Monday, October 31, 2011

NSU wins 4th MEAC cross country title in row

PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland -- Norfolk State won its fourth consecutive MEAC men's cross country title Saturday at Maryland-Eastern Shore. The Spartans finished with 30 points. Florida A&M was second with 54.

Hampton won the women's title with 53 points. The Spartans women were fifth.

NSU's Josef Tessema was the individual winner, completing the 8-kilometer course in 25 minutes, 24.73 seconds. It was Tessema's fourth straight all-conference honor.

Other Spartans to earn all-MEAC honors: Vincent Rono (sixth in 26:25.75), Amos Kipkosgei (eighth, 26:32.74), Philemon Kimutai (19th, 26:48.55) and Damtew Adnew (13th, 27:07.19).


NSU Men Win 4th Straight MEAC Cross Country Title, Women Place 5th

PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland – The Norfolk State men’s cross country team won its fourth consecutive Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship and 11th in the last 12 years on Saturday morning on the campus of Maryland Eastern Shore. The Spartans amassed 30 points. Florida A&M was second with 54.

Hampton won the women’s title with 53 points. The Spartan women placed fifth with 162 points.

The Spartan men were paced by senior Josef Tessema, who won his first title. He finished the 8-kilometer course in 25 minutes, 24.73 seconds to give NSU its third individual champion in the last four years. It was Tessema’s fourth straight all-conference honor.


Hampton pulls away from SSU, 22-5

Savannah, Georgia -- An ugly game looked pretty to Savannah State for 30 minutes. But the Tigers couldn’t generate offense in the second half, and a strong defensive effort was wasted during a 22-5 loss to Hampton on SSU’s homecoming at T.A. Wright Stadium on Saturday.

Savannah State dropped its fourth game in a row and fell to 1-7 overall, 1-4 in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play.

Hampton, which played without MEAC passing leader quarterback David Legree, has won two straight while improving to 5-3, 3-2 in conference play.

“Any loss, whether you play well or not, it’s a not a great feeling,” said SSU linebacker Nate Clay, who had a game-high 16 tackles, two pass breakups, a forced fumble and a tackle for loss that resulted in a safety.


SSU NOTEBOOK: Tigers defense plays well despite loss to Hampton

Savannah, Georgia -- Savannah State’s defense played its best game of the season Saturday against Hampton University. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough.

The visiting Pirates scored 19 points during the final 16 minutes and 35 seconds and defeated the Tigers, 22-5, before SSU’s announced homecoming crowd of 10,375 at T.A. Wright Stadium.

After an opening 56-yard drive that resulted in a field goal, SSU held Hampton scoreless and to just 141 yards for the next 38 minutes.

The Pirates played without MEAC-leading passer David Legree, but a week ago beat North Carolina Central when Travis Champion came off the bench and led the team to two touchdowns, including the game-winner in overtime.


Click here to view photos from the game.

B-CU Wildcats win 3rd straight, 34-6 over NCCU Eagles

DURHAM, North Carolina -- It's not unusual for a team to get a lopsided victory in a homecoming game. What is unusual is when it's the visiting team that puts the big numbers on the scoreboard.

Bethune-Cookman did just that Saturday, drilling a struggling North Carolina Central team 34-6 to spoil the Eagles' homecoming at O'Kelly-Riddick Stadium. It was the first time in six years that North Carolina Central lost its homecoming game.

B-CU (5-3, 3-2 in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) scored the first 34 points of the game. Running back Anthony Jordan had two touchdown runs, running back Rodney Scott and quarterback Jackie Wilson each had one rushing TD and receiver Patrick Harris caught a scoring pass for the Wildcats.

"Our guys operated the scheme that they were coached to do and were successful at it," said B-CU coach Brian Jenkins, who saw the Wildcats amass 525 yards of offense. "The main thing is we were careful with the football, and that was a positive factor in the game, and that's why we were effective offensively."



DURHAM, N.C. – Bethune-Cookman University sophomore quarterback Jackie Wilson passed for 183 yards and ran for another 113 yards to spark the Wildcats to 525 total yards and a 34-6 victory over North Carolina Central University inside a packed O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium celebrating NCCU’s homecoming.

Wilson completed 12-of-15 passes for 183 yards and an 11-yard touchdown strike to Patrick Harris in the third quarter. His team-high 113 ground yards came on just nine carries, including a 3-yard touchdown scamper right before halftime.

B-CU sophomore running back Isidore Jackson also surpassed the century mark with 108 rushing yards, while Anthony Jordan found the end zone twice and Rodney Scott had 57 rushing yards and a score. As a team, the Wildcats rushed for 333 yards, averaging 7.2 yards per carry.

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Bowie State Falls in the Snow to Shepherd

Shepherd, West Virginia -- Finally … Bowie State University’s (BSU) six-week football road trip has ended. But unfortunately for Bowie, it ended with a defeat in the snow to the Shepherd University Rams, 38-17 Oct. 29.

Shepherd kicker Eric Dobratz put the first points on the board for the Rams with a 35-yard field goal at the 10:28 mark of the first quarter. Running back Kenny Williams punched it in from seven yards out to extend the Rams lead to 10-0 with 6:10 left in the opening quarter.

Bowie State senior quarterback Clifton Budd tiptoed around the right end for a six-yard touchdown and fellow senior Michael Gagne kicked the extra point, trimming the early deficit to 10-7. However, William McKenzie took the ensuing kickoff 70 yards to the house, giving Shepherd a 17-7 lead.

Budd flipped a pass to junior receiver Reginald McIntyre for a seven-yard touchdown and Gagne's extra point made the score 17-14 with 12:59 remaining in the second quarter.


Norfolk State Spartans win, stays in first place in MEAC

NORFOLK, Virginia -- Linebacker Corwin Hammond got everything he asked for. Brutal conditions for an offense. Ideal for a defense seeking redemption. Cold weather, wind and a crucial MEAC win.

The Spartans beat North Carolina A&T 14-10 on Saturday in front of 18,752 fans thanks to a dominant defensive effort that included seven sacks and 14 tackles for loss.

Clinging to a 14-10 lead in the second half, the Spartan defense, with help from a 22-mph wind, held the Aggies scoreless despite three trips inside the NSU 13-yard-line. "Everyone remembers these kinds of games," Hammond said. "The rain, even if the fans leave, it's what we had to do to redeem ourselves."

As the game approached and weather reports worsened, Hammond was practically giddy about the prospect, despite the chaos the conditions could, and did, play on NSU's pass-first offense.

"Man, let it rain, let it rain," Hammond said earlier this week, still steamed after giving up 245 yards on the ground to Bethune-Cookman. "Let it rain. We'll see who's tough. Let them run the ball."


