Saturday, November 21, 2015

Marc Monks Throws Four TDs to Lead Assumption to 51-29 Win Over Bowie State in NCAA Division II Football Playoffs

(Photo by Paul Connors/Worcester Telegram)
Marc Monks threw two of his four touchdown passes in a first half in which Assumption jumped out to a 21-0 lead that proved too much Bowie State as Assumption went on to win 51-29 in the first round of the NCAA Division II football playoffs Saturday.

Assumption, now 11-1, goes on to play Slippery Rock, a 40-21 winner over Virginia Union, next week in the second round.  Bowie State ends the season 9-3.

Monks finished with 257 yards and four TDs passing while James Ward ran for 82 yards and two touchdowns as Assumption rolled up 450 yards of total offense.  Ashton Grant caught six of Monks' passes for 137 yards and three touchdowns.

Bowie State only mustered 35 yards on the ground, but Trevon Bennett, staring instead of freshman Nyema Washington, threw for 309 yards and a touchdown for BSU.  But Bennett was picked off three times and was sacked five times.  Nyme Mimms caught 14 passes for 127 yards and a TD.

North Carolina A&T-North Carolina Central Has MEAC Title and Celebration Bowl Berth On the Line; Alcorn State Can Claim SWAC East Title With Win Today; A Look At ALL Of Today's HBCU Football Action


The final day of the regular season has huge implications in Greensboro, North Carolina as two old rivals battle for a football championship.

Actually, one of them, North Carolina A&T (9-1, 7-0 MEAC) has already claimed at least a share of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title.  A win over visiting North Carolina Central would give them the outright championship.

But North Carolina Central (7-3, 6-1 MEAC) can also claim a share of the title with a win today and serves as the MEAC's representative in the inaugural Celebration Bowl, the Dec. 19th game pitting the SWAC and MEAC conference champions.

"Not only being another rivalry game, but the situation is similar as last year with this being for a share of the conference championship," said North Carolina Central head coach Jerry Mack, according to  "Those two things make this all that more special for our guys."

Bethune-Cookman (8-2, 6-1 MEAC) also plays into the mix.  If North Carolina Central wins and the Wildcats defeat Florida A&M (1-9. 1-6 MEAC) today, Bethune-Cookman would share in a three-way tie for the MEAC title with Central and A&T, with A&T going to the Celebration Bowl.   If Florida A&M pulls off the upset over their state rival, Central and A&T share the title and North Carolina Central goes to the Celebration Bowl.

All are still eligible for an NCAA FCS Football Playoff at-large berth.

Kickoff in Greensboro is at 1 pm.

Alcorn State Plays Today for SWAC East Title and Rematch With Grambling in SWAC Championship

Alcorn State (6-3, 5-2 SWAC) looked like they were making a mad dash towards the SWAC championship game, until they stubbed their toe in losing to Grambling a few weeks ago.

They have an opportunity to avenge that loss and win the SWAC East and get a rematch with Grambling in the SWAC title game if they win today against Alabama A&M.   But a loss would leave Jackson State alive in the race and set up a huge Jackson State-Alcorn State game next weekend.

But thats looking ahead.

"(The players) aren't really talking about it (winning the division), but the game is that, so at the end of the day, certainly you don't talk about any of that until that so-called championship game shows up," Alcorn State head coach Jay Hopson said to the Jackson Clarion Ledger.  "Now we're at that game, so I think everybody understands the implications, and everybody understands we ahve to be ready to play our best game."

Alabama A&M (2-7, 2-5 SWAC) would love to be the spoiler.  But they are ranked last in the SWAC in total defense and today face the SWAC's third best offense and top rushing offense.  The Bulldogs do feature linebacker Bryan Brower, who is the SWAC's third-leading tackler with 76 so far this season while De'Angelo Ballard has thrown for 1,247 yards and seven touchdowns for a team looking towards the future.

But for Alcorn State the future is now.  Unless they lose.  If they lose, it sets up a huge rivalry game next week against Jackson State, provided they beat a tough Prairie View A&M team this week.

Here is the today's entire HBCU FCS football schedule:


Norfolk State at Morgan State
South Carolina State at Savannah State
Howard at Delaware State
North Carolina Central at North Carolina A&T
Bethune-Cookman and Florida A&M


Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Mississippi Valley State
Miles at Alabama State
Jackson State at Prairie View A&M - Jackson State (3-6, 3-4 SWAC) has had a tough season. But all the bad things can be forgotten as they have a chance to play in the SWAC Championship game against Grambling if they win today and next week against Alcorn State (if Alcorn State loses today). They have a tough foe in Prairie View (8-2, 7-1 SWAC), a team still hoping for an at-large NCAA FCS playoff berth.  The Panthers have won six games in a row.
Alabama A&M at Alcorn State


Tennessee State at Tennessee Tech - Tennessee State (4-5, 1-5 Ohio Valley Conference) will try to close out a disappointing 2015 season with a chance to get to the .500 mark if they defeat OVC rival Tennessee Tech.  The game can be seen nationally on MASN.

