Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC
By Hal Lamar
Photos by Patsy Collier-Lamar
Clark-AU defeats Morehouse in “the BIG finish”
Arguably one of the most intense and nail-biting-up-to-the-elbow contests in memorable Atlanta University center football history occurred Saturday afternoon/evening between Clark Atlanta and Morehouse at CAU field.
CAU won the contest 37-36 but that’s just part of the country. The story in HOW they won it.
The Panthers, trailing by as many as 22 points in the third period, began eating away at the Morehouse lead with 47 seconds remaining on a pass from redshirt junior Johnathan McCrary to freshman wide receiver Tre Martin. It was McCrary’s third touchdown toss. He wound up throwing five strikes in the end zone and passed for 456 yards.
CAU wound up owning the fourth period, shutting down the Morehouse offense 16-0.
With 1:26 remaining, CAU scored to narrow the Morehouse lead to two, 36-34. ‘What CAU needs now is a turnover,” a former Panther player was overheard to say.
They got one, or rather created one on the ensuing kickoff to Morehouse. The Panthers successfully executed an on-side kick, recovered by CAU wide receiver Trenton Earl.
With a first and ten at the Morehouse 49, CAU worked the oval to the Morehouse 10.
After McCrary lost three yards on a rushing attempt, CAU called time out, their last.
28 seconds remained on the clock.
A pass by McCrary was incomplete. A rush by the QB lost five yards to the MHC 18.
The clock continued to run. 18-17-16-15-14………..
With no options, CAU head coach Kevin Ramsey rushed his field goal unit onto the field.
With less than one second to go, CAU freshman placekicker Carlos Saldana, who had successfully kicked four field goals in the Panther win over visiting Ave Maria a fortnight ago, attempted a 35 yarder. The oval sailed straight through the uprights just as the final whistle blew.
CAU 37, Morehouse 36.
The 3,736 mostly partisan fans at CAU field exploded, then swarmed the field.
“ I didn’t even know how far it was, “said Saldana, a native of Austell Georgia told INSIDE. “ Usually I take seven steps, but I didn’t count them. I calculated it. I saw the time coming down. The intensity had been hyped. I just followed through and it felt great.” ”We went to see the Magnificent Seven last (Friday) night,” said Ramsey, “They hung in there, made their miscues early. The offense got their tempo going in the second half and we scored some points.”
…Two other members of the CAU football team were heavily involved with the school’s successful nanosecond 37-34 win over Morehouse last Saturday. Add sophomore long snapper Darius Preyer from Montgomery Alabama and holder DaShawn Blow, the team’s redshirt sophomore quarterback transfer from Alabama State University to the list of SIAC superlatives. They, too, were under tremendous pressure to perform. They did and they deserve applause……….
Morehouse senior quarterback Mongavious Johnson, who relieved starter Kivon Taylor late in the first quarter, wound up the afternoon throwing for 112 yards and a score and rushing for two others. Morehouse’s defense also played well, sacking McCrary four times.
Leading the defensive charge was junior linebacker David Smith and sophomore defensive end Joshua Burton. Smith led Morehouse tacklers with seven solo shots. Burton had six total tackles and two sacks.
The CAU victory moves the Panthers to an overall record of 3-2, a conference mark of 2-2 and their first division victory, good for second place in the SIAC east.
ELSEWHERE IN THE SIAC: Tuskegee rolls right along at 5-0 with a 21-16 victory over UNC-Pembroke. Tuskegee trailed the Braves 16-0 through three and a half quarters, then scored 21 unanswered points the remainder of the ballgame which included a crowd-pleasing 63 pass from Kevin Lacey to Desmond Reece……..Central State of Ohio continues to dodge the winners circle, losing its fifth straight to Kentucky–Wesleyan 21-7. The Marauders scored first to take a brief 7-0 lead but the Panthers responded with a score and then shut the Marauders down in the 4th with 14 answered points…….Fort Valley lost their second in a row and fourth of five tries, falling to Alderson-Broaddus 33-9 on the road……Speaking of falling, Lane College lost their second in a row 12-9 on the road against Lincoln-Missouri. The host Blue Tigers scored the winning points on a 54 yard field goal with 1:27 remaining.........Valdosta State defeated Kentucky State 48-10 in Waycross, Georgia. It’s the Thorobreds’ fourth road game in five weekends and their fourth loss in five tries…….3-1 Benedict is now 3-2 after being shut out on the road by the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs 45-0. The Bulldogs went into the game with a 1-3 record……..A fumble by Miles at the Albany State two late in the fourth period allowed the Rams to hang on to a two point lead and defeat the visiting Golden Bears 35-33 . Another Albany turnover earlier in the period allowed Miles a chance to score and narrow the Ram lead to 2.
XTRA POINTS: Having a second set of eyes at a football game is like a team having an accurate field goal kicker with lots of foot. While I might be focused on the team on the field, INSIDE photog (and wife) Patsy Collier-Lamar watches everything else. When CAU kicked that last second field goal to beat Morehouse Maroon Tigers players began to exit the field without performing the midfield handshake. “Coach (Richard) Freeman waved them right back on the field to shake the hands of their opponents,” said Patsy, who was deeply moved by that………A source reaching INSIDE says CAU has taken steps to overhaul the band who’s been a no-show since the season opener. I’ve learned that Alfred Wyatt, a former CAU band director, has been re-hired to consult the school. “ The whole thing was a misunderstanding,” said the source. To its credit, the school did feature about 10 musicians and a dance troupe who performed admirably at last weekend’s CAU-Morehouse game……..
- THIS WEEKEND'S GAMES AND INSIDE PICKS
Central State @ Miles - Miles by 7 (Miles homecoming)
Albany State @ Charleston Southern - Charleston Southern by 3
Benedict @ Lane - Benedict by 2 (Lane homecoming)
Kentucky State @ Fort Valley - KSU by 3
Tuskegee vs. Morehouse (Columbus Georgia) - Tuskegee by 7 ( the game will be broadcast on the ASPIRE Cable Channel )
Got an item? Contact Hal -> hallamar at comcast.net