Aggies' last drive falls incomplete

Norfolk, Virginia -- N.C. A&T is 13 yards short of first place in the MEAC. Randy Maynes scored on a 3-yard touchdown run with 7:12 left to lead Norfolk State to a come-from-behind 14-10 victory over the Aggies at Dick Price Stadium on Saturday.

A&T's last chance to win ended with three consecutive incomplete passes from the Norfolk State 13-yard line in the final 47 seconds.

A&T wide receiver Torrian Warren, a Dudley graduate, got his hands on the fourth-down attempt. But he couldn't hang on, his bid for a diving catch in the end zone failing when the ball jarred loose on impact with the ground.

"We should have won this ballgame, just like we should have won last week's ball game (at Howard)," A&T coach Rod Broadway said. "We've got to teach our guys how to win. They don't know how to win or how to finish right now. That's (the coaches) responsibility. They're playing fairly hard. We're just not putting them in a good enough position to win."


Morgan Bears remain in MEAC hunt, shut down DSU Hornets

Dover, Delaware -- Morgan State did what they had to do on a dreary, windy and rain-soaked day for the Hornet's Homecoming. They protected a slim lead, played solid defense and ran the ball.

In just his fourth college game, Tracy Martin ran for a game-high 154 yards on 38 carries and scored the only points of the game, helping the Bears grind out a 12-0 victory over Delaware State and stretch their winning streak to three straight.

As a result of the win, the Bears are in a tie for first place in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference with Norfolk State. MSU's remaining games are against Bethune-Cookman (Nov. 5), Norfolk State (Nov. 12) and Hampton (Nov. 19).

The Bears played smash-mouth football throughout most of the ballgame and simply dominated the time of possession (39:53 - 20:07) -- recording their first shutout since October 7, 2006 when they posted a 32-0 win on the road against North Carolina A&T.

MSU (5-3, 4-1 MEAC) has won four of its last five and the defense has not allowed an opponent to crack the scoreboard for the last seven quarters.


Howard Bison Shut Out at Home Against S.C. State Bulldogs 31-0

Washington, D.C. -- After a momentum-building win the previous week in their homecoming game against North Carolina A&T, the Howard Bison was looking to go over .500 for the first time this season in a home affair with the South Carolina State Bulldogs on Oct. 29 at Greene Stadium.

But a slow start buried the Bison in a 17-0 first quarter hole as the Bulldogs went on to shut out the Bison 31-0 in front of a disappointed and cold crowd on a rainy, dreary afternoon at Howard’s Senior Day and final home game of the season.

“This was the worst game we have played all season,” first-year Howard head coach Gary Harrell told reporters after the game. (South Carolina) State has been a great program for years in this conference and you just cannot give them the kind of opportunities we gave them early in the game.”

Rain, sleet and wind helped the Bison commit a series of first half miscues. A botched snap and a fumble highlighted Howard’s first two possessions, setting the Bulldogs up with short fields and easy scoring opportunities. By the time Howard settled in on offense, the weather had gotten to freshman signal caller Greg McGhee, whose hands reportedly numbed up due to the freezing weather, according to Harrell. “Greg’s hand numbed up and he struggled all day,” Harrell revealed to Bison reporters. “He did not have a good game today.”


Big plays key in Shorter's 44-21 blowout of Edward Waters

Jacksonville, Florida -- The big play has become a staple of the Shorter University football program since its Mid-South Conference championship season in 2008. Noticeably absent over the past few weeks, the big play made a return for the Hawks on Saturday.

Shorter rushed for 343 yards and forced three turnovers as part of a 21-point second quarter in a 44-21 rout of Edward Waters College Jacksonville.

Kenny Foster ran for 89 yards and two touchdowns and T.J. Telfair chipped in with 66 yards and a score for the Hawks (5-3), who scored on three plays of 20 yards or more in rebounding from its worst rushing output in school history a week ago in a loss to Cumberlands

"We have to have big plays," said Shorter head coach Phil Jones. "When you run the ball as much as we do, you have to take advantage of big play opportunities when they present themselves. We did that today.

"I am proud to come down here and get a victory," Jones added. "What Edward Waters has done with that new staff and those talented players is amazing. You have to tip your hats to them."


ECSU win streak runs to seven with 26-9 win over Chowan

MURFREESBORO, North Carolina -- Elizabeth City State University extended their win streak to seven games with a convincing 26-9 win over the Chowan University Hawks Saturday afternoon. ECSU took the game's opening drive 55 yards in 7 plays and scored on a 24 yard run by Kevin Swain.

The Vikings successfully kept the Hawks (2-7, CIAA 1-5) in check for the majority of the afternoon. A Rickey Jarman punt from the back of the end zone gave the Hawks the ball deep in ECSU territory and with 28 seconds left in the game Cameron Stover ran the ball in from 5 yards out for their lone touchdown of the day.

Their only other points came courtesy of a 26-yard field goal by Ryan Murphy with 14:47 left in the first half.

Aside from that, the ECSU defense terrorized Stover and the Hawk offense throughout the game. After throwing for close to 400 yards on his previous outing, Stover was limited to 195 yards on 14-41 passing. Most notably he was constantly under pressure all day and was ultimately sacked by Viking defenders on 8 different occasions.

Additionally the defense only gave up 62 yards on the ground. After leading 13-3 at halftime, Daronte McNeill punched in his second rushing score of the day in the third quarter for a 20-3 advantage. McNeill only went for 93 yards but had two rushing scores and is 12 yards away from becoming the Vikings' all-time leading rusher.


VSU Trojans strike early defeating VUU Panthers on Homecoming

Petersburg, Virginia -- Senior running back, Antwain Lyde scored 2 early rushing touchdowns in a 39-14 win over rival Virginia Union University on Saturday, Oct. 29th in Rogers Stadium. Lyde led the Trojans with 26 rushes for 92 total yards.

The Trojans offense scored 4 touchdowns, the defense returned a 57 yard interception for another score, and senior kicker, William Rudd nailed a 44 yard FG to seal a homecoming victory for VSU. The Trojans rushed for 109 total yards and passed for 88 yards. Defensively, VSU forced one fumble and picked of 3 passes.

Senior defensive back, Howard Spencer, Jr. intercepted a pass from the VUU offense and returned it 57 yards giving the Trojans an early 22-0 lead with 1:31 left in the first quarter. Junior linebacker, Thomas Sykes and senior defensive back, Larry Armstead both had interceptions.

Junior quarterback, Jarred Battle threw a season high 2 touchdown passes against the Panthers. He finished the game7 of 8 passing for a total of 88 yards with a long of 25 yards to sophomore wide receiver, Dion Futch. Futch caught 4 passes for 47 yards and scored on an 11 yard catch in the third quarter. Sophomore wide receiver, Thaditguss Lewis caught 2 passes for 28 yards and also scored on a 10 yard pass from Battle.


