Sunday, October 9, 2016
Miles Golden Bears Defense pitches Homecoming shutout
FAIRFIELD, Alabama -- Even after a tough loss last week against Albany State, the Golden Bears knew that the road to a second straight Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference would start in earnest with Saturday's Homecoming game against Central State.
With a crowd of more than 16,000 in attendance, Miles' opening statement in the race for the Western Division crown was definitive. The Golden Bears (3-2, 1-0) scored two early touchdowns, added a safety and goal line stand before halftime, then used another defensive touchdown to dismantle the Marauders 36-0 at Albert J. Sloan-Alumni Stadium. David Whipple threw for 193 yards and three touchdowns, Caleb Duncan and Austin Stephens each had interceptions in the second half and the Golden Bears defense held CSU (0-6, 0-2) to less than 200 yards total offense.
Whipple's touchdown passes went to three different receivers. Earnest Bell, Jr. (four catches, 44 yards) caught a 21-yard pass early in the first quarter and Trey Smith (five catches, 66 yards) hauled in a 29-yard pass late in the period for a 14-0 advantage. Jourdan Walker (two catches, 40 yards) took in a 19-yard scoring pass midway through the fourth quarter.
Miles led 17-0 early the second quarter after a 32-yard field goal by Nick Christiansen but two plays later in the quarter were even more definitive. CSU had trouble on its punt team all afternoon and having a kick partially blocked and a bad snap in the first quarter that led to 10 points, the Marauders had another snap sail over the head of punter Isaiah Smith in the second quarter. When he recovered the ball in the end zone, Stevie Woods was all over him for a safety - the team's second straight game with one, for a 19-0 advantage. Late in the quarter, CSU drove the field and had third-and-goal at the Miles 1. The Marauders never made it into the end zone, with Ashton McKenzie forcing a fumble to end the drive that snuffed Central State's best chance to score.
In the fourth quarter, Stephens, who had 11 tackles (eight solo), grabbed his first career interception and almost took it to the end zone but was tackled by the last man to beat, CSU's Darius Thomas. But Marauders quarterback Lavon Meeks was not as fortunate when Duncan jumped into the passing lane for his fourth interception this season and raced 35 yards for a touchdown, his second pick-6 of the season. The Golden Bears now have three interceptions for touchdowns this year and four defensive touchdowns overall.
Cedric Poole had eight tackles and three pass break ups and DeAnthony Philon had seven tackles for the Goldn Bears, who play at Kentucky State next Saturday. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
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