Mike White had some big victories at ASU Coliseum during his 15 seasons as head coach at Albany State. White claimed another big win there Saturday, this time at the expense of his former team as Benedict held on for a 17-12 SIAC victory.
White, in his third season at Benedict (6-2, 4-1 SIAC), had a 112-51 record at Albany State, and he guided the Golden Rams to six SIAC championships, three SIAC East Division titles and seven Division II playoff appearances. The win was the first for Benedict against Albany State since 2008; it also knocked the Golden Rams out of the 2017 East Division race and handed the division title to their arch-rival, Fort Valley State (5-3- (5-0 SIAC), which defeated Morehouse 52-7 Saturday. Fort Valley, the defending conference champion, holds the tiebreaker over Benedict on the strength its 31-28 double-overtime victory against the Tigers on Sept. 23.
The Tigers controlled the contest with their running game – they rushed the ball 47 times – while saddling Albany State (5-4, 3-2 SIAC) with its second straight loss. Benedict’s second touchdown drive was symbolic of how the game was played. The Tigers drove 98 yards in 16 plays while taking 8:46 off the clock before quarterback Phillip Brown scored on a two-yard run.
“That’s kind of what I would like Benedict Tiger football to look like,’’ White said, “being able to control the ball on the ground, being efficient on third downs.’’
Benedict held the ball for 37 minutes and converted seven of 15 third-down plays. The Tigers’ defense held Albany State to a season-low 60 yards on the ground. The Golden Rams only produced 226 total years, their second-lowest output of the year.
Benedict led 17-0 before Mike Green caught a pair of 21-yard touchdown passes in the fourth quarter for Albany State. Green recovered an onside kick following his second touchdown; however, the Golden Rams were penalized for illegal procedure. Benedict recovered the Golden Rams’ second onside kick with 52 seconds left in the game, and Brown took a knee twice to secure the victory.
Miles 38, Clark Atlanta 17 – The Golden Bears set up a showdown with Tuskegee for the SIAC West title with a home victory Thursday night. Freshman running back Justin Hardy rushed for 177 yards and two touchdowns to pace Miles (6-3, 4-1 SIAC). The Golden Bears play at Tuskegee, the division leader, Saturday with the winner advancing to the conference championship game. Tuskegee defeated Central State 45-0 on the Golden Tigers’ homecoming to set up the showdown.
Miles was in control from start to finish against the Panthers. Hardy, the top rusher in the SIAC with 1,081 yards, put the finishing touches on Miles’ scoring with an 86-yard touchdown run with 11:17 remaining in the game that extended the Golden Bears’ lead to 38-10. They amassed 407 total yards and led 21-0 in the first half.
Clark Atlanta (4-5, 2-3 SIAC) entered the game with the top offense in the SIAC, averaging 364.8 yards and 26.1 points a game. The Panthers generated 361 total yards against Miles, but their yardage didn’t translate into points even though quarterback Johnathan McCrary, the conference leader in passing yards and total offense, threw for 269 yards a touchdown while completing 18 of his 34 passes.
Bethune 24, Hampton 21 – The Wildcats handed the visiting Pirates their first MEAC loss of the season as backup quarterback Akevious Williams tossed a seven-yard touchdown pass to Lawill Davis with 3:10 left in the game. The Wildcats (4-4, 3-2 MEAC) drove 68 yards in 12 plays for the winning score after Hampton (5-3, 4-1 MEAC) had taken a 21-17 lead on quarterback Delmon Williams’ eight-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter. Adam Brown’s 29-yard field goal attempt that would have sent the game into overtime was wide left as time expired.
Howard 28, South Carolina State 20 – The Bison ended their 15-year drought against the MEAC rival Bulldogs, spoiling their Homecoming in the process. Howard (5-3, 4-1 MEAC) hadn’t beaten South Carolina State since 2002. The win was the third in a row for the Bison, who remain in contention in the MEAC race. South Carolina State 2-6, 1-5 MEAC) has lost its last. Howard led 21-0 in the first period after Caylin Newton and Jequezz Ezzard connected on a 98-yard touchdown pass. Ezzard also caught a 31-yard touchdown pass earlier in the quarter for the Bison’s first score. Ezzard had four receptions for 144 yards.
Alabama State 21, Alabama A&M 16 – The Hornets defense is two-for-two in late game saves after coming up big in the final minute of their Magic City Classic victory against the SWAC rival Bulldogs. Alabama State (2-5, 2-2 SWAC) appeared to have their second straight win under interim coach Donald Hill-Eley wrapped up when quarterback Daryl Pearson Jr. threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Chett LeVay with 2:41 left in the game.
However, the Bulldogs (3-5, 3-2 SWAC) responded with a long return on the ensuing kickoff that set up Jordan Bentley’s two-yard touchdown run with 1:48 remaining. Alabama A&M recovered the ensuing onside kickoff. Alabama State’s defense forced the Bulldogs to turn the ball on downs to preserve the win. T. J. Presley intercepted a pass in the end zone with 47 seconds remaining save the Hornets’ first win of the season two weeks ago against Texas Southern.
Jackson State 24, Mississippi Valley State 5 – The Tigers picked up their first win of the season with a road victory against their instate SWAC rivals. Jordan Johnson had a reason had 160 rushing yard and scored three touchdowns, also a season-high for Jackson State (1-7, 1-3). The Delta Devils (2-6, 1-3 SWAC) were held to 105 yards.
Florida A&M 34, Morgan State 31
North Carolina Central 42, Delaware State 0
Savannah State 27, Norfolk State 9
Grambling State 50, Texas Southern 24
Prairie View A&M 34, Bacone College 17
Southern 47, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 40
Bowie State 86, Lincoln (Pa.) 14
Fayetteville State 28, Livingstone 26
Saint Augustine’s 24, Johnson C. Smith 0
Virginia State 26, Chowan 23
Virginia Union 37, Elizabeth City State 21
Winston-Salem State 27, Shaw 21, OT
Fort Valley State 52, Morehouse 7
Tuskegee 45, Central State 0
Arizona Christian 56, Texas College 0
Fairmont State 34, West Virginia State 27
Langston 27, Panhandle State 14
McKendree 36, Lincoln (Mo.) 12
Millersville 59, Cheyney 7
Tennessee Tech 30, Tennessee State 26
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