Tuskegee, 50; Miles, 20
TUSKEGEE, Ala.—Tuskegee clinches the West Division title for the first time in three season with a 50-20 win over Miles College.
In a rival game that has not witnessed back to back wins by the same team since Tuskegee (8-2, 6-0) achieved that feat during the 2011 and 2012 seasons, the Golden Tigers ended that streak emphatically defeating Miles College (6-4, 4-2) at home for the first time since 2011 by a final 50-20 Saturday afternoon from Cleve Abbott Memorial Stadium.
Linebacker Osband Thompson intercepted a Joseph Cambridge pass on the second play from scrimmage, returning it to the one-yard line on the opening drive. One play later, Justin Owens scored giving the Golden Tigers a quick 6-0 lead after the missed point after touchdown.
Davoris Thompson led the Golden Tigers with seven tackles. Osband Thompson, who played his final regular season game in the crimson uniform earned five tackles and one interception.
Justin Owens rushed for a career high 134 yards on 13 carries to go along with two touchdowns. Ezell was an efficient 6-of-11 for 154 yards and tossed a pair of touchdowns. He also rushed for 11 times for 92 yards and another score on the ground. The Golden Tigers ran 59 plays for 485 yards of total offense, another season high.
The win clinched the West Division and Tuskegee secured a spot in the 2017 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Football Championship.
Morehouse, 40; Clark Atlanta, 0
ATLANTA, Ga—In the most lopsided victory over Clark Atlanta in 94 years, the Maroon Tigers trounced the Panthers, 40-0. On Senior Day at B.T. Harvey Stadium, it was the Maroon Tigers playing in their final game at Morehouse who set the tone for the first shutout over the Panthers since 1923.
Taylor, who shared quarterbacking duties with freshman Michael Sims, connected on 12 of 16 passes for 166 yards and four touchdowns. His long was a 60-yard strike to Amyr Smith, in the third quarter. The touchdown the first play following an interception by senior cornerback Gary Awkard, who intercept a pass in the end zone and return it 40 yards.
Senior linebacker David Smith had a game-high 14 tackles, including three sacks, 4.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. His linebacker running buddy, Kenneth Hagins, who is also a senior, had six tackles and shared a sack with Smith. Senior defensive back got in on the got in on the action, with five tackles.
Out-pacing the Panthers, 396 yards to 201 yards, the Maroon Tiger scored early and often, leading at halftime, 23-0, and allowing multiple reserves to play in the second half.
As they have all year, the Maroon Tigers stepped up on defense, with seven sacks, 10 tackles for loss and four takeaways – three interceptions and a fumble recovery.
The Maroon Tigers and the Panthers finished the season with identical records of 4-6; 2-4, but the Tigers take over fourth place in the SIAC East Division, based on head-to-head competition.
Lane, 28; Central State, 20
JACKSON, Tn.—This season, the Dragons’ offense has struggled to score early in ballgames. This was not the case Saturday, as Lane mounted a 14-play, 75-yard drive, that ate up over six minutes to take a 7-0 lead on their first possession.
The teams took a 14-all tie into the locker room. After the Dragons retook the lead in the third quarter, an interception by CSU looked to tie the game, but the point after attempt flew wide right to give the Dragons a slim 21-20 lead. Lane added to their lead thanks to an 11-play, 68 yard drive mostly due to running back Marcus Hollliday, who finished his last game as a Dragon with 174 yards off 29 carries and a touchdown.
Quarterback Marcus Reynolds had his best game of the season as well, finishing 21-of-33 for 205 yards in the air including a 51-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Thomas. Reynolds added a touchdown on the ground as well.
Benedict, 20; Kentucky State, 16
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The magical 2017 Benedict football season had one more surprise, as Johnny Willis scored on a 91-yard punt return with three minutes left in the game to lift the Tigers to a 20-16 victory over Kentucky State University on Saturday in Charlie W. Johnson Stadium.
The victory ends the season for the Tigers at 7-2. Coupled with Albany State’s 34-9 victory over Fort Valley State on Saturday, Benedict and Fort Valley State tied for first place in the SIAC East with 5-1 conference records. Fort Valley State earned the bid to next week’s SIAC Championship game by virtue of their 31-28 double overtime victory over the Tigers six weeks ago. Benedict’s only other loss came in week two on the road at Limestone, also in overtime. The Tigers wrapped up the season undefeated in five home games this season. The .778 winning percentage is the best since the Tigers resumed football play in 1995, and just the second season with seven or more wins in the modern era.