JCSU Golden Bulls Topped 44-23 by FSU in home finale

Charlotte, North Carolina – The Johnson C. Smith University football team came up short in a 44-23 loss against Fayetteville State University on Saturday afternoon inside the Irwin Belk Complex. JCSU moves to 4-5 overall and 3-3 in the CIAA; the Broncos improve to 4-5 overall and 4-2 in the conference. The Golden Bulls had 16 seniors honored in their final performances on McGirt Field.

These two teams traded big play scores to start the contest. Fayetteville State scored first off a 47 yard pass from Chauncey Concepcion to Antonio Allen. JCSU quickly responded on the next drive with a connection from freshman quarterback Keahn Wallace (Homestead, FL) to junior receiver Matthew Jeffries (Gainesville, GA).

Wallace hit the receiver streaking and Jeffries went 60 yards downfield for the touchdown. FSU broke the 7-7 tie with a 41 yard field goal with 3:35 remaining in the first quarter.

The Golden Bulls' defense forced a safety in the second quarter off bad snap to Concepcion. Fayetteville State held a 17-9 lead at halftime. Ironically, a bad snap to Wallace inside the FSU 5-yard line led to a 70 yard fumble return for a touchdown.

JCSU was outscored 20-7 in the third quarter. Senior defensive back Lamarr Person (Atlanta, GA) returned a fumble 97 yards for a score to bring Johnson C. Smith within two possessions (30-16). The Broncos scored twice more after Person's return to account for the 44-23 final.


Saint Augustine's 45, Livingstone 14

DURHAM, North Carolina — Livingstone’s football team fell to the Saint Augustine’s Falcons 45-14 on Saturday at Durham County Stadium.

Livingstone’s defense boosted the Blue Bears at the start the game by forcing a three-and-out and forcing a punt. The poor punt gave Livingstone field position at the Saint Augustine’s 46-yard line.

Livingstone then took a 7-0 lead on quarterback Craig Murdock’s 22-yard rush and his 24-yard TD pass to Carl James.

Saint Augustine’s tied the game on its third possession, a 15-play, 82-yard drive that spanned more than five minutes .

The Falcons extended their lead early in the second quarter with a 39-yard field goal.

A Murdock fumble handed St. Aug’s the ball on the LC 17, and the Falcons punched in another score for a 17-7 halftime lead.

Livingstone couldn’t move the ball at the outset of the second half, and Saint Augustine’s opened a 24-7 lead with a 16-play, 67-yard drive that took eight minutes off the clock.

Another Livingstone fumble, this one recovered at the Blue Bears’ 21, led to another St. Aug’s TD and a 31-7 lead.


Virginia University of Lynchburg Dragons knocks off Lincoln Lions

Roanoke, Virginia -- Mac Shinhoster rushed for 187 yards and two touchdowns to lead Virginia University of Lynchburg to an 18-2 win over Lincoln (Pa.) on Saturday in the 12th annual Western Virginia Education Classic at William Fleming Stadium in Roanoke.

The victory was the Dragons third in their last four games, making coach Willard Bailey optimistic for the remainder of the season.

“You know, we have a chance to finish this season with a .500 record,” he said after the game. “That isn’t bad for a school that hasn’t had a team since 1954.”

While Shinhoster was sparking the offense, VUL’s defense shut down the Lions attack. The Dragons allowed just 110 yards in total offense, picked off three passes and had five quarterback sacks. The Dragons had been giving up an average of 25.9 points per game.

Lincoln’s lone score came on a safety in the third quarter when Tim Green tackled VUL quarterback Delonte Williams in the end zone.

VUL improves to 3-5 and has games against Concordia (Ala.) and George Mason remaining.


GSU claims big SWAC win over UAPB Golden Lions

PINE BLUFF, Arkansas — Grambling State overcame an early deficit as the Tigers roared back in the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship race, taking a 27-20 road win at Arkansas-Pine Bluff Saturday at Golden Lions Stadium.

The win evened Grambling's record at 4-4 and put the Tigers in the thick of the SWAC's Western Division race at 3-3. Prairie View A&M leads the SWAC West after losing Saturday at Jackson State, while UAPB is also 3-3.

"Give this whole team credit," GSU coach Doug Williams said following the contest. "The offense struggled but never gave up and finally got things moving for the comeback while the defense did the things it needed to do to help us get this win.

"And this was a big win in an emotional game and puts us right back in the SWAC race."


409 Wins? The Coach Who Has Paterno Beat

COLLEGEVILLE, Minnesota - Joe Paterno continues to make history.

On Saturday, Paterno, the 84-year-old Penn State football coach, passed Eddie Robinson for the most victories in the history of Division I college football. Penn State’s victory over Illinois was the 409th of a head-coaching career than spans more than four decades — all of them at one institution. In an emotional presentation after the game, Paterno accepted congratulations and praised the memory of Robinson, the Grambling State coach who died in 2007.

While Paterno stands alone among Division I football coaches, there is one coach whom he stands behind: John Gagliardi at St. John’s University in Minnesota. As Paterno celebrated a high-profile accomplishment at Penn State, Gagliardi was adding to a victory total that Paterno, in all likelihood, will never surpass. With a 47-14 victory over Carleton College on Saturday, Gagliardi has won 482 games in a head-coaching career that covers more than six decades.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Paterno passes Eddie Robinson on career victories list; acknowledges impact of Jake Gaither (FAMU) and Coach Rob

STATE COLLEGE, Pennsylvania -- If it's Joe Paterno's final season -- one spent mostly away from the field on game day, sitting high up in the press box -- fans might see a coach out of touch with his players. He doesn't stand on the sidelines. He doesn't wear headphones. He doesn't call plays.

But his staff -- particularly his son -- sees it differently.

"This might be one of the best jobs Joe's done of coaching, getting kids to buy into team-first, just win, the whole 9 yards," Penn State assistant Jay Paterno said. "Don't worry about personal accolades, personal statistics. Don't worry about playing time. Just (concentrate on) we're going to continue to win. We've got plain uniforms. This is vintage Joe Paterno. "And you know what, if it keeps working, why mess with it?"

Paterno picked up another honor, passing former Grambling State University coach Eddie Robinson by recording his 409th career victory and becoming the all-time victories leader in NCAA Division I football. Paterno held the distinction of winning more games than any coach in major college football before the season began, but Robinson's teams -- although not considered major -- went 408-165-15 from 1941 through 1997. Paterno's teams improved to 409-136-3 during his 46 seasons as a head coach.


Mississippi Valley State 12, Texas Southern 9

ITTA BENA, Mississippi - The Delta Devils built a 12-2 lead and then held on to snap their 19-game losing streak and hand Karl Morgan his first victory during his second season as the MVSU coach.