Bowie State, Virginia Union and Tuskegee Make First Round NCAA D-2 Football Playoff Appearances Today


Today, three HBCU football teams take on higher ranked opponents in the first round of the NCAA Division II football playoffs.

Two Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association teams, Virginia Union and Bowie State, and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's Tuskegee, all are on the road today as the 14-team road to the championship begins.

Virginia Union (8-2, 7-1 CIAA) goes to Slippery Rock, a team that finished the season 10-1 and won the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship. (kickoff at noon).  The Rock features a high octane offense that averaged nearly 49 points and 517 yards of offense a game.

They are led by running back Shamar Greene, who has rushed for 129 yards a game, and quarterback Dante Nania, who has thrown for 2,471 yards and 24 touchdowns this season.

VUU brings their own offensive fireworks into the game.  They led the CIAA in scoring with 33 points a game, touchdowns (45) and was second in total points with 330.  Quarterback Shawheem Dowdy and running back Hakeem Holland led the Panthers offense as Dowdy was the CIAA's second best QB with 2,035 yards and 19 TDs passing while Holland was fifth in rushing yards (1,012) and yards per game (101).   The Panthers will look for Miles Pace to put pressure on Nania as he led the CIAA in sacks with 10 and forced four fumbles.

Bowie State (9-2, 7-0 CIAA) finished just behind Virginia Union in scoring this season, averaging 32.6 a game in the CIAA and led the conference in total points with 359, touchdown passes (31), passing yards and yards passing per game.   Much of that was with Matt Goggans at quarterback, but who who was ruled ineligible midway through the season.

But the Bulldogs haven't missed a beat with freshman Nyema Washington taking over behind center. In five games, Washington has thrown for nearly 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns, though he has six interceptions.  He has also rushed for three touchdowns.   The Bulldogs will look for one of the CIAA's top defenses to shut down Assumption (10-1).  (kickoff at 1 pm}

Third-seeded Assumption has won nine consecutive games on the strength of a balanced offense and defense.  The led the Northeastern 10 Conference in scoring and points.  The Bowie State defense will look to shut them down as they gave up less than 200 yards a game passing, had 37 sacks, 16 fumble recoveries and picked off 12 passes this season.

What's big for both of those games is that if both Bowie State and Virginia Union win, it sets up a second round game that will be a rematch of the tough Oct. 24 battle between the two CIAA foes in which BSU won 23-19.

Tuskegee (8-2, 4-1 SIAC) takes the SIAC's leading offense (30 points per game) along with the conference's Defensive Player of the Year in Jewell Ratliff to Catawba (9-2) for the first meeting for the the two schools.  (kickoff is at 1 pm)

Catawba has a balanced offense with Cary Littlejohn rushing for nearly 1,000 this season and quarterback Mike Sheehan throwing for 1,300 yards this season and rushing for 704 and 12 TDs.  Its on defense where Catawba shines.  Kyle Kitchens had 60 tackles and ten sacks to lead a Catawba defense that had 25 sacks this year and led the South Athletic Conference in total defense this year.

Tuskegee led the SIAC in scoring defense, giving up just under 15 points a game and was second in total defense.  Ratliff was dominant, leading the SIAC with 118 tackles.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Tuskegee, Bowie State and Virginia Union Chosen For NCAA Division II Football Playoffs


While surprises reigned in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships, the conferences best teams season-long have been tapped to play in the NCAA Division II playoffs.

Bowie State and Virginia Union of the CIAA and Tuskegee in the SIAC are three of the teams in the 14-team playoff field.  Only BSU made their conference championship games, losing Saturday to a 6-5 Winston-Salem State team.  Tuskegee fell in their regular season finale to eventual SIAC champion, Miles.

Bowie State, ranked sixth in the playoff field, visits third-ranked Assumption (10-1) Saturday while 7th ranked Virginia Union (8-2) goes to second-ranked Slippery Rock (10-1). The winner of those two games play the following weekend, with the higher ranked team hosting.

Tuskegee (8-2), ranked sixth on their side of the bracket, visits third-ranked Catawba (8-2) Saturday

Bowie State was 9-2 this season, but five games were nullified after an eligible player was found to have been competing for the team.  The player wasn't named, but numerous reports were that the player was star quarterback Matthew Goggans, who is not listed on the team's roster anymore.  But the team's won-loss percentage wasn't affected by the nullification and they were allowed to participate in postseason play.

