6-4 Miles Bears. The magic of 2011 was temporarily lost for the Bears and at the worst possible time. They led 14-7 until the fourth quarter when the Rams scored on a field goal to pull within four points of the Bears’ lead. Then the hammer dropped on Miles when a 28 yard Albany punt was muffed and recovered by the Rams at the Miles four. On the next play ASU scored. With 8:28 still to go, Miles attempted to launch a drive twice but couldn’t convert.
2014-Both Tuskegee and Albany State want to return to their respective campuses to brag about another victory. And haul home another trophy. It will be the second true championship for either. The east also wants to even the series at 2-2. The west wants to lop-side the series at 3-1. Who will win?
Most of the SIAC schools finished their 2014 grid campaigns last weekend. Morehouse College defeated visiting Kentucky State University 26-20. The Maroon Tigers, blanked last year by Kentucky State University, avenged the 44-0 shutout from 2013 by taking a 14-7 halftime lead and then extending it to 20-7 through most of the third period. Late in the fourth period, a drive by the Thorobreds from the Morehouse 18 yard line was thwarted when Thaddeus Shaw stepped in front of a pass by KSU’s Adam Robinson with 1:04 remaining in the game. The win gives Morehouse a closing record of 6-4, their first winning mark in two years. KSU finishes with a 3-7 record….. Clark-AU took it on the chin as homecoming guests of Stillman College 31-26. Meanwhile, Tuskegee University defeated Miles 48-33 at Albert Sloan Stadium on Miles campus. The Panthers closed 2014 with a 3-7 overall. Stillman led 25-10 at halftime but the Panthers narrowed , then took the lead 26-25 with 4:46 left in the third quarter. But four minutes later, Stillman quarterback Joshua Straughan led a 78 yard drive which resulted in a 20 yard pass in the end zone to Reed Sturgis. That proved to be the winning score for the Tigers, which advanced their won-loss to 5-5 with one more regular season game to go Thanksgiving Day against Alabama State.
Speaking of Alabama, the SIAC”s game of the week featuring Tuskegee and Miles College ended with the Golden Tigers coming from behind to beat the host Golden Bears 48-33.
Tuskegee trailed Miles 27-13 close to the end of the third quarter. Suddenly, the Goldens went on the offense knocking down 22 points including a one yard run by Michael Thornton with 38 seconds remaining in the game, The real hero for the Golden Tigers was Hoderick Rowe, an Atlantan who played his prep ball at Grady High School. He rushed for 150 yards and scored three touchdowns. Tuskegee has also likely earned another spot in the NCAA division II playoffs. They are currently ranked fourth in the Division II Super 2 regional rankings with the top six from the region qualifying for post-season play…… Paine College ended their first season returning to football with a 45-35 decision over Benedict College. Paine dissolved football after the 1962 season in which they won their last game 8-6 over Livingstone. It was the first win for the program in eight years. The Lions have now passed that mark with the Benedict win………..Central State won their third football game of the season under new coach Cedric Pearl by defeating Lane 44-25. Albany State was this year’s Fountain City classic winner, defeating Fort Valley 35-21. The teams played before a near sellout crowd of 13,509 in Columbus Georgia . The Rams were led by the 253 passing yards and one touchdown of senior Frank Rivers and the 140 rushing yards and two touchdown performance of Jarvis Small. …
XTRA POINT: A trip for those of you traveling to Montgomery and overnighting. INSIDE recommends trying the city’s Embassy Suites Hotel. It’s rated 3 and one-half stars but that’s bull. It’s four-star. Check it out if you don’t believe me. Right alongside it is a tour bus company that provides a good look-see of the city and especially the high spots of the Montgomery b us boycott of 1955 ( the Dexter Avenue Church, THE parshonage where Dr Martin Luther King and family lived as pastor of the church and even the place where Mrs. Rosa Parks was arrested that fateful Friday, December 1, 1955). Montgomery is historic. Don’t deprive yourself of the opportunity……
AND NOW: THE INSIDE ‘S PICK TO WIN SIAC CHAMPIONSHIP IV
Tuskegee wins by 3 in overtime
Got an item? Contact Hal -> hallamar at comcast.net