By ADD SEYMOUR JR.
Otis Brown's 11-yard touchdown pass to Chauncey Jackson in the second overtime lifted Fort Valley State to 33-30 victory over Kentucky State in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship game Saturday.
Fittingly, Fort Valley State (5-6, 5-3 SIAC) had been down by two touchdowns early before getting their offense going to win the school's first SIAC title since 1999. Fort Valley State lost six straight games to start the season before coming back to win their final five games.
One of those losses came to Kentucky State (4-7, 4-4 SIAC) on Oct. 8. KSU defeated Fort Valley State 26-10 starting a three-game winning streak over SIAC East foes FVSU, Miles and Tuskegee that propelled them into the SIAC Championship Game.
Kentucky State jumped out the 14-0 lead after Jules St. Ge threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Reginal Harris and Lavelle Cloyd broke off a 58-yard touchdown run. They led 21-7 before by Brian Walker's 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and Brown's first touchdown pass, a 16-yarder to Bolden Davis in the third quarter.
After trading field goals, the game went to overtime. Juan Serna's 43-yard field goal put Fort Valley State up 27-24 in the first OT, but was matched by Bill Rose's 34-yarder to pull KSU back to 27-27. Rose got another field goal to start the second overtime, but Brown's TD toss to Jackson ended the game.
"You hate to lose games like this," said Kentucky State Head Coach John L. Smith, who was named the SIAC Coach of the Year. "But I'm proud of what we accomplished this season and how much this team has grown to put ourselves in this position."
Brown threw for 254 yards and two touchdowns while Jackson, the game's Most Valuable Player, rushed for 43 yards and a TD and caught three passes for 43 yards and a TD. Kentucky State was led by Cloyd's 119 yards and his touchdown run. St. Ge passed for 90 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 82 yards.