Goggans was replaced by Nyema Washington.  Washington threw for 209 yards and a touchdown in the Bulldogs' loss to Winston-Salem State in the CIAA title game Saturday.

This is Bowie State's second-ever playoff appearance.  They lost to Portland State 34-17 in the 1998 playoffs.

"Hats off to our guys and coaching staff... We've done a great job all year," said Bowie State head coach Damon Wilson Sunday, according to the school's athletics web site.  "We lost a tough game [Sunday] but have an opportunity to continue playing [post season] football for the second time in history.  This is an exciting time."

Virginia Union only lost one conference game this season, a tough 23-19 loss to Bowie State which ended up keeping them out of the CIAA championship game.  Their game against Slippery Rock will be the school's first NCAA Division II playoff appearance since a 1991 loss to Indiana (Pa).

Tuskegee was at the top of most Division II HBCU football polls all season until they lost to Miles in their regular season finale.  Saturday's game marks their school's third consecutive NCAA Division II playoff berth.  Last season, the Golden Tigers lost a first-round home game 20-17 to West Georgia last season and in 2013, in their first playoff appearance, they lost to powerful North Alabama.

Tarik Cohen Becomes North Carolina A&T's All-Time Leading Rusher and Helps A&T Claim a Share of the MEAC Title With Win Over Delaware State; Recaps of All the HBCU Action from Saturday


Tarik Cohen ran for 132 yards, becoming North Carolina A&T's all-time leading rusher, to help the Aggies to an easy 27-6 win over Delaware State and enable North Carolina A&T to claim at least a share of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship for the second consecutive year.

The Aggies (9-1, 7-0 MEAC) can win the title outright with a win over North Carolina Central next Saturday.  A loss would give NCCU a share of the conference title.

Cohen has 3,623 yards rushing in his career, moving past Mike Mayhew.  Cohen, a junior, has another year of eligibility left, is only 1,049 yards short of the MEAC career rushing record, set by South Carolina State's William Ford.

"It's an honor to have a record like this considering all of the great running backs who came before me," Cohen said on the school's athletic web site. "This school has produced some great running backs like Maurice Smith, Maurice Hicks, and the guy's record who I broke today, Mike Mayhew."

Kylil Carter threw two TD passes and rushed for 84 yards and a touchdown to lead North Carolina A&T Saturday.  The Aggie defense had four sacks, two interceptions and 12 tackles for losses in holding Delaware State (0-10, 0-7 MEAC) to just 174 yards of total offense for the day.

"Right now, Central is the furthest thing from our mind," said NCA&T head coach Rod Broadway after the game. "We have to focus on us and making us better fundamentally and execution-wise."

Delaware State will try to avoid a winless season when they host a one-win Howard team next week.

Here is a rundown of all of Saturday's HBCU football action: 


North Carolina Central 41, Howard 6 - Malcom Bell threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another to lead North Carolina Central (7-3, 6-1 MEAC) in easily defeating Howard (1-9, 1-6 MEAC) and keeping their MEAC title hopes alive.  The Eagles have won six games in a row but head to Greensboro to face rival North Carolina A&T in a game that will determine whether Eagles can at least get a share of the the MEAC championship.
South Carolina State 17, Norfolk State 10 - Justin Taylor's 4-yard touchdown run with 42 seconds remaining capped a 14-point 4th quarter that gave South Carolina State (6-4, 5-2 MEAC) a come-from-behind win over Norfolk State (3-7, 3-4 MEAC).  Kollock threw for 255 yards on the day. Norfolk State's Greg Hankerson threw for 241 yards and NSU's only touchdown.
Morgan State 21, Florida A&M 7 - A glimmer of hope for a second win of the season for Florida A&M (1-9, 1-5 MEAC) was dashed when after they led 7-0 early in the second quarter, Morgan State (4-5, 4-3 MEAC) only allowed FAMU 99 yards in offense and shut them out the rest of the way. The Bears got a touchdown run by quarterback Moses Skillon and an 83-yard TD toss by him to Andrew King. Orlando Johnson also had a touchdown run for Morgan State.
Hampton 42, Savannah State 3 - David Watford threw for 263 yards and four touchdowns to lead Hampton (6-5, 5-3 MEAC) an easy win over Savannah State (1-8, 1-6 MEAC).  Twarn Mixon caught nine of Watford's passes for 172 yards and a TD while Sequan Gooding had five catches for 75 yards and two TDs.  The Pirates picked off three Arshon Spaulding passes.


