Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC
By Hal Lamar
Photos by Patsy Collier-Lamar
Albany State wins first, a biggie over West Georgia...and on da road!!
In six meetings between the Wolves of the University of West Georgia in Carollton and the Rams of Albany State University, the former has defeated he latter four times. ASU hadn't whipped their opponents since a 24-14 decision in 1993.....that is up until now.....and that being September 21 of this year at UWG's Grisham Stadium.
The Rams needed this 26-14 decision on the road and before close to 5000 fans (and though i ain't sure of this, I'm willing to bet confederate money a gooooodly number of those ducat buyers were from Dougherty County!), ASU went to Carrrollton 0-2 and needed a win to erase the bitter memory of their 0-3 start the season before.
Beating UWG was no cakewalk. The Wolves, who's original name was the Braves, returned football to the campus at or around 1980. In 1982, the team won the NCAA Division III national football title, defeating the Augustana, Illinois Vikings 14-0 . They elevated themselves to D-2 of the Gulf South Conference and have won the conference championship four times, beginning in 1997.
The loss was especially humbling for West Georgia. It was their home opener and they needed a win to wipe away their home opener loss last year to Wingate 41-31.
No, it wasn't the luck of the Irish or any similar foolishness that produced that ASU victory either. The Rams allowed their hosts to enjoy an early 7-0 lead but that was short-lived. By quarter four, ASU had built a commanding 26- 7 lead. If luck prevailed for either team, it was UWG stroking a rabbit's foot as the Wolves only scored once more to save them further embarrassment.
The Rams are in Atlanta this weekend to take on the winless Panthers of Clark-Atlanta University, a tough adversary with a first year head coach who hasn't given away any games. They lost a tough decision themselves September 21 against Cedric Pearl's Central State Marauders 26-19 .The visitors went back to Wilberforce, Ohio the victors despite a 306 passing yard and three touchdown performance from CAU junior quarterback Charles Stafford. Unfortunately, he also threw three interceptions, two of which spoiled promising drives in the fourth period.
ELSEWHERE 'ROUND THE CONFERENCE: Tuskegee, at 1-2 , its worst start since a similar mark at this same time in 2014, took it on the chin in Death Valley, Alabama from 1-1 guest Winston-Salem State 23-20 before 2506 majority partisian fans who don't relish losing in their own stadium. I know. I've been there.
Fort Valley broke a two game losing skid, defeating Shorter College 30-23 . Credit the Wildcat offense with turning away a late scoring threat and eating up 3:17 of the fourth quarter clock to preseve the win.
Lane made it easy defeating winless Edward Waters 44-14. The Dragons led 30-0 at the half and scored twice more in the second half to preserve the victory.
Savannah State is surprising everybody in the SIAC and the rest of HBCU football for that matter, first defeating winless Benedict 21-14 and giving the latter's head coach Mike White a sleepless night or two. The Tigers, back where they belong in the SIAC, are leading the league's eastern division.
And 2-1 Miles traveled 517 miles to Rolla, Missouri to lose their first game of 2019, 49-21 in the" show-me" state to the Miners of Missouri S&T . Reggie Ruffin's Bears likely read the handwriting on the wall when they went to the locker room at halftime trailing 28-7.
XTRA POINTS: Congrats to Lonnie Bartley, the long, long, long, longtime head women's basketball coach at Fort Valley State. Come February of 2020, he will join other sports figures from Georgia as the newest inductees into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. It couldn't have happeneed to a greater guy.
INSIDE PICKS THIS WEEK
CAU over Albany State
Morehouse over Savannah State
Benedict over Fort Valley
Kentucky State over Jackson State
Alabama A&M over Central State
Miles over Lanue
Tuskegee over West Alabama
Got an item? Contact Hal -> hallamar at comcast.net