Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC
By Hal Lamar
Showdown in SIAC land
The only qualm I have about this weekend's SIAC grid schedule is that the games that will determine the division wnners who will oppose one another in the conference's championship game scheduled for November 16 in one of the stadiums of the eastern division winner (Albany States' ASU Coliseum or Fort Valley's Wildcat Stadium) will be on the same day.
Savannah State actually produced the better won-loss of any team in the SIAC. The Tigers, as of this week's column, were 6-3 overall, 5-0 in conference play and 5-0 in the eastern division, SSU has every reason to celebrate what amounts to a milestone reached since their last winning season at 7-4 in 1998, when still a member of this conference. After that year, SSU began the fall from the thrill of victory to the agony of defeat in what can best be described as the "dark years."
Though these are unofficial records, Savannah State spent 20 years virtually wallowing in losses, finishing 31-172 with four of those 20 seasons winless campaigns. The team did finish 1988 and '89 with superior 8-2 and 7-1 marks respectively undet the late head coach William "Wild Bill" Davis which would have earned them the conference's title (then just a mythical one until the conference split east-west and scheduled a championship game in 2010 with Miles becoming the conference's first "true" champ). But much like this year, SSU was ineligible to compete for the title.
That all changes in 2020.
Those of us who wished we could split in two to attend or in my case cover both Saturday matches in Tuskegee (their homecoming) and Columbus, Ga. (30th Fountain City Classic) can get a break provided you have video-taping capabilities. The ASU-Valley mix is scheduled to be broadcast over ESPN3. By the way, ESPN is also scheduled to broadcast the SIAC championship contest.
LAST WEEKEND IN THE CONFERENCE: A twice missed extra point by Edward Waters with seconds remaining in their game versus Tuskegee allowed the Goldens to hang on to their one point lead and escape with a 27-26 victory. EWC, soon to join the SIAC, shut down the Goldens 13-0 in the fourth period after they took a 27-13 lead.........
Lane got by Central State 36-10 largely on the strength of its defense which managed to sack Central State's quarterback five times. Credit that to Dragon defenders Andrew Farmer, Ralph Johnson and DeMichael McQue, the latter with one sack and ten tackles....
Morehouse managed to score six in the final 2:26 seconds to move to within six points of the Albany State lead but it was too little, too late and the Marooners lost in the final 55 seconds of play 22-15,....
Benedict finally got that "0-for" monkey off their back and left the same primate on CAU's record, defeating the Panthers 31-7. The Carolina tigers held their guests scoreless through the third period. A highlight for Benedict was a 81 yard pass play from Eric Phoenix to Dyquan Bloodshaw. CAU"s Charles Stafford threw for 225 yards and the team's lone score, but was sacked 3 times.....
Miles College shut out Kentucky State 17-0 and cadillaced its way into this week's showdown with Tuskegee. The game's BMOC was Daniel Smith who threw two touchdown passes in the first. Miles special teams added a field goal to ice the victory.....
Savannah State aced all of its confenence opponents and finished 5-0 in the category when they beat Fort Valley 58-26 to knock the Wildcats out of contention for the conference championship. Despite the loss and pressure from SSU's defense which sacked him 4 times and picked off a pass, Valley quarterback Demontay Jones , in his first start of the season, threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns .
INSIDE PREDICTS FOR THIS WEEKEND:
Miles over Tuskegee
Central State over Kentucky State
Lane over Benedict
Albany State over Fort Valley
Morehouse over CAU
Got an item? Contact Hal -> hallamar at comcast.net