Thursday, December 1, 2016

Alcorn State Prepares for Rematch With Grambling in SWAC Title Game

By ADD SEYMOUR JR.

In case a lot of people haven't noticed, there are two teams in this weekend's Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship football game.  There's actually a defending champion too.

Everyone is talking about 9-1 Grambling, a team that just completed their second-straight nine-win season and whose only loss was a close one to FBS Arizona in the first game of the season.  They have the SWAC's Coach of the Year in Broderick Fobbs, Offensive Player of the Year in quarterback Devante Kincaid, and Defensive Player of the Year in Donovan McCray.

Yet even in this story, it's taken three paragraphs to get to their opponent, Alcorn State.

The Braves are the SWAC East champs for the third year in a row and are the two-time defending SWAC football champs.

But the reason the talk about Alcorn State is muted is this is a different team than those dominating squads of the past few years.

They averaged 31 points a game, good for fourth in the SWAC, and were third in total offense, so they did put points on the board.  But defense has been an issue this season.  They've given up nearly 30 points a game, which says a lot about their 5-5 record this season.

They gave up 45 points to the SWAC's worst offensive team, one-win Arkansas-Pine Bluff -- a team that averaged 13.6 points a game -- in a surprising loss.

But three of their losses came against FBS Arkansas, a very good Southern team, a seven-win Prairie View squad -- and Grambling.

That game on Sept. 24 was a rematch of last year's SWAC title game in which Alcorn State won.  But the rematch wasn't even close with Grambling winning 48-13.

Expect a different looking Alcorn State team this time, said ASU head coach Fred McNair.

"The biggest thing for us is we can't afford to beat Alcorn, if you know what I mean," McNair Alcorn told The Clarion-Ledger.  "We did that the last time we played them.  We made some critical mistakes that crucified us.  We just have to not make those mistakes and go play Alcorn-style football."

The Braves clamped down on defense, particularly in their last two games as they gave up just seven points in a 61-7 rout of Mississippi Valley State and a 35-16 win over Jackson State to end the regular season.

"It's big winning two games going into the SWAC Championship game and having momentum," McNair said after the Jackson State win.  "Our guys have been playing lights out and this coaching staff has done a great job with these young men.  The coaches have really been getting on them to get them to play the way we are now."



Grambling Gets 14 All-SWAC Football Picks, Along With Coach, Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year

By ADD SEYMOUR JR.

Grambling had 14 players named to the Southwestern Athletic Conference's 2016 All-Conference football team, and has this season's offensive, defensive and coach of the year.

Chosen by the SWAC's sports information directors and league head coaches, the team was announced today ahead of Saturday's SWAC Championship game between Grambling and Alcorn State in Houston.

In his first year with Grambling, Devante Kincaid, an Ole Miss transfer, threw for 2,633 yards and 28 touchdowns and averaged 263 yards passing a game to lead the SWAC in passing in being named the SWAC's Offensive Player of the Year. Kincaid's passing efficiency was 172.3 far and away the best in the conference.  He led a Grambling offense that was the SWAC's best.

But the Tigers also had the SWAC's top defense and leading the way was the SWAC Defensive Player of the Year, Donovan McCray.  He led a stingy Grambling defense line that helped a defense that was ranked fourth nationally in fewest points allowed per game, 16.4.  McCray had 28 tackles, five sacks, three fumble recoveries, a blocked kick and a safety.

Coach of the Year for the third season in a row is Broderick Fobbs after the Tigers posted another nine win season and their only loss being a a close defeat to FBS Arizona.  His team is the only one in the country ranked in the top-5 nationally in scoring offense and defense this season.

Prairie View A&M's dynamic receiver and return man Jordan Simmons was named Newcomer of the Year.  Simmons caught 20 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns, returned a kick for a touchdown and racked up 434 total return yards. He had had 700 yards total yards and three touchdowns this season.  Alabama A&M running back Jordan Bentley was named Freshman of the Year after rushing for 851 yards and nine touchdowns.