A stout defense and effective special teams sparked the Delta Devils, who won despite gaining just 101 total yards.

With the scored tied 2-2, Garrick Jones capped off a five-play, 36-yard drive with a 12-yard touchdown pass to J.J. Thurman to give Valley (1-8, 1-7 Southwestern Athletic Conference) a 9-2 lead at halftime.

Carlos Sanchez added a 25-yard field goal late in the third quarter to extend the Delta Devils' lead to 12-2.


Alabama State wins Battle of the Bands at the Magic City Classic

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Alabama A&M may have beaten Alabama State 20-19 in the 70th annual Magic City Classic at Legion Field today, but Alabama State claimed the Battle of the Bands title.

AT&T sponsored a contest in which game attendees could vote to decide who won the Battle of the Bands, and the Marching Hornets came away the victors. The prize was $1,500 for the school.

The 70,000-seat Legion Field was nearly full at halftime as the crowd roared for the two bands. The crowd appeared to be bigger at halftime than for the game itself.


Alabama A&M trips up Alabama State in classic Classic

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Alabama State entered today's 70th annual Magic City Classic as the No. 1 team in black college football. When the new polls come out Monday, Alabama A&M may find itself there. The Bulldogs, behind the play of running back Kaderius Lacey, an inspired defense and a couple of huge special teams plays, knocked off the Hornets 20-19 before an announced crowd of 66,473 at Legion Field.

"I'm very proud of my football team," said A&M coach Anthony Jones, who ran his record to 8-2 against Alabama State. "We had to come up with a terrific effort to beat the No. 1 team in black college football and we did that. "We punished them running the football and jumped out on top. Our defense took over after that, but they made some plays, but we were able to hang on for the victory."

A&M, which has won six straight games after starting 0-2, improved to 6-2 overall and 5-1 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Eastern Division. Alabama State fell to 6-2 and 6-1. It was the Hornets' first loss since a 14-7 setback at Eastern Michigan on Sept. 10.


Lacey leads the way for A&M in narrow Classic victory

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- The question isn't if Kaderius Lacey is hurting today. The question is where isn't Kaderius Lacey hurting today. However, as the lights surrounding Legion Field dimmed and the party outside the venerable stadium shifted into high gear early this evening, the Alabama A&M junior running back didn't feel much of anything. Other than pure elation.

"I have so much adrenaline right now," said Lacey, "it's all good."

Speaking of which, so are the Bulldogs, who defeated rival Alabama State 20-19 at the 70th Magic City Classic in front of a crowd announced at 66,473, although it required the usual educated guesswork given the tens of thousands roaming Graymont Avenue and beyond.

The 6-foot, 230-pounder was the primary mover and shaker in sending everyone in A&M maroon home happy in this de facto for-first-place-in-the-SWAC-East game, dishing out continual blunt force trauma on the Hornets defense.


Alabama State notebook: Andrews breaks record

BIRMINGHAM -- Nick Andrews did all he could to win the 70th Magic City Classic, but it wasn't enough. Andrews, the senior from Maplesville, who hasn't dazzled fans in his past three games with Alabama A&M, put on a spectacular show for the 66,473 fans at Legion Field, hauling in nine passes for 134 yards.

The nine catches were one shy of his single-game high and marked the fifth time this season he has recorded nine of more receptions in a game. His 134-yard performance was his third-best showing this season, but it was enough to help him pass head coach Reggie Barlow on the school's career receiving yardage mark.

Andrews now has 187 receptions for 2,563 yards and 26 touchdowns. All three are school records.


Hornets try to handle loss

BIRMINGHAM -- Alabama State senior defensive tackle Kynjee Cotton walked around in circles for several minutes outside the locker room, trying to get his emotions in check after a gut-wrenching 20-19 loss to Alabama A&M here Saturday afternoon. He talked softly, paused a few seconds and tried to find just the right words.

"It's tough," he said. "For the last four years to work this hard and to come this close, no words can describe it."

The Hornets, ranked No. 1 in all three of the Black College Football national rankings, had their six-game winning streak snapped and fell to 6-2 overall, 6-1 in the SWAC. More importantly, they lost to A&M for the sixth time in the past seven years in the Magic City Classic.


Magic City Classic Bests and Worsts

Best way to revive Legion Field's glorious past -- Fill the stands with Magic City Classic fans. Fill the air with delicious smells of food. For two days a year -- don't for­get the BBVA Compass Bowl -- the Old Lady on Graymont looks to be in her prime again.

Best homecoming -- Kade­rius Lacey grew up in Calera and came back to Birming­ham, leaving Legion Field with the Offensive MVP tro­phy after bulling his way for nearly 200 yards rushing.
Best way to end the Magic City Classic -- How do you top a day of tailgating, bar­becuing, good football and greater marching bands? With a postgame concert that drives away the funk on a chilly night.


SU comes through with homecoming win over Alcorn Braves

Baton Rouge, Louisiana -- With one last chance to win at A.W. Mumford Stadium, a group of seniors on Southern’s football team held an impromptu meeting. This homecoming game against Alcorn State, they said, was a gift. It was senior night. It was the home finale.

Saturday night, the seniors didn’t want to blow it. “We gathered up and said, ‘We’re not going to lose our homecoming,’” receiver LaQuinton Evans recalled. “It was up to the players, whether or not we were going to win tonight.” And win they did.

The Jaguars got a steely performance from their defense, scored three lightning-quick touchdowns and overcame a sloppy second half en route to an easy 30-14 victory over the Braves.

“I’m glad we came out with the victory,” Evans said. “Nobody wants to lose on homecoming and on senior night. So I’m glad. I’m glad.” Of course, Evans had a big hand in the win.


Miscues doom Alcorn State

It took just less than 11 minutes before Alcorn State dug itself into an enormous hole, en route to a 30-14 defeat against Southern University on Saturday at A.W. Mumford Stadium. On Alcorn’s first three drives, the Braves had three three-and-outs. It was a different story for SU. The Jaguars converted their first three drives into touchdowns.

J.P. Douglas scrambled 50 yards for the Jaguars’ first score, followed by his touchdown passes to Mike Berry from 59 yards out and a 25-yard toss to LaQuinton Evans.

On all three scores, the Braves made mistakes defensively that could have been avoided. First, it was missed tackles against Douglas, then broken coverage against Berry and tangled feet by cornerback Jamison Knox on Evans down the sideline.


Southern defense steps up

Southern University’s defense was missing three key players Saturday night against Southwest Athletic Conference rival Alcorn State, but the Jaguars turned in an effort that was anything but short-handed.