Alcorn State 65, Texas Southern 13 - Alcorn State (6-3, 5-2 SWAC) looked like the balanced team of old as they had 519 yards of offense and held Texas Southern (3-6, 2-6 SWAC) to 52 yards rushing to get the easy win.  The Alcorn State running game accounted for 334 yards - Ragsdale Darry ran for 115 yards and a TD, quarterback Footman Lenorr had 75 yards and two touchdowns on the ground and Joe Price rushed for 74 yards and a touchdown - as the Braves controlled the game. Lenorr also threw two TD passes.
Prairie View 38, Alabama State 13 - Trey Green threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 62 yards and another TD to lead Prairie View A&M  (7-2, 7-1 SWAC) to the win over Alabama State (5-5, 5-4 SWAC).  Johnta Hebert rushed for 101 yards, caught four passes for 26 yards and completed a 16-yard pass for PVAM.  Daniel Duhart led ASU with 204 yards and a touchdown passing.
Southern 46, Alabama A&M 7 - Austin Howard threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns and ran for two TDs to lead Southern (6-4, 6-2 SWAC) to the easy win over Alabama A&M (2-7, 2-5 SWAC).  Leonard Tillery rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown while Malcolm Crockett ran for 99 yards and two TDs.  Southern rolled up 631 offensive yards while Alabama A&M only had 110.


Langston 50, Texas College 0 - Kenrick Robertson rushed for 156 yards and a touchdown while Mark Wright Jr. threw for 259 yards and two touchdowns to lead Langston (7-3, 5-1 CSFL) over Texas College (2-8, 2-4 CSFL).  Cedric Jackson caught six passes for 119 yards and three TDs and Sheldon Augustine grabbed seven passes for 100 yards.  While IUPA had 407 yards of offense, Cheyney only had 44, with -4 rushing.
Indiana University (Pa) 62, Cheyney 0 - Indiana University of Pa. rushed for 274 yards and six touchdowns - three of them Luigi Lista-Brinza's three TDs - to lead them to a blowout over Cheyney (0-11).  Lenny Williams led them with 75 yards passing and two TDs rushing.
West Liberty 42, West Virginia State 36 - Dakota Conwell threw for 280 yards and five TDs, including two fourth quarter TD passes and a touchdown run in a 22-point fourth quarter that lifted West Liberty to the win over West Virginia State (5-6, 5-5 MEC).
Southwest Baptist 62, Lincoln (Mo.) 19 - Tren Edwards threw for 279 yards and five touchdowns and added another TD rushing to lead Southwest Baptist to the rout of Lincoln (Mo) (1-10, 0-8 GLVC).  Bubba Jenkins added a big day on the ground with 167 yards rushing and a touchdown. Dennis Vinson led Lincoln (Mo) with 208 yards and three touchdowns passing.

Jamarcus Nance Rushes for 140 Yards and Two TDs to Lead Miles to 20-7 Win Over Albany State in CIAA Championship Game


Jamarcus Nance rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns to lead Miles to a 20-7 win over Albany State in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship game Saturday.

The win was the sixth straight for Miles (7-4) and is the second SIAC football championship for the Golden Bears. It also avenges a 29-16 Albany State win over Miles earlier this season.

Miles gave up 105 yards rushing to SIAC rushing leader Jarvis Small and Caleb Edmonds completed 21 passes for 218 yards and a touchdown, but Albany State (6-4) could only muster seven first downs

"We stalled a little bit offensively and our defense bent but they didn't break," said Miles head coach Reginald Ruffin according to ABC 33/40 in Birmingham, Ala.  "We came up with the big plays when we needed to. The resiliency that these guys have.  They never gave up and that's so important."

Miles jumped out early as Cedric Poole returned the opening kickoff 90 yards to set up a Golden Bears field goal just 1:36 into the game.

Albany State got into Miles territory twice, but missed a field goal and couldn't convert a fourth down on Miles' 28.  Meanwhile, Nance's first half touchdowns helped push Miles out to a first half 17-0 lead.

Late in the third, Edmonds engineered a 10-play, 80-yard drive that culminated in his 14-yard TD toss to Thomas Smith to pull Albany State to within ten at 17-7.

But Miles shut down Albany State when they needed to in the fourth quarter, twice stopping the Golden Rams on two fourth down plays in the Miles territory and picking off a pass late in the game at the Miles 33.

Nance was named Miles Most Valuable Player for the game while star linebacker Tavarius Washington, who had 14 tackles, was named Albany State's MVP.

Miles actually has another regular season game left.  The Golden Bears head to Montgomery to take on the Southwestern Athletic Conference's Alabama State next Saturday.