Here is the entire 2016 SWAC All-Conference Football team:

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Devante Kincade (Grambling State)
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Donovan McCray (Grambling State)
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Joshua Simmons (Prairie View A&M)
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Jordan Bentley (Alabama A&M)
COACH OF THE YEAR
Broderick Fobbs (Grambling State)

FIRST TEAM
OFFENSE
QB
Devante Kincade 
Grambling State
RB
Lenard Tillery
Southern
RB
Martez Carter
Grambling State
OL
Justin Miller
Grambling State
OL
Terrell Lee
Southern
OL
Anthony Mosley
Southern
OL
Sam Baptiste
Alabama State
OL
Jamal Boulden
Southern
WR
Chad Williams
Grambling State
WR
Willie Quinn
Southern
TE
Dillon Beard
Southern
DEFENSE
DL
 Javancy Jones
Jackson State
DL
Aaron Tiller
Southern
DL
 Donovan McCray
Grambling State
DL
Samuel Reese
Grambling State
LB
Arkez Cooper
Grambling State
LB
Darien Anderson
Alcorn State
LB
Kourtney Berry
Alabama State
DB
Guy Stallworth
Grambling State
DB
Danny Johnson
Southern
DB
Jameel Jackson
Grambling State
DB
Eric Foster
Alcorn State
SPECIAL TEAMS
K
Eric Medina
Texas Southern
P
Eric Medina
Texas Southern
RS
Willie Quinn
Southern

SECOND TEAM
OFFENSE
QB
Austin Howard
Southern
RB
Khalid Thomas
Alabama State
RB
Jordan Bentley
Alabama A&M
OL
Trent Scott
Grambling State
OL
Detonio Dade
Alcorn State
OL
Donovan Wheaton
Prairie View A&M
OL
Timothy Gardner
Alcorn State
OL
Gustavo Lopez
Prairie View A&M
WR
Verlan Hunter
Grambling State
WR
Willie Young
Arkansas-Pine Bluff
TE
Jonathan Dorsey
Alabama A&M
DEFENSE
 DL
Blain Winston
Grambling State
 DL
Michael Brooks
Alcorn State
 DL
Roderick Henderson
Alabama State
 DL
DeVohn Reed
Prairie View A&M
 LB
Javancy Jones
Jackson State
 LB
Willie Duncan
Arkansas-Pine Bluff
 LB
Michael Hurns
Alcorn State
 DB
Bradley Street
Alabama State
 DB
Terrence Singleton
Prairie View A&M
 DB
Zavian Bingham
Jackson State
 DB
Justin Jemison
Jackson State
SPECIAL TEAMS
K
Jonathan Wallace
Grambling State
P
Owen Hoolihan
Prairie View A&M
RS
Martez Carter
Grambling State

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Tuskegee Tops Season-Ending ADD'S HBCU SPORTS REPORT Division II HBCU Football Poll; Crowned D-2 HBCU National Champs

By ADD SEYMOUR JR.
It wasn't the season that Tuskegee backers thought it would be as there was no Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title, or even a championship game appearance.

Credit that to a surprising Kentucky State team that upset the Golden Tigers to take the SIAC West title.

But for the most part, Tuskegee (9-3, 6-1 SIAC) steamrolled through the Division II season and ends the 2016 season on top of the final ADD'S HBCU SPORTS REPORT HBCU Division II football poll of the year and are claim our national championship.

The Golden Tigers' 10-9 loss to No. 10 Kentucky State on Oct. 22 shocked the HBCU football world, though former Michigan State and Louisville head coach John L. Smith turned around a bad Kentucky State football program this season.   The Golden Tigers also fell to Virginia State in a hastily scheduled season-ending game to give them the tenth regular season game they needed to qualify for the NCAA Division II playoffs.

Tuskegee made the playoffs, stunning Newberry and then falling to North Greenville in the second round.

Winston-Salem State (9-3, 8-1 CIAA) lost two of their first three, but ran off eight straight wins to claim the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship an earn a spot in the NCAA Division II playoff field where they lost to undefeated LIU-Post.  

Here is the season-ending ADD'S HBCU SPORTS REPORT HBCU Division II Football poll:

Division II

1) Tuskegee (9-3 6-1 SIAC)
2) Winston-Salem State (9-3, 8-1 CIAA)
3) Virginia State (9-2, 6-2 CIAA)
4) Bowie State (7-4, 7-2 CIAA)
5) Chowan (6-4, 5-3 CIAA)
6) Albany State (5-4, 4-2 SIAC)
7) Elizabeth City State (5-5, 5-3 CIAA)
8) Fort Valley State (5-6, 5-4 SIAC)
9) Virginia Union (5-5, 5-3 CIAA)
10) Kentucky State (4-7, 4-4 SIAC)

Winston-Salem State Rally Falls Short, Loses to Undefeated LIU-Post 48-41 in First Round of Division II Football Playoffs

(story from Nov. 19, 2016)

By ADD SEYMOUR JR.