Behind Southern’s best defensive performance of the Stump Mitchell era, the Jaguars dominated Alcorn’s offense on the way to a 30-14 homecoming win at A.W. Mumford Stadium.

Southern held Alcorn to 219 total yards, well below its 315-yard average. Most importantly, Southern’s defense pitched a “shutout” as both Alcorn touchdowns came off of special teams miscues.

“The defense played well,” Mitchell said. “They didn’t give up any points, so that’s definitely a bright spot. I don’t think (Alcorn State) had too many big plays against us.”


Southern gets 30-14 homecoming win over Alcorn

J.P. Douglas threw two touchdown passes and ran for another as Southern scored the game's first 30 points and held on for a 30-14 win over Alcorn State Saturday in Southern's homecoming at Mumford Stadium.

Douglas threw touchcown passes of 25 yards to LaQuinton Evans and 60 yards to Mike Berry as SU (3-5, 3-3) snapped a two-game losing streak. Alcorn dropped to 2-5, 1-5.

Sylvester Nzekwe added a 58-yard touchdown run for Southern, which led 23-0 at halftime and increased the lead to 30-0 in the third quarter.


Therriault's running reopens JSU passing game

SHREVEPORT, Louisiana — Jackson State quarterback Casey Therriault had enough of defenses dropping five and six defensive backs 30 yards or more down the field. They respect my arm, he said. But they don't respect my feet. Maybe now, they will.

Therriault showed his wheels in JSU's 44-14 victory over Prairie View A&M on Saturday at Independence Stadium, gaining 91 yards on 17 carries. "It kind of offended me when people try to drop that deep into coverage," Therriault said. "That was my plan, to go ahead and get them to start respecting me as a runner."

Defenses this season - especially two weeks ago in a 17-16 victory over Mississippi Valley - have dropped up to four defensive backs 15 to 30 yards downfield, stifling JSU's vertical passing game. So, the quarterback, not known much for running, ran.


The case for No. 1

SHREVEPORT, Louisiana — Jackson State football coach Rick Comegy hoisted the 3-foot high, gold-and-green trophy high above his head. Players gathered around, each wanting a touch of the inaugural Shreveport Classic prize.

Outside of the raucous gathering, Jackson State offensive lineman Rodrick Gladney knew an even better reward for the Tigers' 44-14 trouncing of Prairie View A&M on Saturday.

"We're No. 1!" he yelled. "We're No. 1!" Black college football, meet your new No. 1 team.

While JSU was rolling up 722 yards - while quarterback Casey Therriault was accounting for six touchdowns, while JSU defenders were hounding a pair of Prairie View quarterbacks - Alabama State, No. 1 in the Sheridan Broadcasting Network poll, was losing.


Tigers make State-ment in Classic

The way Jackson State played the first 30 minutes of Saturday's Shreveport Classic against Prairie View, the Tigers didn't seem to lack for motivation. Just for good measure, coach Rick Comegy gave them some at halftime when he told his team Alabama State, the Southwestern Athletic Conference East leader, was losing to Alabama A&M.

That was enough to make sure the Tigers didn't coast in what turned out to be an easy 44-14 victory over Prairie View at Independence Stadium.

"We didn't know about the loss until our game was over, but we heard they were losing," Jackson State quarterback Casey Therriault said. "A couple of us (knew), but we didn't talk about it. We tried to keep it on the down low and play our game. Coach told us at halftime just to re-motivate us."


Central State Marauders shut out KWC Panthers

Owensboro, Kentucky -- The lack of numbers is starting to catch up to Kentucky Wesleyan College's football team. The Panthers had no answer for Central State in a matchup of winless teams on Saturday at Steele Stadium.

Jeffrey Brooks ran for two touchdowns and threw for a third as Central State broke an eight-game losing streak and beat the Panthers 36-0.

“I thought we would be very competitive in this game, but it didn't work out that way,” KWC coach Brent Holsclaw said. “We're having huge lack of depth issues.” The Panthers are having to patch holes along the offensive line and in their linebacking corps.

“Guys are injured and out there playing,” Holsclaw said.

Brooks hit Chris Murray-Towns with a 42-yard touchdown pass to put Central State up 14-0 with 10:49 left in the first half. Brooks scored on a 15-yard run and a 2-yard run in the third and fourth quarters, pushing Central State to a 29-0 advantage.


Realignment hits Division II — KWC leaving Great Lakes Valley, will form own conference with Central State (Ohio), others

Owensboro, Kentucky -- It’s not just the big schools shuffling conferences. Kentucky Wesleyan College is leaving the Great Lakes Valley Conference to form its own conference in and around the Ohio River valley, along with Notre Dame College, Ursuline, Cedarville University, Central State University (Ohio) and Urbana University.

KWC officials in recent months had been discussing whether to remain in Division II or consider moving to non-scholarship Division III status over financial concerns, eventually choosing this middle road, of forming a new conference of comparably sized schools and athletic departments.

“We believe that this is the best fit at this moment for Kentucky Wesleyan,” athletic director David Williams said. “Academically, socially, athletically and budgetarily. . . . We are striving for teams that support their programs at similar levels to what we plan to do in the future.”

KWC, a charter member of the GLVC which will remain a GLVC member through next season, is taking a leading role in the conference, planning to have the documents drawn up by Dec. 1 of this year. Unlike in Division I, where schools are looking to step up to bigger arrangements, this was a search aimed at stepping away from escalating athletic budgets.



Central State University Marauders are currently playing football this season as a NCAA Division II Independent member. The Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) announced on October 13, 2010 that the associate membership applications of Central State University and Urbana University in the sport of football had been accepted for competition in 2012.

Central State, located just 18 miles east of Dayton in Wilberforce, Ohio, was established in 1887 and currently has an enrollment of over 2,100 undergraduate students. The athletic department, led by athletics director Kellen Winslow, currently participates as an NCAA Division II independent.

CSU reinstituted their football program in 2005 following a nine-year hiatus. Central State is led by head coach E.J. Junior and plays its home contests in McPherson Stadium which seats 7,000. The Marauders began football in 1947 and have a storied history with three NAIA national championships to their credit in the last 20 years.

The GLVC was established in 1978 and is the largest NCAA Division II conference in the country with 17 member institutions in five Midwestern states. With the addition of football in 2012, the GLVC sponsors championships in 18 sports that also includes men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s indoor track & field, men’s and women’s outdoor track & field and volleyball.

Kentucky Wesleyan leaving Great Lakes Valley Conference, plans to form conference with Ohio schools
KWC Staying D2, Leaving GLVC‎

XU Gold Nuggets beat SUNO, win GCAC championship outright

Coach Christabell Hamilton
New Orleans, Louisiana -- Xavier University of Louisiana got 18 kills from freshman Moira Kirk and defeated SUNO 25-12, 15-25, 25-19, 25-8 on Saturday at The Castle to win the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular-season championship outright.

