Saturday, August 31, 2013

North Carolina Central Faces Duke and Alabama A&M Visits Grambling As HBCU Football Saturday Kicks Off


North Carolina Central starts out the season with a big test with cross-town foe Duke and Alabama A&M tries to continue their momentum from last season when they visit Grambling as the first big weekend of HBCU football kicks off today.

The Eagles were blown out by the Blue Devils 54-17 last season, but North Carolina Central went on to finish with a winning record in 2012, only their third in the Football Championship Series (FCS, formerly Division I-AA).  Quarterback Jordan Reid returns after going on to have a big year with 13 touchdowns and 1,600 yards passing. The Eagles are also looking to rally behind interim head coach Dwayne Foster who replaces Henry Frazier III who was fired just one week ago.  Frazier was fired after his second domestic violence arrest within a year.

Last season's high flying Alabama A&M offense lost quarterback Deaunte Mason to graduation and will bring a new crew of Bulldogs into Grambling this season.  Brandon Wells will take over the signal-caller duties for A&M.  The Tigers are looking to avenge last year's 38-17 loss to Alabama A&M and get their first Southwestern Athletic Conference win since 2011.

In other notable games today:

- Prairie View plays rival Texas Southern in the 29th Labor Day Classic
- Arkansas-Pine Bluff hosts Arkansas State
- Edward Waters is at Alcorn State
- Alabama State hosts Jacksonville State
- Howard is at Eastern Michigan
- Norfolk State hosts Maine
- South Carolina State faces Costal Carolina at home
- Savannah State visits neighboring Georgia Southern
- Langston visits Northern Colorado

Houston Rolls Up 627 Yards of Offense To Rout Southern 62-13

Photo by


Ryan Jackson rushed for120 yards and two touchdowns as Houston rolled up 627 yards of total offense - 372 of it on the ground - to rout Southern 62-13 Friday night.

Jackson's two first half touchdown runs helped the Cougars jump out to a 27-6 lead before halftime. Houston quarterback John O'Korn took over in the second half, putting the game out of reach with three touchdown passes.

Kenneth Farrow added 97 yards rushing for Houston as four Cougars had at least 45 yards rushing on the night. Junior wide receiver Daniel Spencer had a career night with nine catches for 102 yards and a touchdown and also had a 45 yard run. Southern's Dray Joseph had a big night, finishing with 268 yards passing and two touchdowns while Darrius Coleman chipped in with with 91 yards on the ground.

Houston is a Temple next Saturday while Southern visits Northwestern State.

Angel Santiago Runs For Three TDs, Throws for Another, to Lead Army in 28-12 Win Over Morgan State


Angel Santiago ran for three touchdowns and threw another as Army defeated Morgan State 28-12 Friday night.

The Cadets' quarterback gave his team a 21-0 cushion in the first half with rushing touchdowns 33 yards and one yard and then threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Chevaughn Lawrence.  Just before halftime, Morgan State's quarterback pulled his team to within two touchdowns with a short touchdown run.

But Santiago put the game out of reach with a three yard TD run a few minutes after halftime.

Santiago, in only his second career start, had 120 yards rushing on 16 carries and added 101 yards passing. Junior running back Larry Dixon added 107 yards rushing for the Cadets.  Council added a 22-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter while Lamont Brown III picked up 75 yards rushing for the Bears.

Army is at Ball State next weekend while Morgan State is at Robert Morris.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Montana and Darkwa Lead Tulane to a 34-7 Win Over Jackson State

Photo by Chris Granger of


Tulane took advantage of six Jackson State turnovers - four in the first half - while quarterback Nick Montana and running back Orleans Darkwa each had two touchdowns as the Green Wave opened the season with a 34-7 drubbing of the Tigers.

Jackson State (0-1) actually out-gained Tulane (1-0) in total offense on the night.  But an efficient run offense, led by Darkwa (he had two of Tulane's first three touchdowns), controlled the first half.  Montana then got hot and threw touchdown passes of 14 yards and 11 yards as the Green Wave led 34-0 by the middle of the fourth quarter.

Jackson State quarterbacks LaMontiez Ivy and Evan Ingram combined for 244 yards passing, but each threw two interceptions and couldn't find the end zone through the air.  Ingram ran in the Tigers' only touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

Tulane hosts South Alabama and Sept. 7 while Jackson State has a home game with Alabama State the same day.  That game will air on ESPN3.

Nine Turnovers Doom Hampton as Western Illinois Routs the Pirates 42-9

Photo from the McDonough


Western Illinois' Nikko Watson rushed for 108 yards while Hampton turned the ball over nine times as the Leathernecks routed the Pirates 42-9 in the season opener for both teams Thursday night.

Watson opened the scoring with a one-yard touchdown run, followed by a two-point conversion, to put Western Illinois (1-0) up 8-0 early in the first quarter.

Hampton (0-1) eventually had a chance to tighten a close game early in the third quarter as they were down just 15-6 and had the ball inside the Leathernecks' 10-yard line. But quarterback Jaylian Williamson threw the first of his two interceptions which was returned 97 yards for a touchdown by Western Illinois' Dallas Nichols.

Six minutes later, backup quarterback Brian Swain (who also had two interceptions) threw a pick that was returned 12 yards for another Leathernecks touchdown.  By the end of the assault, Western Illinois had scored 34 unanswered points to go up 42-6 by the middle of the fourth quarter.

Williamson finished 6-of-14 for 113 yards, a touchdown and his two interceptions.  Hampton played three quarterbacks with each throwing two picks (Bryan Bailey attempted six passes).

