Saturday, September 6, 2014

Winston Salem State Looks to Avenge 2013 Loss to UNC-Pembroke; Three MEAC Squads Face FBS Powers; Previews of All of Today's HBCU Football Action


Kienus Boulware and his Winston Salem State Rams open the 2014 season with a lot to prove for such a powerful Division II program. 

Boulware, promoted to head coach after Connell Maynor left for Hampton in December, wants to show that continuity in the 14th-ranked WSSU program is firm. The former defensive coordinator also has been forced to replace a bevy of starters from a stout defensive squad last season.

And he they have to do it all against a team they opened the season last year with a loss to, 21st-ranked UNC-Pembroke.

None of that worries Boulware.

"I guess maybe it’s my experience (20 years as an assistant) but I feel pretty good about what we’ve accomplished coming out of preseason camp," Boulware told the Winston Salem Journal's John Dell.

Their matchup highlights the first full Saturday of HBCU football action for the 2014 season.  It's a Saturday in which three MEAC squads take on Division I-FBS programs, the SIAC sees Albany State visit perennial power in neighbor Valdosta State, and the SWAC's Alcorn State looks to prove its might at Southern Mississippi.

But Winston Salem State, the preseason No. 1 team in the ADDS HBCU SPORTS REPORT HBCU Top Ten Division II poll, is looking to make a statement, as well as avenge last year's 25-21 loss to UNC-Pembroke though its not their primary objective.

"It will be tough to use revenge (as a motivator) because their head coach is gone and we have a few new guys on our staff," Boulware said to Dell. “If you are going to get mad you kind of get mad at yourself; so with this game, it’s all about who makes the least amount of mistakes."

Here is a complete rundown of today's HBCU football action: 


- South Carolina State vs. Clemson (This game would have been tough enough for SC State, given that 23rd-ranked Clemson is one of the top ACC teams. Their defense made Georgia's Todd Gurley a Heisman candidate last week in their 45-12 loss and the offense didnt score in the second half.  So they will be some surly Tigers.  But SC State is no slouch. They sported one of the top FCS defensive squads last year and have looked forward to playing the instate rival)

- Florida A&M vs. Miami (Miami is another ACC squad looking to bounce back from a convincing loss last week (31-13 to Louisville) and are looking to make a statement. Not good news for FAMU who lost to Jackson State last week.  The FAMU defense gave up 439 yards to J-State while Miami is under pressure to open up the offense.  The teams have played 9 times.  FAMU won the first meeting in 1979 and none ever since.  They last met in 2010, a 45-0 Miami win.)

- Howard vs. Rutgers (Howard will be looking to get MEAC Offensive Player of the Year Greg McGhee back on track after last week's 41-0 shellacking at Akron.  Rutgers hasn't been the place to do that in recent years. Howard has been outscored 127-14 in three previous games at Rutgers, a team trying to get ready for Penn State next week)

- William & Mary vs. Hampton (Hampton fought hard against Old Dominion in Connel Maynor's first game as head coach.  But William & Mary rushed for more than 277 yards in last season's 31-7 win over Hampton.  But this is a fiesty bunch of Pirates)

- Morgan State vs. Holy Cross (In their first meeting ever, these two squads both have something to prove.  New Morgan State head coach Lee Hull's team narrowly lost to Eastern Michigan last week and looks to continue their climb in the MEAC. Holy Cross was 3-9 last season, but they lost seven games by seven points or less.  Typically, they lost last week 14-13 to Albany)

- Savannah State vs. Georgia Southern (These two teams are right up the road from each other, so bragging rights are on the line. SSU has never won in Statesboro - or in any game in this series - and lost 77-9 last season to Georgia Southern)

- Liberty vs. Norfolk State (The Norfolk State defense was stout in last week's 10-6 lost to 25th-ranked Maine. Liberty fought hard against 23rd-ranked FBS squad North Carolina before folding late.  The difference between the two squads so far - offense.  The Spartans mustered only 100 yards and no touchdowns last week, while Liberty put up 346 yards and 29 points on the Tar Heels)

