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Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC

Hal LamarBy Hal Lamar
Photos b
y Patsy Collier-Lamar

Ragsdale, New Grambling Coach has SIAC Connections


George  Ragsdale, who  picked up the baton (or  handed same) from the deposed Doug Williams as interim head coach of Grambling  University, is no stranger to the SIAC. From 1986-1990, Ragsdale was offensive  coordinator for the Wolverines of Morris Brown College. Unless my memory fails  me, he was on the staff of former MBC head coach and athletic director Greg  Thompson. Speaking of Williams who also once coached in the conference as head  coach at Morehouse College , I was a bit surprised at what seemed and felt like  a rush by school administrators to give him the “see ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya” ragsdaleRagsdale  . But in a local newspaper account, Williams seemed to be taking everything in  stride. I got to meet and know Doug when he coached at Morehouse in the mid  1990s. He was only there one season when mother Grambling called and I think  that the Zachery, Louisiana native couldn’t wait to get “home”. You can’t blame  anyone for wanting to go home. I just kinda wonder what his private thoughts  about his alma mater are now?


Meanwhile, the struggle continues for  the “G” men. They lost last week 47-34 to Division II opponent Lincoln  (Missouri). …post Doug.

IN THE SIAC: Neither of the AU Center  teams could forge a victory last week. CAU had their home opener spoiled by  tough Stillman College 27-6 behind the 312 passing yards of sophomore quarterback  Joshua Straughan who also threw two touchdowns. The win gives  Stillman a 2-0  start and  made their head coach Teddy Keaton happy….to a  degree.stillman  teddy keatonKeaton “ I’m always glad to get a victory but we’ve got some things to wotk  on,” said the Stillman grad who returned to his alma mater as head coach in 2011.  “ We have to get some things cleaned up penalty wise ( Stillman drew ten  penalties for 95 yards against CAU) . I think we hurt ourselves with drives,  especially on defense with undisciplined things. Turnovers hurt us early in the  first half. We could have scored more points on CAU. I think our team  underestimated them. I take my hat off to coach ( Kevin Weston). He’s doing a  great job. They are young . When he gets those guys into his system, they will  do well.”

Much  like the season opener a fortnight ago against West Alabama on the road, the  Panthers were able to avoid a shutout . With 8:36 to go in the game, CAU  mounted a 10 play, 88 yard drive  helped  by two Stillman penalties. It  ended with  a one yard run to the end zone by freshman Montavious Taylor of Atlanta. He led  all rushers with 85 yards. In fact,. CAU outrushed Stillman 224-163 but likely  that was due to their rush-prone offense. The Panthers only passed for ten yards  while collectively, Straughan and backup Torrance Moise, a senior transfer from  Webber International, threw for 345 yards. Moise also threw for one of  Stillman’s four touchdowns.

Defensively,  CAU junior linebacker Bre’nard  Williams,  a pre –season al-SIAC pick,  led all  tacklers with 14, 10 of them solo shots.

Meanwhile,  Morehouse College is aching after losing their second straight football game of  the young season to Lane College 31-17. The 0-2 start is the poorest for Head  Coach Richard Freeman since arriving on campus in 2007 and the poorest for the  school since 2004 when they opened that season 0-2 with losses to Fort Valley  and Edward Waters. In last week’s Lane game, the Marooners attempted to  overcome a deficit by scoring twice in the fourth period but much like the  season opener against Howard, it proved too little, too late. The Dragons were  led by their senior quarterback Chris RiniChris RiniRini who completed 25 of his 32 passing  attempts for 270 yards and three touchdowns. Morehouse conversely, may have  found a second diamond-in-the-rough quarterback in freshman Mongavious Johnson.  He relieved starter Joshua Harris and threw for 76 yards and two touchdowns. …….

Benedict’s Marcus Graham did it once  more ( give that boy a steak for dinner). His  211 passing yards and three scores led the  Tigers to a 30-14 win in NYC at the annual Urban League football classic.  25,815 showed up at MetLife Stadium……Kentucky State rallied after a 17-14  halftime deficit to score 24 unanswered points and defeat Central State 35-17.  The hero of this piece? Junior Jacquise Lockett.iksu jacquise lockettLockett Dig my man: 240 rushing yards  and three scores.….Savannah State quarterback Antonio Bostick threw for 326  yards and scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to shock Fort Valley  State 27-20. It’s Savannah State’s first win of the season and only their  second since defeating Edward Waters 42-35 last year….

A late hour 75 yard scoring drive  allowed Tuskegee to skirt by tough Albany State 19-13, spoiling the home opener  for the Rams. Gotta get my man Wlllie Slater to say more in his press  interviews. …..And Miles scored first in last week’s game against West Georgia  but then got shut out by the Wolves the rest of the way and lost 31-7. Reggie  Ruffin must be having nightmares starting the season at 0-2. Fortunately, they  are non-conference games.

XTRA POINTS: High School coaches and  especially those with predominately black players need to encourage more of them  to specialize in punting and kicking. I see no Africanj-American field goal  kickers or punters at the pro level, none at the major colleges and not even  that many among HBCU schools. Are these kids being funneled off to other  positions or is the punter/kicker post one that is not “glamorous “ enough for  them. The coaches need to let them know that a good punter/kicker is worth  his/her weight in gold an can get them college scholarships and maybe even a  pro contract. A specialty like that gives you a much better chance of taking  your skill to a higher level……….Singer Gladys Knight (Morris Brown), an Atlanta  native has opened another of her Chicken and Waffle restaurants. The latest one  is located on Cascade Road in southwest Atlanta. They started out as Gladys  Knight and Ron Winans Chicken and waffles but apparently the Georgia crooner is  going solo……And last week, I failed to mention the Tuskegee-Alabama A&M  game and I promised a fan who e-mailed me about the omission that I would  right(or write) the wrong. Tuskegee upset the growl off the Bulldogs 23-7 in  the fourth annual Louis Crews Classic. It’s the first time the Goldens have  beaten A&m since 2008 when they beat them in that year’s Circle City  Classic in Indianapolis ( Pat and I were there for that at Lucas Oil Stadium).


Lane over Taylor

Tuskegee over Winston Salem

Morehouse over Central State

Stillman over St Augustine

Fort Valley over CAU

SC State over Benedict

Kentucky State over Va. State

Miles over Concordia-Selma

Albany State over Elizabeth City


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