Hampton's next game is at William & Mary on Sept. 7, while Western Illinois hosts Quincy the same day.

SIAC Figures to Be a Battle Between Miles, Tuskegee and Fort Valley State



The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference race will be a tight battle among the Miles offense, the Tuskegee defense, a pass-happy Fort Valley State and a stingy Golden Rams defensive unit.
In fact, five of the conference's 11 teams have a legitimate shot at playing in the SIAC's championship game in November.  
Miles returns the nucleus of their high-scoring offense from 2012 while Tuskegee and Albany State returns the bulk of two stalwart defensive units. 
New to the SIAC this year will be an intriguing Central State program that continues to rebuild after just its eighth season of play.
Here are the team-by-team breakdowns:

 -        Miles – Stopping the Miles offense has been a problem for SIAC opponents. The Golden Bears, led by All-SIAC quarterback David Thomas, topped the SIAC in scoring, passing and total offense and was third in rushing.  Thomas returns, as does All-SIAC performers Floyd Graves (RB) and Antonio Pitts (WR). The Miles defense was super stingy and has six starters coming back, including defensive back Joe Beckham and linebackers Reginald Virges, Julanta English.

-        Tuskegee – How do you replace all-everything running back Derrick Washington, who has graduated?  At Tuskegee, you reload. The defending SIAC champion Golden Tigers return second leading rusher Michael J. Thornton and starting quarterback Justin Nared.  Tuskegee is loaded on defense, led by All-SIAC linebackers Quavon Taylor and El-Malik Chinn and defensive lineman Kevdrick Blue and Reginald Woods.

-        Fort Valley State – Last season’s pass-happy offense, which finished second in passing yards per game, loses quarterback Antonio Henton, SIAC’s top passer in 2012.  No clear replacement has been found. Running back Seth Hill leads an experienced backfield. Leading an improving defense will be SIAC Defensive Player of the Year and All American candidate Leron Furr after finishing last season with 110 tackles and 6.5 sacks and All-SIAC lineman Bernard Little. 

-        Albany State – Eight starters return from the SIAC’s top defense in 2012, led by All-SIAC safety Dexter Moody who led the conference with seven interceptions last season. Their top five tacklers return, including Tarvarius Washington, Larry Whitfield and John Rouse. The Golden Rams are still trying to solidify the quarterback spot and find a running back to replace graduated Nathan Hoyte.

-        Morehouse – Injuries ravaged the Maroon Tigers in 2012, torpedoing a promising season.  Even though they lose the school’s all-time leading rusher, offense figures to be the spur for Morehouse to bounce back from their first losing season in five years.  Three talented quarterbacks vie for the starting job while budding star running back Shedrick Hamilton returns.  Defense may be the problem from the Maroon Tigers.

-        Stillman – Optimism reigns at Stillman as a good offense looks to improve even more in 2013.  Josh Straughan returns after an encouraging inaugural season as quarterback.  Two experienced running backs who missed 2012 and two talented transfers vie for backfield time.  Last year’s porous defense is improving and returns a nucleus of All-SIAC players Peter Dele (DL) and Carlos Wilson (LB) and 10 of 11 top tacklers. 

-        Central State – Don’t sleep on Central State, where a winning program was disbanded in 1997, reinstituted in 2005 and climbs into the SIAC this season.  Senior quarterback Michael Wilson had 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns passing and receiving last season and returns his offensive line and three top receivers. On defense, they must replace leading tackler Darius Wilson. Preseason All Conference safety Joseph Blount will step up, as will linebackers Robert Martin and Blake Riley.

-        Lane – The SIAC’s top passing attack returns quarterback Chris Rini, who passed for 1,131 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2012.  He added 276 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Eric Knowlton becomes the featured running back behind a veteran offensive line. The Dragons have to shore up their run defense, which was one of the conference’s worst. But the defense returns six starters from the SIAC’s third best unit, including ball-hawking Jack Howard.

-        Kentucky State – Justin Williams will be a huge part of where the Thorobreds go this year.  In a tough season, the All-SIAC running back was their leading rusher, led KSU in total offense and even threw 18 passes.  Kentucky State struggled on defense, but a talented and very good secondary, led by Jeremy Lewis and Eric Rawls, returns completely in tact.  All-SIAC and KSU leading tackler in 2012 defensive lineman Kenny Townsend anchors the front.

-        Benedict – The Tigers struggled on both sides of the ball last year, but has a few glimmers of hope this year.  Quarterback Marcus Graham had a good year as a freshman, passing for 1,300 yards and eight touchdowns.  Top target, wide receiver Kendariss Brown, is back as is top rusher Chris Johnson. Defensive back Martin Epps anchors a young defense that was one of the SIAC’s worst last year. 

-        Clark Atlanta – The Panthers defense will have to carry the offense while it tries to recover from a dismal showing during a two-win season last year.  All-SIAC defensive lineman Bre’nard Williams leads a solid defensive unit that will be particularly tough on the run.  The CAU offense struggled after scoring less than ten points per game and averaged just over 209 yards a game.  They will lean on returning running back Antonio Ford while the quarterback situation gets settled.

2013 Predicted Order of Finish


1) Miles
2) Tuskegee
3) Fort Valley State
4) Albany State
5) Morehouse
6) Stillman
7) Central State
8) Lane
9) Kentucky State
10) Benedict
11) Clark Atlanta



Fort Valley State
Albany State
Clark Atlanta


Central State
Kentucky State