- Elizabeth City State vs. North Carolina Central (North Carolina Central has erased last week's embarrassing 52-7 loss to East Carolina to focus on CIAA foe, ECSU, a team that was 4-6 last season.NCCU is 8-2 in the last ten meetings between the two schools who haven't played since 2007)

- Delaware State vs. Delaware (This Route 1 Rivalry hasn't been competitive as DSU has won every game, with a combined score of 196-59.  But if the Hornets can put last week's 52-21 lost to Monmouth behind them, this may be their best chance for a win in this series.  Delaware was blown out by Pitt 62-0 last week. They return only 13 starters from last season's 7-5 squad and are picked to finish sixth in the Colonial Athletic Association)

-Tennessee State vs. Alabama State (Tennessee State, top ranked in the ADDS HBCU SPORTS REPORT HBCU FCS Top Ten Poll, wasn’t tested much in swamping Edward Waters 58-7 last week, through the ground game, with RB Tom Smith, shined. Alabama State, who is celebrating the inauguration of their new president, lost big to Sam Houston State last week, 51-20, and hasn't been close to TSU in since their last win in the series in 1981)

- Mississippi Valley State vs. Illinois State (Mississippi Valley State's 32-7 victory over University of Faith last week really didnt say much. Faith lost to Tusculum Thursday 71-0. MVSU has to stop ISU's top rusher, Marshuan Coprich and prove they are ready to battle a much tougher and more physical squad.

- Alcorn State vs. Southern Mississippi (Southern Miss was 0-11 last year. Alcorn State can run the football as they rushed for 331 yards last week against Virginia-Lynchburg)

- Alabama A&M vs. Tuskegee (Alabama A&M is hoping for a double bounce back.  They are looking for a better showing than last week's 47-13 drubbing by North Carolina A&T. And they want to erase the sting of last year's 23-7 loss to Tuskegee. That will be tough sledding as Tuskegee is stout and ranked 25th in the country)

- Concordia College vs. Arkansas Pine Bluff (UAPB is in need of a win after Texas State routed them 65-0. The UAPB defense gave up nearly 700 yards of offense and gave up scores on 10 of 11 possessions.  They should have a much easier time of it with Concordia, an NAIA team)

- Grambling State vs. Houston (Grambling is catching Houston at an interesting time.  The Cougars lost bad to UT-San Antonio last week, 27-7.  Their defense was okay, but the running game was non-existent. Grambling was competitive against Lamar in their 42-27 loss, even though they wore down in the second half)

- Virginia Lynchburg vs. Jackson State (J-State looked solid in beating FAMU 22-17 last week, picking up where they left off from last season's 8-4 record. Virginia Lynchburg was overmatched last week in their 55-7 loss to Alcorn State and likely will be in the same position this week in Jackson)

- Central Methodist vs. Southern (The defending SWAC champs likely wont be challenged much by Central Methodist.  Southern is coming off a hard defeat to Louisiana Lafayette, 47-7, and will be looking for a convincing win)
- Clark Atlanta vs. Central State (It's the first time these two teams have played each other. Clark Atlanta is looking for a football resurgence, led by running back Montavious Taylor and linebacker Bre'nard Williams.  Central State struggled through a 2-8 2013 season and look to be more competitive this season)

- Benedict vs. Lane (Lane is having to shore up a less than stellar defense last year and replace star quarterback Chris Rini. Benedict was over-matched at South Carolina State last week, losing 63-0. They aren't thinking about that. They likely are thinking on the lines of last year's game with Lane, one they won 48-13)

- Delta State vs. Fort Valley State (Delta State visits Fort Valley State ranked 19th in Division II.  The Statesmen score a lot of points and play solid defense.  But this has been a competitive series and Fort Valley State is trying to regain some of their past glory)

-Morehouse vs. Edward Waters (It’s a very important year for the Morehouse football program. Two years of early promise have become distant memories after three bad seasons. But there is promise in quarterback Marquese Johnson, running back Shedrick Hamilton, and a talented linebacking core. Edward Waters will quickly try to recover from being swamped by Tennessee State 58-7 last week.)