Benedict got the ball back near midfield later in the first quarter after the Thorobreds failed to convert on a fake punt on fourth-and-21. Quarterback Phillip Brown scrambled for a 25-yard pickup, then threw back-to-back passes to Okechi Ntiasagwe, including a 15-yard touchdown when Ntiasagwe stretched out to get the ball over the goal line. Tory Mimbs added the extra point for a 7-6 Benedict lead with 5:45 left in the first quarter. Ntiasagwe closed out his Benedict career with three catches for 28 yards and a score.
The Thorobreds drove 70 yards on 12 plays on the next series. Kentucky State had a first-and-goal from the 2-yard line, but the nationally-ranked Benedict defense snuffed three straight running attempts, and the Thorobreds settled for a 19-yard field goal to take a 9-7 lead with 14:56 left in the first half. Benedict had just two first downs the rest of the first half, and Kentucky State took the 9-7 lead into the halftime locker room.
Benedict got the second-half kickoff and drove 66 yards on 12 plays, with Brown pushing his way into the end zone from the 1-yard line on fourth down. Mimbs added the extra point for a 14-9 lead with 7:50 on the clock in the third quarter.
The Thorobreds were on the move late in the third quarter, keeping the drive alive when punter Cort Groathouse rushed for 16 yards on fourth-and-six. Michael Simpson completed a 15-yard pass to Marques Livers for the touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter for a 16-14 lead with 14:54 left on the clock.
The Tigers punted the ball back to Kentucky State, and the Thorobreds were forced to punt the ball back to Benedict after a 10-play drive. Willis caught Groathouse’s punt at the 9-yard line, escaped from a couple of Kentucky State defenders and raced 91 yards down the left side for the go-ahead touchdown. Mimb’s PAT was blocked, making the score 20-16 with 3:04 remaining.
Kentucky State still had two offensive series, but went 0-for-7 on passing attempts, with one sack and one 15-yard rush.
Kenneth Gunter led the Benedict defense with eight tackles, including two sacks. The Thorobreds finished with 133 yards rushing against the Benedict defense, the third-highest total of the season. But Benedict held Brett Sylve, the SIAC’s second-leading rusher, to 65 yards on 14 carries and preventing him from reaching the 1,000-yard mark for the season.
Albany State, 34; Fort Valley, 9
COLUMBUS, GA- Kelias Williams passed for one touchdown and rushed for two more scores as the Albany State University Golden Rams toppled Fort Valley State 34-9 at the 28th Annual Fountain City Classic Saturday afternoon at AJ McClung Memorial Stadium.
In his first start of the season, Williams a freshman who hails from Thomasville, GA, was named the ASU MVP of the Classic with 141 yards passing and 16 carries for 106 yards (86 net) rushing.
Defensively, the Rams were nearly flawless as they held the Wildcats (5-4, SIAC 5-1) without an offensive touchdown and to just 209 yards of total offense. Fort Valley State was 0-12 on third down conversions on Saturday and ASU kept them pinned deep as the Wildcats’ average field position was their own 21 yard line.
The Wildcats had just 7 first downs and were penalized 8 times for 60 yards.
FVSU’s best drive resulted in their only offensive points of the day, a 39 yard Juan Serna field goal at the 13:06 mark of the second quarter.
Leading 10-3 at the intermission, the Golden Rams used an 8 play, 56 yard drive capped by a 12 yard touchdown reception by Quadrey Simmons and then Williams’ second rushing score from 9 yards out gave ASU a 24-3 cushion with 5:19 left in the third.
Kelan Fraise put another dagger in the Wildcat faithful when he broke for 72 yard rushing score and with 11:21 remaining ASU led 31-3. FVSU finally reached the end zone on a snatch and run 32-yard fumble recovery and score with 7:19 to go. ASU’s first TD of the day was set up after a missed 51-yard field goal by Serna fell short and Fraise returned the ball 78 yards to the Fort Valley 22. Three plays later Williams called his own number for the one yard touchdown run.
Kicker Gabriel Ballinas bookmarked the scoring for the 28th edition of the Fountain City Classic with the game’s opening points from 41 yards out and connected on a 20 yard field goal for the final point spread.
In his final collegiate game, Columbus native Emmanuel Brown finished with a team high 9 tackles.
The Golden Rams wrap the season at 6-4 overall and 4-2 in the SIAC.