The Gold Nuggets (18-6, 9-0) won their first volleyball championship in four intercollegiate seasons. They were 11-26 in 2010 in their first season since 2004.

Kirk hit .533 in 30 attacks and had five blocks. She had four kills during a 10-0 run which gave Xavier a 11-2 lead in the fourth set.

Chinedu Echebelem and Taylor Reuther had seven kills apiece for Xavier, which won its third straight, and Jeanay Butler had five. Reuther had 16 digs, Celeste Poe 12, and Butler and Kia Smith had six apiece. Patrice Hightower assisted on 32 of the Gold Nuggets' 44 kills.

Xavier hit .579 in the first set, then hit .130 in the next to help SUNO (13-9, 7-3) even the match. But the Gold Nuggets, with Kirk collecting five kills, four blocks and an ace, regained control in the third.

"We were too relaxed in the second set and lost our focus," Hightower said. "We didn't make the necessary adjustments, especially with blocking.

"But in the third set we came back out and forgot the second set. I just thought we wanted it more, and we made the adjustments we didn't make eariler."

Senior Iva Bobkova, an All-GCAC performer a year ago but a reserve for the majority of this season, was part of the adjustments.

"We put Iva in the match in the third set to give us a bigger blocker," Xavier coach Christabell Hamilton said. "That allowed us to get in front of some balls we weren't getting to earlier."
SUNO aided Xavier in the final set with errors on eight attacks and two serves. Reuther ended the match with a kill.

2011 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Regular Season Champions
Xavier University of Louisiana Gold Nuggets 
Record: 18-6, 9-0 GCAC
Roster -  click here
(click picture to enlarge)
"The difference this season was attitude," Bobkova said. "People are just more willing to play for each other than last year. We did not have the desire last year.

"It's frustrating for me to not play as much, but we always think about the team. I'm definitely happier this year."

Hamilton, hired in mid-June, is the third first-year XU coach to win a conference championship. Giles Wright won the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference men's basketball championship in 1937-38, and Alan Green won the GCAC women's tennis title in 2002-03.

"From the very beginning in August I knew we had a lot of work to do," Hamilton said. "After the first home match I knew I had a good team. I just had to put them all on the same page."

Xavier will close the regular season at 2 p.m. next Saturday against city and GCAC rival Dillard at The Barn, the travel to Nashville, Tenn., for the GCAC Tournament on Nov. 10-12. The tournament winner will receive an automatic bid to the NAIA National Championship.

"We're still not done," Hamilton said. "There's lots more to do. We can celebrate Sunday, but Monday it's back to work."

NOTES: Xavier never had a winning season before this year and won 30 percent of its matches the first three seasons . . . Kirk's kills were her second most this season. She recorded 23 kills Friday in a five-set victory against Faulkner . . . The Nuggets had two service errors -- none until the middle of the third set -- after committing 10 Friday . . . Xavier swept both regular-season matches against SUNO after losing all four, two in the league tournament, to the Lady Knights in 2010 . . . All three XU fall teams won GCAC Championships. The men's and women's cross country squads won their league titles for the sixth straight time this past Saturday.

Box score
Ed Cassiere
By Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

SIOUX NICKNAME: Alcorn State still home of the Braves

Grand Fork, North Dakota -- As a student at Alcorn State University in Mississippi from 2000 to 2004, Latoya Shields was a devoted fan of Alcorn Braves athletics. As the school’s sports information director today, she still is. “Once a Brave, always a Brave,” she said.

Except in the post-season.

Alcorn State is a small, historically black college, and it boasts among its alumni the civil rights figure Medgar Evers, “Roots” author Alex Haley, the late NFL quarterback Steve McNair and Leslie Frazier, head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.

Except for UND, still home of the Fighting Sioux, Alcorn is the only NCAA member school resisting the association’s 2005 ban on use of American Indian names, mascots and imagery.

Vigorously backed by its alumni, Alcorn chose to keep its nickname and accept NCAA sanctions. Thus, its athletic teams still take the field as the Braves — until a Braves team reaches post-season play. Then, the only symbol identifying Alcorn State athletics is a brave capital A — a symbol that bears no small resemblance to a teepee.


KSU Thoroughbreds thwart Lane Dragons' efforts

Jackson, Tennessee -- Lane went into Saturday's game with Kentucky State with a skeleton crew defense in some areas, but the Dragons helped the Thoroughbreds to three points after halftime.
The problem was Kentucky State scored two touchdowns in the first half en route to a 17-6 win at Lane Field.

"We're just not very good offensively right now," said Lane head coach Derrick Burroughs. "A lot of teams had scored a lot of points on their defense, and I thought we would have a chance to do so, too. "To only get one offensive touchdown, that's not good at all."

Lane was the first team to score as Evan Yabu ran 49 yards for a touchdown late in the first quarter, but that was the only time the Dragons would cross the goal line. The Dragons had their opportunities as well.


WSSU Rams holds on to defeat Shaw Bears

Winston Salem, North Carolina -- Winston-Salem State's unbeaten season is alive, but barely. The Rams, ranked No. 9 in the Division II coaches' poll, needed a key defensive play in the fourth quarter to secure a 21-14 victory against the Shaw Bears in front of about 3,500 at windy Bowman Gray Stadium.

An interception by defensive back Cameron Demps with 8:21 left turned the momentum in the favor of the Rams, who improved to 9-0 overall and 7-0 in the CIAA — and posted their first unbeaten conference finish since 1999.

Coach Connell Maynor of WSSU preached all last week that the Bears, last season's CIAA champs but now 2-7, would come at the Rams hard.

"These guys are the ex-champions, and I knew they wouldn't have any quit in them," Maynor said. "We knew they would come out and fight us. And they gave us their best shot. And it was a good test, and we needed that."


24-3 Tuskegee victory a bright spot on difficult year

Tuskegee, Alabama -- The 2011 campaign has been difficult in many ways for Willie Slater and his program. Tuskegee isn't comfortably resting atop the conference standings like in seasons past and Slater will finish with his worst record as head football coach since taking over in 2006. Saturday afternoon, however, brought some normalcy and smiles back to the Golden Tigers in the form of a 24-3 victory over Clark Atlanta.

"I think we've been getting better all year," said Slater, whose worst season at TU was last year's 9-2 mark. "We've gotten better every week, but we're still making a lot of mistakes. We needed this win, so we'll take whatever we can get and any way we can get it right about now."

It was the fifth consecutive win over the visiting Panthers (2-7, 1-5 SIAC), who trail 58-15-3 all-time in a series that dates back to 1902. Tuskegee's last loss in the series came during Slater's inaugural campaign. Tuskegee (3-5, 3-3) aims to string together its first pair of wins when Miles College visits Abbott Memorial Stadium next week.