- West Alabama vs. Stillman (Its the inaugural Tiger Bowl, but the third time these teams have played each other with West Alabama winning all three games. West Alabama returns 10 starters from last season's 8-3 team.  Stillman was 6-5 last year, relying on a solid passing game)

- Albany State vs. Valdosta State (Valdosta State is 14-1 in this rivalry, but Albany State is no pushover, even for this perennial power. The defending SIAC champs return the SIAC's Offensive Player of the Year, Frank Rivers who threw 19 touchdowns last season)

- Shaw vs. Miles (Despite some decent recent seasons, Miles hasn't won a season-opener in four years.  Preseason SIAC Defensive Player of the Year Julantate English hopes to stop that streak. Shaw was 6-4 last season in the CIAA and features running back Marquise Grizzle, who had 1,276 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns last year)


- Siena Heights vs. Virginia Union (Former defensive line coach Mark James takes over at Virginia Union, a team that was 3-7 last year. Offense may be a problem for VUU as they lost their top two rushers from a run-first offense.  Siena Heights is a new NAIA program, just in existence for four years)

- St. Augustine's vs. Indiana (Pa.) (Defense and experience on offense will be what St. Aug will be leaning heavily on this season. But they start out with a tough matchup. Indiana (Pa) is ranked 20th in the country and was 9-2 last season)

 - Johnson C. Smith vs. Charlotte (The battle of Charlotte features an up and down JC Smith team that looked like world beaters the first half of 2013 but folded in the second half.  Talented quarterback Keahn Wallace returns.  Charlotte is deep and also features a strong quarterback in Matt Johnson)

- Saint Anselm vs. Bowie State (Keith Brown rushed for 1,132 yards last year for Bowie State, but he was on the thing consistent about an inconsistent team. Bowie beat Saint Anselm 42-28 last season, but surrendered three touchdown passes from Andrew Murphy)

- Virginia State vs. California (Pa.) (Virginia State finally gets to hit the field after the nasty way the 2013 season football season ended in the cancelled CIAA championship game against Winston Salem State.  VSU was 9-1 and return the bulk of a stout defense.  California (Pa) is no pushover.  They are 3-1 against CIAA teams and narrowly missed the NCAA Division II playoffs the last two seasons)

- Fayetteville State vs. Chowan (The achilles heel for Fayetteville State's 6-4 team last year was defense, which gave up nearly 400 yards a game. But on offense, they are solid and return key cogs on offense. The same could be said for Chowan, a team much was expected from last year but fell to 4-6 because of defense)


Friday, September 5, 2014

Powell-to-Hendricks Connection LIfts Livingstone to 46-44 Come-From-Behind Win; Lincoln (Pa.) Wins Battle of the Firsts; Paine Falls in First Game Since 1962; Recaps of all Thursday HBCU Football Action

Livingstone QB Drew Powell eludes a tackler (photo by Kyle Ross)
Livingstone's Drew Powell and Jalen Hendricks hooked up for three fourth quarter touchdowns to erase an 18-point, fourth quarter deficit to give the Blue Bears a 46-44 win over Millersville Thursday.

Millersville (0-1) looked to be in total control after 24 unanswered points midway through the second quarter through just after halftime. During that span, Matt Misley had thrown two touchdown passes, one to Malont'a Patterson, who also added a 44-yard TD run that gave the Marauders a 30-13 lead.   The two teams traded touchdowns going into the fourth quarter, ending with another Misley-to-Patterson touchdown pass that gave Millersville a seemingly comfortable 44-28 lead.

But three minutes later, Powell answered with a 33-yard touchdown pass to Hendricks.  The Blue Bears then added another TD on Powell's 16-yarder to Hendricks along with a two-point conversion with 1:26 left in the game and pulling them within four points, 44-40.

Millersville's three-and-out gave Powell the ball 2:26 remaining.  Powell drove Livingstone downfield and threw a 25-yard TD with 50 seconds remaining to give the Blue Bears the win.

Powell finished with 256 yards passing and five touchdowns (all five to Hendricks), along with 75 yards rushing and another touchdown.  Hendricks had 211 yards receiving  Misley led Millersville with 244 yards passing and four TDs.

