Albany State Beats Morehouse, Leads SIAC East
Written by Roscoe Nance, Special to BlackAmericaWeb.com Monday, 17 October 2011 07:39
Albany State rebounded from its upset loss with a 25-15 home victory against Morehouse Saturday night in a showdown for first place in the SIAC East Division.
The game went exactly the way Golden Rams coach Mike White hoped it would as Albany State (5-2, 3-1 SIAC), the defending SIAC and Black College National champion, scored early and finished strong to take control of the race with Morehouse (5-2, 5-1 SIAC) for the East title.
“We put some scores up early," said White, who last week said that the Golden Rams, who were playing at home for the first time this month, would “have to fire both barrels" and put Morehouse in the hole in order to be successful. "It was really key for us to keep them off the ground and to force them to put the ball in the air and make them play catch up."
Albany State grabbed a 19-2 first half lead on pair touchdown passes from Stanley Jennings to Ronnie Tubbs and Octavius Staton that covered 22 and 33 yards, respectively. After falling behind, Morehouse abandoned its running game, which was No. 26 in Division II at 216.3 yards, not that the Maroon Tigers had much success on the ground anyway. David Carter, who averaged 131.1 yards a game and was No. 9 in Division II, gained just 45 yards on 20 carries. It was Carter’s lowest total of the season and just the second time he failed to reach 100-yard mark.
When Morehouse threw the ball, the Golden Rams hounded quarterback Byron Ingram unmercifully, sacking him six times and forcing him to throw three interceptions.
“Our pass defense hadn’t been great," White said. “We made some big plays. Their quarterback is a big kid. He got away four or five times and made plays, but our constant press and harassing him was huge."
Ingram completed 21 of 40 passes for a season-high 291 yards. He directed a 70-yard drive third-quarter drive that led to the Morehouse’s first touchdown, a 15-yard pass to wide receiver Derrick Hector with 5:40 left in the period.
Albany State added a pair of field goals in the second half, the last one from 25 yards with under a minute left in the game that sealed the victory. Morehouse had cut the Golden Rams’ lead to 22-15 on Carter’s four-yard run midway through the fourth quarter.
With the victory, Albany State controls its destiny in the SIAC East championship race. If the Golden Rams win their remaining games against Clark Atlanta, Benedict and Fort Valley, they will earn a berth in the inaugural SIAC Championship Game Nov. 12. Morehouse has games against Benedict, Fort Valley State and Kentucky State. Even if the Maroon Tigers win out, they have to hope that Albany State loses at least once in order for them to reach the conference championship game.
Albany State began last thinking it had a little more wiggle room. At that point, the Golden Rams believed that only their games against division opponents counted in the championship race, and therefore their loss to Lane, which plays in the SIAC West, was inconsequential. However, later in the week the conference’s presidents decided that all conference games should count.
“I choose to concentrate on winning out instead of getting mad or worrying about it," White said of the presidents’ decision to change the rules in midstream. “We still have to finish the season. We have to win. We have to play well rest of the way. We had to win those games anyway. That’s what we’ll concentrate on."
Norfolk State 34, Hampton 24: The Spartans scored on their first three possessions and then held on for a home victory against their Tidewater Virginia MEAC rivals in the Battle of Bay. Norfolk State (6-1, 4-0 MEAC) took the wind at its back in the first quarter, a strategy that paid dividends. The Spartans scored 17 first-quarter points following short Hampton punts that died in the wind and gave Norfolk State the ball in the Pirates’ territory. Norfolk State went on to build a 27-7 halftime lead. Quarterback Chris Walley passed for 265 yards and three touchdowns as matched its best start since the 2007 season. Quarterback David Legree had 293 yards total offense for Hampton (3-3, 1-2 MEAC), and he threw two touchdown passes.
Alabama State 20, Prairie View A&M 7: The Hornets took advantage of three turnovers by Prairie and three missed field goals for a home victory in match of SWAC division leaders. Alabama State (6-1, 6-0 SWAC) is first in the East Division and has won nine straight conference games. Prairie View (4-3, 4-2 SWAC) leads the West Division by a half game over Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Panthers gained 456 yards total offense compared to 296 for Alabama State. ChrisBarrick, who has kicked two last-second game-winning field goals this season, missed attempts of 35, 38 and 37 yards. The Panthers also failed to convert on a faked field goal attempt. Nick Andrews caught nine passes for 118 yards to become Alabama State’s all-time receptions leader with 178 catches for his career. Andrews scored on a 34-yard reception in the second quarter that gave the Hornets a 14-0 lead.
Alabama A&M 24, Texas Southern 21: The Bulldogs came from behind to win at home and stay in the SWAC East Division race and put Texas Southern on the brink of elimination from the West title race. The victory sets up set up a showdown for first place when Alabama A&M (5-2, 4-1 SWAC) plays Alabama State in the Magic City Classic Oct. 29 in Birmingham, Ala. Texas Southern (2-4, 1-4 SWAC), the defending SWAC champion, is on the brink of elimination from the SWAC West race. No team has ever reached the SWAC Championship Game with more than three conference losses. Alabama A&M (5-2, 401 SWAC) scored the winning touchdown on a 70-yard flanker screen from quarterback Deaunte Mason to Reshaad DeJarnett with 4:15 left in the game. Texas Southern lost despite amassing 430 yards total offense. The Tigers were victimized by four turnovers. Senior running back Gilbert Martin rushed for 188 yards and two touchdowns, including an 84-yard scamper, for Texas Southern. Kedarius Lacey rushed for 95 yards for the Bulldogs.
Elizabeth City State 28, Virginia State 7: Daronte McNeill rushed for 189 yards and three touchdowns as the Vikings (5-2, 3-1 CIAA) won at home and maintained their lead in the CIAA Northern Division lead. Virginia State (3-4, 2-3 CIAA) scored first on a three-yard pass from Jared Battle to Alan Anderson late in the first quarter, but Elizabeth City responded with 28 unanswered points.
Bowie State 22, Lincoln (Pa) 10
rkansas-Pine Bluff 22, Southern 15
Benedict 10, Clark Atlanta 7
Bethune-Cookman 58, Fort Valley State 30
Florida A&M 47, Savannah State 7
Georgetown 21, Howard 3
Glenville State 30, West Virginia State 23, OT
Grambling State 44, Concordia-Selma 0
Jackson State 17, Miss Valley State 16
Johnson C. Smith 26, Virginia Union 19
Langston 41, SW Assemblies of God 13
Miles 45, Kentucky State 24
Morgan State 52, North Carolina Central 3
North Carolina A&T 42, Delaware State 24
Panhandle State 30, Texas College 0
Pittsburg State 69, Lincoln (Mo.) 6
South Carolina State 23, Georgia State 13
Shaw 35, Fayetteville State 29
Southwest Baptist 30, Central State 13
Stillman 24, Chowan 21
Tennessee State 42, Tennessee Tech 40
Tuskegee 41, Lane 17
Webber International 24, Edward Waters 14
Wesley 46, Virginia Univ of Lynchburg 0
West Chester 23, Cheyney 7
West Georgia 23, Saint Augustine's 21
Winston-Salem State 62, Livingstone 7
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