Winston-Salem State fell behind early, and trailed by as many as 24 points to LIU-Post, but fought back, falling just short, losing 48-41 in the first round of the NCAA Division II Football Playoffs on Nov. 19.

In their first playoff appearance since 2013, Winston-Salem State (9-3) actually jumped ahead early on a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown by Jayron Rankin just a couple of minutes into the game.  LIU-Post (12-0) settled in and the two squads went back and forth, but a 20-point second quarter had LIU-Post up 37-14 at halftime.

However, the Winston-Salem State offense then went to work in the second half and actually outscored LIU-Post 24-14 the rest of the way.  Kerrion Moore rushed for two touchdowns, a 4-yarder in the third quarter and a 2-yarder early in the fourth quarter.

Rod Tinsely threw a 22-yard TD pass to Canard Brown with 5:49 left in the game, pulling WSSU to 48-41.

But the Pioneers got the ball back and never gave it up the rest of the way as they converted on four fourth downs to salt the game away.

Jeff Kidd led LIU-Post with 320 yards and four touchdowns passing.  David White led them in rushing with 134 yards rushing while Malik Pierre ran for 115 yards and three TDs.

For WSSU, Moore rushed for 148 yards and two touchdowns while Tinsley passed for 278 yards and two touchdowns, but was picked off twice.  Defensively, Rankin had 11 tackles, one for a loss, a sack and his interception.












Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tuskegee Ends Season With A Surprise Win Over Newberry and A Loss to North Greenville in NCAA Division II Football Playoffs

By ADD SEYMOUR JR.

A 2016 football season that was full of highs and a couple of stunning lows for Tuskegee wrapped up Thanksgiving weekend as the Golden Tigers completed their NCAA Division II football playoff run with a big loss to North Greenville.   The loss came after a big win over second-seeded Newberry.

Not many people expected Tuskegee, a team that after steamrolling through the first part of the 2016 football season but stumbling to two losses in their last four games, to give 10-1 Newberry much of a challenge on the road.


But the Golden Tigers led most of the way in defeating Newberry 35-33 in the first round of the NCAA Division II Football Playoffs on Nov. 19.

Kenny Grant rushed for 139 yards and a touchdown while Kevin Lacey threw for 188 and two scores for Tuskegee.  Most importantly, they kept a strong Newberry offense in check, only giving up 204 yards passing and 154 yards rushing.

Osband Thompson had a big day with ll tackles and a sack while Daryl George had two sacks and three tackles for losses for the Golden Tigers.

Tuskegee again had to hit the road on Nov. 26 for a second round matchup with North Greenville, a 9-3 team seeded sixth in the playoffs to Tuskegee's seventh.


But Tuskegee fell behind 28-0 in the first quarter as North Greenville's Will Hunter threw two touchdowns during that span.  North Greenville also recovered a fumble for a touchdown.   The lead was too much for Tuskegee to overcome as the Golden Tigers fell to North Greenville 45-26 to end their season at 9-3.

Lacey threw for 276 yards and three touchdowns as Tuskegee tried in vain to catch up.  Javarrius Cheatham caught nine passes for 148 yards and a touchdown while Desmond Reese hauled in nine passes, one for a touchdown.  Thompson had 14 tackles and forced a fumble while Kalil Gray had 12 tackles and Carl Matthews had ten.

North Greenville, which now visits North Alabama in the quarterfinals, was led by Hunter's 272 yards and three touchdown passes.  Tracy Scott had 128 yards and a touchdown rushing with Ashton Heard adding 92 yards rushing for a team that had 511 yards of total offense.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Grambling Defeats Southern 52-30 For SWAC West Title and Berth in SWAC Championship Game

By ADD SEYMOUR JR.

Devante Kincaide scored three touchdowns and accounted for 339 yards of total offense as Grambling defeated rival Southern 52-30 in the Bayou Classic and claiming a spot in the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship game.

Grambling (10-1, 9-0 SWAC) completed their second straight undefeated SWAC season in winning the SWAC West title with their win over Southern (8-3, 8-1 SWAC).

Southern actually led early after Austin Howard threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Willie Quinn in the first quarter.  But Grambling scored 17 points over the next 14 minutes to go up 17-6.   Leonard Tillery ripped off an 85-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter to pull Southern to 17-13, but that was as close as the Jaguars would get the rest of the day.