Livingstone (1-0) hosts Paine next Saturday while Millersville hosts Clarion.

Shorter Spoils Paine's First College Game Since 1962 with 28-24 Win

Eric Dodson rushed for 99 yards and a touchdown and added a touchdown pass to help Shorter hold off Paine 28-24 Thursday.

Paine (0-1) was playing their first intercollegiate football game since 1962.

Dodson opened the scoring with a 40 yard touchdown run in the first quarter.  He added a 20-yard touchdown in the second quarter to give Shorter a 21-10 lead.  Paine's Lorezno Hammonds threw two second half touchdowns, but B.J. McCoy's 2-yard touchdown run proved to be the game winner for Shorter.

Paine hosts Livingstone on Sept. 13 while Shorter visits Mars Hill.

Doug Cook's Three TDs Lead Lincoln (Pa.) to 30-18 Win Over Cheyney

Doug Cook threw three touchdown passes to help Lincoln (Pa.) hold off Cheyney 30-18 in the Battle of the Firsts.

Cheyney led 18-17 early in the fourth quarter after Justin Watkins' 11-yard touchdown run and his successful 2-point conversion run. But Cook's third touchdown pass of the day, along with Dezman Ellis' 65-yard interception return for a TD gave the Lions the win.

Lincoln (Pa.) (1-0) hosts North Carolina Wesleyan next Saturday while Cheyney hosts Gannon.

Jamal Small's Three TD Passes Lead Texas Southern to 52-14 Rout Over Texas College
Jamal Small threw three touchdown passes while Daveonn Porter rushed for two more scores to lead Texas Southern to an easy 52-14 win over Texas College.

Texas Southern (2-0) only allowed ten first downs to Texas College (0-2) while at the same time rolling up 529 yards of total offense.

Texas Southern now heads to Nassau, Bahamas where they will take on Central State in the The Bahamas HBCUX Classic on Sept. 13.  Texas College will be at Lamar that day.

In other HBCU action Thursday:

- Kentucky State 41, Kentucky Wesleyan 21

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Battle of the Firsts Pits Nation's Two Oldest HBCUs; Livingstone, Texas Southern, Kentucky State and Paine In Action Tonight


Lincoln (Pa.) and Cheyney can settle one argument on Thursday.

The two HBCUs have always had a running debate about which one is the oldest HBCU (Cheney has been in existance the longest, though Lincoln granted baccalaurate degrees during the years Cheney was a secondary school.).  That fuss will continue.

But on the football field, the two Division II institutions will tussle in the Battle of the Firsts in Philadelphia at Lincoln University Stadium. 

It won't be a battle of the two most successful football programs. Both squads accounted for a total of one win last year and that was Lincoln's 33-28 victory over Cheney in last year's game.

Lincoln statistically had the CIAA's worst offense and defense last season while Cheney has been picked to again finish last in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

"I didnt expect anything else," said Cheyney interim head coach Anthony Johnson of the prediction.  "We need to prove ourselves and hopefully this season we will do just that."

Johnson, a former star Cheney receiver/rusher, had been the team's offensive coordinator since 2010.  After Ken Lockard resigned in May. Johnson was appointed interim head coach.

"My primary objective would be to revive the Cheyney University football program by changing the culture of the student-athletes," he said.  "I envision instilling an unparalleled work ethic, strict discipline and mature self-confidence in the student-athletes, thereby developing winners who want to contribute and help the football program grow to be a championship caliber team."

At Lincoln, the football program is undergoing a renaissance as it was revived in 2008.  Despite some lean years, second-year head coach Ramon Flanigan believes his program is on its way up, even after a 1-9 season.   Having a four-year starter at quarterback in Doug Cook helps.

"Everything looks good so far," Flanigan told KYW Radio. "We have a four-year starter at quarterback, a four-year starter at center.  And we have some guys who have played defensively for us who have a lot of games under their belts.  There's no substitute for experience and that's one of the things that we're going to lean heavily on this year.... they're battled tested."