Home sweet home: Albany State Rams trample Tigers in rout

Albany, Georgia -- One win away. Albany State's 37-13 Homecoming victory against Benedict on Saturday has the Rams one win away from an SIAC East Division Championship. One win away from extending their season. One win away from Rams coach Mike White getting a Gatorade bath. On Saturday, ASU defensive leader Justin Blash almost jumped the gun on that Gatorade bath.

"I was standing beside (White at the end of the game), and I was acting like somebody was getting ready to hit coach White with the Gatorade," said Blash, a 320-pound defensive tackle. "I said, 'Watch out, they have the Gatorade!' He tensed up for it. But I was just playing."

Blash may have been joking at the end of the game, but the No. 22 nationally ranked Rams were all business early in the game Saturday. They held Benedict to zero offensive yards in the first half and scored about every way possible to take an insurmountable 31-0 lead into intermission.

Even though the Rams (7-2, 5-1) came out with little ...


Morehouse, Carter take care of FVSU

Fort Valley, Georgia -- Morehouse’s David Carter wears No. 32 on game days. The running back, however, might as well have had a question mark embroidered on his jersey Saturday at Wildcat Stadium. Fort Valley State simply had no answer for the SIAC’s leading rusher.

Carter needed merely a half to break the Morehouse single-game program record for rushing yards, finishing with 351 on 32 carries. The junior also scored on touchdown runs of 60, 45, 22 and 2 yards as Morehouse throttled FVSU 49-12.

Morehouse rang up 536 of its 662 yards on the ground.

“We couldn’t tackle the big running back,” FVSU head coach Donald Pittman said. “Defending the run has been our Achilles’ heel. “We gave them a short field a lot of times to work with, and we had some key people that did not make plays. That kept the defense out on the field.”


Stillman Tigers falls in close one against Miles Golden Bears

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama (Oct.27, 2011) | The Miles College Golden Bears squeaked by rival Stillman College to claim the Southern Intercollegeate Athletic Conference Western Division title with a 9-7 victory, one year after going 3-8 and finishing in near the bottom in the conference.

The Golden Bears (6-3) won with a suffocating defense, holding the Tigers (6-3) to just 210 yards of offense and forcing three interceptions, including two in the fourth quarter. They also got just enough offense, led by quarterback David Thomas who went 17 of 25 for 180 yards.

“It’s been a long time coming for Miles College,” first-year coach Reginald Ruffin said. “I asked these guys to just to buy, and these guys have bought in.”

The Golden Bears got off to a fast start, starting the game with a trick play. Quarterback David Thomas threw a 50-yard bomb to D.J. Fife on a flea-flicker pass on the first play from scrimmage. Several plays later, running back Jordan Lewis took a pitch in from four yards out for the score, diving into the end zone to cap off the scoring drive. The extra point was blocked.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Seniors eye another upset in FVSU home finale

Fort Valley, Georgia -- Senior night is always an emotional one for a team, regardless of how a season has gone. The players preparing for their final home game start thinking about how fast their career has gone and how their lives have changed.

It’s no cakewalk for coaches, for similar reasons. They’ve watched players grow from green, wide-eyed freshmen who were either timid or arrogant upon arrival turn into young men. The Wildcats will honor 16 seniors before the home finale, and it will be a little painful for the FVSU coaches to watch.

Nine position players are basically starters, and one position player, wideout Demario Barber, is one of the nation’s top punt returners. Nearly all in the group are regulars who get substantive snaps. Head coach Donald Pittman noted how many played only on special teams as freshmen and can only wonder about if they had been redshirted.

“If those guys would be able to play next year?” Pittman said. “Wow. What an impact.”


Maynor, WSSU Rams have sights set high

Winston Salem, North Carolina -- Coach Connell Maynor approaches a familiar football intersection driving a John Deere utility vehicle that resembles a golf cart as it climbs the rocky hill from the Winston-Salem State practice field to Bowman Gray Stadium.

The green cart, adorned with a tiny Rams decal on the front, matches the recreational tastes of a former quarterback who shoots around par during golfing months.

On October's final Saturday afternoon, though, golf takes a back seat beside bags of workout footballs while Maynor strives to scratch out a win against Shaw. The Rams, 8-0 and No. 9 in the NCAA Division II coaches' poll, look perfectly situated, having clinched a spot in the CIAA title game.

Despite routing the field by an average score of 48-16 thus far, the Rams could still blow their NCAA ride. Cruise control remains a dangerous illusion, which WSSU discovered last season when St. Augustine's and Shaw derailed the roaring red revivalists. Shaw intercepted a disastrous screen pass and converted a short touchdown drive for the second defeat.


Kirk's work helps Xavier Gold Nuggets defeat Faulkner in five

EW ORLEANS, Louisiana -- Freshman Moira Kirk had 23 kills, the most by a Xavier University of Louisiana player this season, to rally the Gold Nuggets in a 25-19, 14-25, 17-25, 25-20, 15-12 women's volleyball victory Friday against Faulkner.

Kirk had three kills in the final seven rallies to help the Gold Nuggets (17-6) rally from a 17-14 deficit in the fourth set, then she closed the match with consecutive kills after Xavier trailed 3-0 and 9-5 in the fifth.

"I wish I had a team full of Moira Kirks," Xavier coach Christabell Hamilton said. "I say that because of her heart. She plays hard every day, whether it's a match or practice. She always gives me 100 percent, and sometimes she exceeds that. She's a leader by example."

Kirk also had four blocks and an ace and hit a team-best .364 in 44 attacks. Chinedu Echebelem had 10 kills, eight digs and three blocks, and Taylor Reuther had eight kills, 16 digs and a career-best five blocks. Xavier also got 11 digs from Celeste Poe and a career-high 17 digs from Kia Smith, whose dig set up Kirk's winning shot.

"Kia Smith played a great match," Hamilton said. "She's continued to fight for playing time. She's gotten more time recently, and today she stepped up."

Neysa Hernandez had 14 kills, 10 digs, two blocks and two aces for Faulkner (18-17), which dropped its fourth straight. Kelsey Bell had 10 kills and 23 digs, and Abbie Melvin had 19 digs.
Xavier took the lead for good in the deciding set with a 7-1 run. Echebelem and Jeanay Butler blocked Brittnay Renfroe's attack to tie the score at 10, and Reuther's lone ace put the Nuggets ahead to stay.

"Man, we were in some trouble in the fifth," Hamilton said. "I just told them that we've got to stay together and keep fighting."

It's the second time in the program's four seasons that Xavier won after trailing two sets to one, and it's the first time in five tries that the Gold Nuggets defeated Faulkner. This is the first Xavier team with three five-set victories in a season.

