Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC
By Hal Lamar
To the SIAC west: Watch Central State
ATlANTA- To those of you six members of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s western division who may think it OK to look over Cedric Pearl’s elevens known officially as the Central State Marauders, think a bit more. In his second year as head coach in Wilberforce Ohio, Pearl has patiently built a contender. His boys are currently atop the SIAC west standings, have lost only one of their first three games this year and sport a 2-0 conference mark. It’s their best start since 1995 when they went 4-0 at the top of the season as members of the NAIA and lost only one game. Of course, holding onto the lead in the SIAC west will hardly be a cakewalk. He’ll first have to get by the tough horses of Kentucky State in this Saturday’s 34th Circle City classic in Indy , then face non-conference foe Kentucky Wesleyan before getting down to the “rest of the best in the west”: Miles (CSU’s homecoming opponent), Lane (CSU is the Dragon’s homecoming opponent), then Stillman in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and the big ‘ole Golden cat Tuskegee in Death Valley Alabama. It’s a tall order but……if he can keep everybody healthy, especially quarterback Marquis Wells and get mint production out of special teams and defense, CSU could upset the entire SIAC apple barrel….
Despite their losing ways the past few seasons, the Clark Atlanta Panthers did manage a proven winner out of Omega, Georgia; all conference and All American linebacker Bre’nard Williams . Visiting his alma mater last Saturday at their game with Fort Valley, he tells INSIDE his invite to attend a pre-draft workout before the Atlanta Falcons in April didn’t work out but he isn’t giving up on pro football. He says he’s received interest from a couple of arena football teams and is heading north. I told him be sure and invest in a heavy coat!!!!!!
In the rest of the SIAC: Last Saturday was a surprise for both CAU and Morehouse in which games turned into a down-to-the-wire finish, The Panthers faced the visiting Fort Valley State Wildcats, who came to town in first place in the SIAC’s eastern division with a 2-1 overall recoed. But despite CAU’s failure to make it to the win column after playing two games, Fort Valley found out that victory against the Panthers was no snap. In fact, the Panthers came to within a point of the Valley lead in the third quarter thanks to a costly FVSU turnover that gave CAU the oval at the Wildcat 10.
Starting quarterback Matthew Vincent then tossed a ten yarder to redshirt senior Travius Blair. It was the second touchdown toss for Vincent who threw for 252 yards. Unfortunately, Fort Valley was still loaded with offense and wound up scoring three times in the 4th, two of them rushes. Fort Valley quarterback Otis Brown completed 11 of his 15 passing attempts for 166 yards. He threw for a TD and was sacked twice.
CAU head coach Kevin Ramsey told INSIDE that much like the 35-13 loss last week to visiting Central State University, the Fort Valley game had a few silver linings but the team was still deviled with interceptions and turnovers. “Offensively, we just had too many holding penalties. We have to protect our ball better. Offensively, we've got to block.”
Just across the AU Center campus, Morehouse was in a real battle against the Golden Bulls of Johnson C Smith University and for most of the first half, it appeared the 1-1 opponent might walk away with a second victory. But then, the Marooners managed to assemble a 10 play, 54 yard drive to score their first seven with 1:08 left in the half. Morehouse’s defense then managed to halt any impending drive by JCSU and went into the locker room at the half trailing by seven.
Then, after both teams committed faux pas that halted their offensive performances, Morehouse broke from that funk in the third and scored on a 77 yard passing play from junior Monqavious Johnson to junior wide receiver Justin Browning. It was part of five scoring surges by the Marooners, four of them through passes thrown by Johnson, a junior from MLK High School in Decatur. A fifth which brought the crowd of over 8000 to its feet at Morehouse’s BT Harvey Stadium was a 100 yard kickoff gallop by freshman Amyr Smith. The run breaks a Morehouse record which had stood for 21 years.
Morehouse owned a 17 point lead by the start of the fourth but Kermit Blount’s gold and blue elevens weren’t finished. The Golden Bulls scored twice more in the fourth period to inch to within two points of the Morehouse’s lead. Then, with 3:10 go, a 4th down questionable roughing the kicker penalty gave Morehouse four fresh downs. That, and a first down with just under a minute to play sealed the win for the Maroon Tigers and their second home victory of the yet infant season
After winning two of their three opening season games, Morehouse is headed to Fairfield, Alabama this Saturday for their first conference tilt against the Miles College Bears. This will be the first clash between Morehouse and Miles since 2011 when the Tigers surprised the Bears 47-9 on the debut of Miles new head coach Reggie Ruffin.
CAU faces a fourth non-conference tilt Saturday when they take on West Georgia, 45 miles west of Atlanta in Carrollton. The two teams have met three times since 2007. West Georgia leads the series 2-1. The Panthers defeated the Wolves 28-3 in 2008.
Other scores: Albany State 21-Stillman 6/ Central State 24, Benedict 0/ Virginia State 14, Kentucky State 7/ Bethune Cookman 7-Lane 3/ West Alabama 13, Miles 10/Tuskegee 28-Winston Salem 13
INSIDE PICKS THIS WEEK
- Delta State over Albany St
- Central State over Kentucky St
- Fort Valley over Benedict
- Tuskegee over Lane
- Morehouse over Miles
- West Georgia over CAU
Got an item? Contact Hal -> hallamar at comcast.net