In other Thursday night HBCU football games:

- Livingston vs. Millersville (The other CIAA school to open the 2014 conference season, Livingstone is again predicted to bring up the rear in the CIAA South.  But QB Drew Powell leads a solid passing game while LB Kenneth White leads an improving defense.)

- Texas College vs. Texas Southern (Texas Southern should have a much easier time of it tonight as Texas College is a tiny NAIA school that won only one game last season.)

- Paine vs. Shorter (In the SIAC, Paine College kicks off a football season for the first time since the program was shuttered in 1962.  They played last year as a club team.  Shorter, celebrating their 10th year of football, returns talented quarterback Eric Dodson.)

- Kentucky State vs. Kentucky Wesleyan (Kentucky State finished in the middle of the SIAC pack last season, but they are a talented bunch of Thorobreds.  The offense has eight retuning starters including the conference's only 1,000-yard rusher in 2013, Jacquise Lockett.)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Bethune Cookman Holds Off FIU For Second-Ever FBS Win; Hail Mary Gives J-State a Win Over FAMU; Full Coverage of All HBCU Football From This Weekend

Bethune Cookman's Quentin Williams (photo by Kim Gibson/
Bethune Cookman not only proved that their 2013, first-ever FBS win was a fluke.  They served notice to the FCS football world that this is again a tough bunch of defensive Wildcats.

Bethune Cookman held off Florida International 14-12 for their second consecutive win over the FBS Panthers.  Bethune Cookman (1-0) gave up less than 200 yards of total offense to Florida International (0-1).

But it wasn't an easy game.

The Wildcats only accounted for slightly more than 230 yards of offense themselves.  Florida Internationl blew a potentially game winning 55-yard field goal when they muffed the snap.

"This game could have gone either way," Wildcats' head coach Brian Jenkins told the Daytona News Journal.  "It just so happens we came out on top."

Bethune Cookman's Michael Jones scored on a 1-yard run in the second quarter, set up after he hauled in a 46-yard pass from Quentin Williams.  FIU followed with two field goals to head into halftime 7-6.

Williams threw a 55-yard strike to Frank Brown on the second half's first drive to give Bethune Cookman a 14-6 lead.  It was also the last bit of offensive spark from the Wildcats.

Midway through the fourth quarter, FIU's Alex McGough flipped a five-yard touchdown to T.J. Lowder. Their two point conversion for the tie failed, leaving them down 14-12.

Then came their ill-fated field goal attempt to end the game.

"We have a resilient group and we came away with the win," Jenkis told the News Journal.  "But our hats are off to FIU.  They fought all the way to the end.  They are an improved team and good things are going to happen to that program."

Bethune Cookman is off this week before hosting Grambling on Sept. 13.  Florida International hosts Wagner Saturday.

Last Second Touchdown Pass Lifts Jackson State to 22-17 Win Over Florida A&M
JSU's DeSean McKenzie celebrates after catching the game-winning touchdown.  (Photo by Jackson State athletics/Tim Ward)

Lamontiez Ivy's 49-yard hail mary on the last play was snagged in the end zone by DeSean McKenzie, giving Jackson State a 22-17 win over Florida A&M.

The game came down to a wild last few minutes as Florida A&M seemingly put the game away with a one-yard touchdown pass from Damien Fleming to Gerald Hearns with 46 seconds remaining in the game, giving the Rattlers a 17-16 lead.

But after driving down to the FAMU 44 as seconds ticked away, Jackson State decided to go for a game-winning TD instead of a field goal.  Fleming's pass was tipped a couple of times before falling into McKenzie's hands as time expired.

Jackson State (1-0) hosts Virginia-Lynchburg Saturday while Florida A&M (0-1) visits ACC power Miami.

Morgan State Comes Up Just Short At Eastern Michigan, 31-28
Eastern Michigan running back Ryan Brumfield
Eastern Michigan's running game accounted for nearly 300 yards while their defense held off a game Morgan State squad to defeat the Bears 31-28.

Morgan State's Robert Council threw a third quarter, 75-yard touchdown pass to Thomas Martin that completed a 21-point swing, giving the Bears a 28-21 lead. All three touchdowns came on Council touchdown tosses.  But a few minutes later, Ryan Brumfield, part of a three-man bruising Eastern Michigan ground game, countered with his second touchdown run, a 14-yarder, to tie the game heading into the fourth quarter.