Both teams committed 48 errors. Xavier outhit Faulkner .155 to .154 and had a 71-67 advantage in digs, but the Lady Eagles had advantages of 54-48 in kills, 8-4 in aces and 9-7 in blocks.

Xavier will travel to Gulf Coast Athletic Conference and city rival SUNO for a 6 p.m. match Saturday. The Gold Nuggets have clinched a share of the GCAC regular-season championship and need a victory against SUNO or Dillard to win the title outright. SUNO and Dillard are both 7-2 in conference, and they're the only teams which can catch Xavier.

By Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

Savannah State meets Hampton on homecoming Saturday

Savannah, Georgia -- There are still four games to go in the football season for the Savannah State Tigers. After losing six of the first seven, you might think first-year coach Steve Davenport would be looking at younger players.

But Davenport isn’t using the final part of the season as an audition for next year. Particularly today on the Tigers’ homecoming.

“We’re not at that point,” said Davenport, whose squad meets Hampton University at 2 p.m. at T.A Wright Stadium. “I don’t want to toss the seniors aside just for the sake of looking at young kids. We’re going to play the best players. The guys we have playing are the older guys and they’re the best players.

“Our mentality the whole time is we’re going to play the best players. If the results aren’t good enough, then we have to go out and get better players.”


Friday, October 28, 2011

Scouting report: Morgan State vs. Delaware State

Morgan State (4-3, 3-1 MEAC) vs. Delaware State (2-5, 0-4 MEAC)
Time: 1 p.m.
Radio: 88.9 FM
Series: Morgan leads series 30-23
MSU Gamenotes

What's at stake: Morgan State, which is tied for first place in the MEAC, will face the struggling Hornets on the road as both teams are coming off bye weeks. Before the break, the Bears had won two straight, including a dominant 52-3 victory at North Carolina Central on Oct. 29. Meanwhile, the Hornets have plummeted in the standings. After winning its first two games of the season, Delaware State has lost five straight under first-year coach Kermit Blount. The Bears have not won at Delaware State since 2003, when they claimed a 53-36 victory.

Key matchup: Morgan State running back Travis Davidson rushed for a game-high 142 yards and three touchdowns in the Bears' rout of N.C. Central two weeks ago. The junior leads the team with 455 rushing yards this season and five touchdowns. Running backs have had no problem against the Hornets, who have allowed more than 200 rushing yards per game this season. The Delaware State defense has allowed a MEAC-worst 441 yards per game.


Spears makes return to SU as Alcorn coach

Baton Rouge, Louisiana -- This weekend's game will be a homecoming of sorts for so many more than the Southern University faithful. Sure alums, former faculty members, administrators and fans from all over will converge on the Baton Rouge campus on Saturday in anticipation of seeing old friends, watching a little football and hearing the SU band, also known as the Human Jukebox perform.

But as Southern (2-5, 2-3 Southwestern Athletic Conference) prepares to host Alcorn State (2-4, 1-4) Saturday at 5:30 p.m. inside A.W. Mumford Stadium, the Jaguars are also aware it will be a homecoming for several players and coaches from the visiting team.

Alcorn first-year head coach Melvin Spears, a Clinton native, grew up a short drive away from the SU campus.

Michael Roach, a Baton Rouge native and a 1985 graduate of SU, is Alcorn's assistant head coach/defensive coordinator. Roach played football at SU and later coached at the school after graduation. Until last year, he was also the head coach at Southern Lab, which is located on the SU campus.


Andrews aims for history: Receiver set to break ASU career mark

Montgomery, Alabama -- He's humble by anyone's standards, so it wasn't easy for Nick Andrews to stand in front of teammates and announce his individual goals.

The Alabama State senior receiver was one of a handful head coach Reggie Barlow called on after an August practice, asking the player to step forward and tell teammates of his personal goals for 2011 as well as hopes for the Hornets this season.

Andrews spoke of returning to the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship Game and completing the mission after losing to Texas Southern in 2010.

"At the end, I was like, 'My individual goal is to break his record,' " he said, referring to Barlow's career receiving yard standard at Alabama State. "He told (offensive coordinator Fred) Kaiss, 'If he breaks my record, this is your senior year, too.'

"We joke about that all the time."


Grambling State plays Arkansas-Pine Bluff Saturday in important SWAC game

Grambling, Louisiana -- Suddenly, Grambling State University is back in business in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Well, almost.

"We've won our last two games, but this season is far from over and there's no need to start bringing out the black and gold pom-pons and start cheering," said Tigers' Head Coach Doug Williams. "There's still a whole lot of work to be done and it all starts Saturday."

Grambling (3-4, 2-3) will have an important 2:30 p.m. test against the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff (4-3, 3-2) at the Golden Lions' Stadium.

It will mark the Tigers' first road appearance in nearly a month after having dealt with an open date and then back-to-back home games, the latest being last week's 30-24 overtime victory against Mississippi Valley. Saturday's game looms significant in the SWAC chase. UAPB is in second place and GSU third for the Western Division.


FAMU football tops MEAC in nine categories

Tallahassee, Florida -- Getting to its bye week has been quite a rollercoaster ride for Florida A&M. But even as they sit in a third-place tie, the Rattlers have plenty to feel good about — at least through this weekend's MEAC games.

The Rattlers amazingly are leading the league in nine of 33 statistical categories. Topping the achievement is the team's 19 interceptions, which is the best in the national in all levels of college football.

FAMU also has the conference's best scoring offense, kicker off coverage, PAT success, third-down conversions, time of possession, red zone offense, red zone defense and sacks.

"I take my hat off to the coaches," head coach Joe Taylor said Thursday, as he read the list. "We have been adjusting as we go and that's why you see us playing better."

Safety Anthony Shutt agreed that the stats that the Rattlers are racking up is the result of the chemistry between players on both sides of the ball.


This week in Georgia HBCU Football

Macon, Georgia -- The SIAC race has come down to the end. Albany State controls their own destiny. The Rams can represent the SIAC East with wins vs. Benedict and FVSU in the final 2 games. Morehouse is in good position if they win the 2 remaining games and Albany State loses one of the 2 remaining games.

Morehouse Tigers - As you all know the Maroon Tigers have been my pick since the beginning. The Tigers won on homecoming in a come from behind win 37-31 last saturday vs. Benedict. RB David Carter turned in 111 yards and the game winning touchdown. The Maroon Tigers are in the mix, but are in a peculiar position as they no longer control their own destiny. Morehouse is such a quality team that I still believe even if they don't get into the conference championship game a Division II playoff game is in store. A worst Morehouse is looking at a Pioneer Bowl bid, and they have had a very good season.


Fort Valley State vs. Stillman College - 2011 Pregame Battle