Kincaide's third quarter 45-yard touchdown run ignited a 21-point Grambling run that put the game out of reach.

“That was huge,” Grambling coach Broderick Fobbs told The Advocate. “We always talk about momentum, and he who has the momentum normally wins the football game.”

Kincaide finished with 238 yards and one touchdown passing and 56 yards and one TD rushing. Martez Carter also had a big day with 118 yards and two touchdowns rushing.

It offset a huge day for Southern's Tillery, who finished with 234 yards and a touchdown on the ground and another TD receiving.  

"I really thought we could run the football," Southern coach Dawson Odums told The Advocate.  "...We were able to do that, but at the end of the day we didn't score enough points.  You can get all the yards you want, but you've got to have one more point than they have."

Howard threw three TDs for Southern.

Grambling now heads to Saturday's SWAC title game in Houston, again facing Alcorn State (5-5, 5-4 SWAC). Alcorn State defeated Grambling 49-21 in last year's championship game.  But the G-Men made up for that defeat with an easy 43-18 win over Alcorn State in September.

The champion will get the SWAC's berth in the Celebration Bowl where they take on MEAC champ, North Carolina Central on Saturday, Dec. 17.

Kickoff Saturday in Houston is 3 p.m. CST.



Monday, November 21, 2016

Malcolm Bell's Three Touchdowns Leads N.C. Central Over North Carolina A&T For MEAC Title and Celebration Bowl Berth; Rundowns of ALL HBCU Games From Nov. 19

By ADD SEYMOUR JR.

Malcolm Bell threw for 184 yards and a touchdown and ran for 131 yards and two more TDs as North Carolina Central defeated rival North Carolina A&T 42-21 in their regular season finale, giving the Eagles the MEAC championship and sending them to the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl.

The win was the 15th straight MEAC victory for North Carolina Central (9-2, 8-0 MEAC) while North Carolina A&T (9-2, 7-1 MEAC) finishes the regular season with their third consecutive season of nine or more wins.

After Dorrel McClain's 15-yard TD run early in the first quarter, North Carolina Central never looked back.  NCCU led by as many as 28 points, after McClain's second TD run early in the fourth quarter made it 35-7.  McClain finished with 109 yards and three touchdowns rushing the nation's fifth-ranked run defense.

Defensively, North Carolina Central shut down North Carolina A&T's star running back, Tarik Cohen, only allowing him 82 yards rushing and one TD on the day.  The Aggies averaged just 3.6 yards a rush, while Central averaged 7.1. A&T was outgained 454 yards to 328 and didn't score until the third quarter.

"We didn't look like ourselves today," said North Carolina A&T Head Coach Rod Broadway.  "I thought we were prepared. I thought we were ready, but we just made too many mistakes today.  That team today had on our uniforms, but they were not who we have been all year."

The Aggies were without injured starting quarterback Lamar Raynard for the second straight week.




SWAC

Auburn 55, Alabama A&M 0

Southern 55, Mississippi Valley State 0

Grambling 47, Texas Southern 28

Prairie View A&M 57, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 7

Alcorn State 36, Jackson State 16


MEAC

Army 60, Morgan State 3 - Army (6-5) had three players who rushed for at least 100 yards as they piled up 505 yards on the ground to crush Morgan State (2-8, 2-5 MEAC).  Andy Davidson rushed for 111 yards and two TDs, Cole Macek ran for 108 yards and two touchdowns and Darnell Woolfolk had 104 and on TD for Army.  Defensively, Army limited Morgan State to eight first downs and 28 yards rushing.  Army also had five sacks.

Norfolk State 17, Hampton 10

Howard 26, Delaware State 21

South Carolina State 32, Savannah State 0

Bethune-Cookman 39, Florida A&M 19


OTHERS 


Tennessee State 32, Southeast Missouri 31 - Ronald Butler's 14-yard touchdown pass to Patrick Smith lifted Tennessee State (7-4, 4-3 OVC) to a season-ending win over Southeast Missouri (3-8, 3-5 OVC).  Butler's early fourth quarter TD toss to Smith gave TSU a 25-10 lead, but SEMO got a touchdown run, a 2-point conversion and a field goal in the fourth quarter to seemingly put the game away.  But Butler drove the Tigers downfield in the last 2:48 of the game to lead TSU to the win.