EMU's Dylan Mulder nailed a 42-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to give the Eagles the 31-28 lead.  Morgan State attempted a 60-yard field goal on the game's final play, but missed.

EMU's Brunson Hill led the Eagles ground game with 114 yards rushing, while Darius Jackson added 73 yards and a touchdown. Brumfield finished with 56 yards and touchdown.  Council had 269 yards passing and 71 yards on the ground. Lamont Brown III had a big game, with 124 yards rushing and a touchdown.

Eastern Michigan (1-0) goes to SEC territory when they play Florida Saturday while Morgan State (0-1) goes to Holy Cross.

Tennessee State Floods Edward Waters 58-6
TSU running back Tom Smith (photo by TSU sports information)

Not even torrential rain could stop home-standing Tennessee State as they bombarded Edward Waters 58-6 in the soaked John A. Merritt Classic.

In a game swamped with a four-quarter rain storm that started as the teams lined up for kickoff, Tom Smith rushed for 151 yards and four touchdowns. Tennessee State (1-0) racked up a team-record 439 yards on the ground.   All-American Anthony Bass led the Tigers defense which only allowed 76 yards of offense to Edward Waters (1-0).  Bass had four tackles, two sacks, 2.5 tackles for losses and an interception.

Smith was named the Ohio Valley Conference's Newcomer of the Week for his performance while Bass was named the conference's Defensive Player of the Week.

Tennessee State visits Alabama State in the Inaugural Classic Saturday while Edward Waters hosts Morehouse.

Here are the rest of the HBCU football scores and highlights from over the weekend:


- Lamar 42, Grambling 27 (Lamar scored 28 unanswered points to break open a one-point, second quarter game)
- Alcorn State 55, Virginia-Lynchburg 7 (Alcorn State rolled up 559 yards of total offense, 331 of them on the ground)
- Texas State 65, Arkansas Pine Bluff 0 (Texas State had nearly 700 yards of offense, including 278 yards passing and four touchdowns by Tyler Jones)
- Sam Houston State 51, Alabama State 20 (Jared Johnson threw for 386 yards and three touchdowns while Donavan Williams and Jalen Overstreet both had 83 yards rushing for 16th-ranked Sam Houston State)
- Lousiana-Lafayette 45, Southern 6 (Lousiana Lafayette's Elijah McGuire 123 yards rushing and touchdown while Terrance Broadway threw for 237 yards and three touchdowns)
- Mississippi Valley State 32, University of Faith 7 (In Rick Comegy's debut as Delta Devils coach, MVSU scored 32 unanswered points after falling behind early. Jerrell Moore had 116 yards rushing and a touchdown)
- Texas Southern 37, Prairie View A&M 35 (From the end of the second quarter through the end of the third quarter, TSU ran off 21-unanswered points to hold off Prairie View)


- Arkon 41, Howard 0 (Akron shut down the Bison offense, including All-MEAC quarterback Greg McGhee who had less than 100 yards of total offense)
- South Carolina State 63, Benedict 0 (Adrian Kollock Jr. finished 15-for-18 passing with 160 yards along with a 39-yard touchdown run for the Bulldogs)
- North Carolina A&T 47, Alabama A&M 13 (Tarik Cohen had 161 yards rushing and two touchdowns for A&T)   
- Old Dominion 41, Hampton 28 (Hampton's Jaylian Williamson had 407 yards passing and three touchdowns in the loss in new Pirates coach Connell Maynor's debut)
- East Carolina 52, North Carolina Central 7 (ECU quarterback Shane Carden
- Maine 10, Norfolk State 6 (Norfolk State only mustered 100 yards of total offense against the 25th ranked Black Bears. But the Spartans were tough too, holding Maine to less than 200 yards of offense themselves)
- Monmouth 52, Delaware State 21 (After taking the game's opening kickoff back 98 yards for a touchdown and leading by seven heading into the second quarter, the Hornets were outscored 45-7)