Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC
By Hal and Patsy Lamar
Tuskegee Edges Morehouse in OT Thriller From Columbus, Ga
At the end of Tuskegee’s nail biting victory over Morehouse Saturday at the 82nd (since 1935) Morehouse-Tuskegee Classic in Columbus, Georgia, one of the game’s announcers made an interesting observation. He said, to paraphrase, that this was a game that Morehouse lost but could’ve won and one that Tuskegee won that they could have lost.
Truer words, whether direct quotes or a paraphrase, were never spoken. The Maroon Tigers, leading throughout most of regulation play, allowed Tuskegee, seemingly lethargic at times with their starting sophomore quarterback Jamarcus Ezell taking a beating from a large and hard charging Maroon Tiger defensive line, drove Morehouse into an overtime period, then win the contest 23-17 on a one yard run by Ezell in the first overtime period.
Before a crowd of 25,101 (interesting since AJ McClung Stadium in Columbus is listed as only seating 15,000) and perhaps thousands more watching the game over the Aspire TV channel, all watched Morehouse trot into the locker room at halftime leading 17-7 thanks to a two touchdown performance and a 30 yard field goal from freshman Fernando Sdelamore.
The Maroon Tigers maintained their 17-7 lead until 12:43 of the fourth quarter. Getting possession at their own 24, Ezell put the Golden Tigers In scoring position on a 52 yard rush to the Morehouse 15. He then tacked another 14 yards on the ground, giving Tuskegee 1st and goal at the Morehouse one. A fumble at the 2 forced by Morehouse All-American linebacker David Smith was luckily recovered by Tuskegee at the 3. Morehouse’s defense, stopped the Alabama Tigers once but on the fourth play of the drive, Tuskegee freshman running back Phillip Brown plunged in from the 3.
Tuskegee trailed by 3, 17-14. Time left-4:01.
Morehouse advanced into Tuskegee territory on their next drive to the 37 but couldn’t advance it any further.
Then with Tuskegee driving, a pass from Ezell was intercepted by Morehouse’s Cameron Miller. Their subsequent drive went nowhere, however and Tuskegee got the oval back via a punt at the Tuskegee 30 with 1:07 to go. Tuskegee used 13 plays to work the footballl to the Morehouse 6. Unable to penetrate into the end zone, Tuskegee brought field goal kicker Dalton Hall onto the field to attempt a 23 yard field goal. Ordinarily considered a chip shot, Hall made Tuskegee players, coaching staff and fans nervous since Hall had failed on all four of his attempts thus far this season. But Hall was successful this time and it tied the score at 17, sending the game into overtime.
Morehouse had first go at the 25 but had a promised drive crushed when Kivon Taylor had a pass intercepted. The killed drive then gave Tuskegee its shot in OT. Four plays later from the 25, Ezell, who had left the game earlier, returned just before overtime and rushed one yard for the winning touchdown.
The end was painful for Morehouse but didn’t harm their third place standing in the eastern division of the SIAC. The narrow victory delighted Tuskegee since it moves them to a 3-0 conference record and a 4-2 overall. Last weekend, they won their first division game 28-23 over Lane.
ELSEWHERE IN THE CONFERENCE: Miles returns to the race for first place in the SIAC’s western division with a 41-20 win over Central State .Two rushing touchdowns of 66 and 81 yards by Miles Justin Hardy.He scored three TDs and rushed for 22 yards……Clark-Atlanta took in on the chin 41-24 before 5103 partisans at CAU field Saturday. The two teams swapped touchdowns in the second half .The Panthers’ last opp to score deep in the period was stopped on an interception by Valley. The win put the Wildcats in first place in the SIAC east……..A 174 yard rushing and two touchdown performance by Kentucky State sophomore quarterback Brett Sylve and a 91 yard kickoff return by Michael Nero was not enough to overcome visiting West Virginia State . The Jackets beat the Thorobreds 35-23……Lane college dropped their 5th straight 27-21 to visiting Langston . The Lions from Oklahoma built up a 27-0 lead and held on despite a big attempt by Lane to make a comeback. Two opportunities to overcome a strong Lion showing was shorted out with 5:03 left in the game by a stiff Langston defense led by James Cox who led tacklers with 8 solo shots…..Albany State remains he leader in the SIAC’s eastern division and helped their overall stats with a 30-10 win over visiting Lincoln of Missouri. Lincoln led at the half 10-9 but then got shut out in the second half 21-0 by the Ram defense. ASU redshirt freshman Chancellor Johnson , a native of Newnan Georgia , ran for one TD and threw for another to lead the Rams.
XTRA POINTS: I was unaware that Albany State had a new head coach. Gabe Giardina joined the staff in April of this year. Before ASU, he was offensive coordinator at Charleston Southern University………. Peyton Ramzy, a wide receiver for Tuskegee, is also reportedly the grandson of Willie Slater..I recently took in an Oakland Raider game and once again got the opportunity to watch their punter Marquette King (Fort Valley) punt (and boy, can he PUNT) , I want to travel to these inner-city high schools and encourage players and especially African-Americans, to look at punting and kicking positions for college posts at every level and then continue development toward attracting professional clubs. At some point, I intend to make contact with King for an interview about his own development and why he chose that position over others……..
INSIDE PICKS FOR THIS WEEK
Kentucky State @ Miles – Miles by 6 (miles homecoming)
Morehouse @ Albany (ASU Homecoming)-AU by 3
Clark-Atlanta @ Benedict (Benedict homecoming)-Benedict by 7
Lane @ Fort Valley- Valley by 7
Central State @ Arkansas-Pine Bluff (UAPB Homecoming) –UAPB vy 3
Jackson State vs. Tuskegee –Mobile Alabama (5th Quarter Classic)- Tuskegee by 10
Got an item? Contact Hal -> hallamar at comcast.net