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Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC

Hal LamarBy Hal Lamar
Photos b
y Patsy Collier-Lamar

Near miracle spares Concordia-Selma’s  gridders after weekend bus fire

 ATLANTA- Those of you with little or no faith in the existence of a supreme being regardless the name need only look  at the charred remains of a bus that last Saturday was transporting members of  the Concordia-Selma football playing Hornets to a game in Fairfield, Alabama  against the Bears of Miles College.

It  was one of two buses transporting the team along an Alabama Highway. According to head coach Don Lee, who was in the lead bus with other coaches and players,  they were about an hour and a half away from Fairfield when the back bus blew a  tire on the drivers side.” We had 59 players on that bus with all our  equipment,” Lee told INSIDE. “The driver called us and said they were going to try to keep driving. Then the second tire blew. By the time we looked back, fire  was coming out of the motor. So they pulled (the bus) over and we rushed to get everybody off the bus and as soon as we got them off the bus, it blew ( the bus exploded). “concordia bus burnsConcordia-Selma Bus following fire

Lee  said they used the second bus to transport all the athletes back to Concordia’s  campus. They then called Miles and it was decided the game would be cancelled.  He said their cell phones weren’t working in the area of the accident but a passing motorist had a cell that did and they called the local fire department. Lee told INSIDE that a game between the  two schools might still be possible  depending on Miles’ status come playoff time.

Lee is in his full year as head coach of Concordia. The former assistant took over the reins of head coach the third game of the 2012 season, replacing Shepherd Skanes who is reportedly now coaching at Fairfield High School.


Speaking  of Miles College, last week, actor-comedian Bill Cosby paid a visit to campus  to work out with the Bears football team and then conduct a skull session with Head Coach Reggie Ruffin, college president George French and, of course, the  athletes. Cosby was in Birmingham participating in 50th anniversary commemoration ceremonies for the 1963 Birmingham civil rights movement. It was also the commemoration of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church which killed four young ladiescosby with miles football teamBill Cosby speaks to Miles Football Team as President French looks on

TO THE SIAC: Last week’s 12-9 loss by  the Clark-AU Panthers to the Fort Valley Wildcats was arguably one of the most exciting and intense gridiron mixes in all of college football. I don’t know  what the 1,793 mostly partisan fans thought they’d get when they sat through the contest amid a steady downpour but they certainly got more than they expected in the double overtime clash.

To be honest, it was one of the greatest games CAU ever lost.

It  began as a duel of defenses until 4:53 of the second period when Donnie Pittman’s elevensDonnie PittmanPittman used 11 plays to run 95 yards and score on a one yard run by junior Mikilous McDaniels, The point after failed and Fort Valley went into the locker room leading at the half 6-0.  CAU had two scoring opportunities in the same half via field goals but kicker Austin  Casillas missed both.

But  with 6:31 remaining in the third period, the Panthers mounted a nine play, 57 yard drive to score on a 14 yard pass from freshman QB Trenton Earl to freshman  Montavious Taylor.  Their point after failed as well. At the alpha of the fourth period, the Panthers missed an opportunity to take advantage of a Fort Valley turnover when they drove the  oval four plays to the Wildcat 36 then attempted a field goal which failed. It  was Casillas’ third failed attempt of the afternoon.

Fort  Valley meanwhile had an opportunity to put the game away in the fourth but were pushed back by CAU’s defense, led by seniors Terrance Pryor and Bre’nard  Williams. The latter posted 11 tackles, five of them solo shots while Pryor racked up 3 sacks in his five tackle total.

CAU  took an all-too-brief 9-0 lead during  the first overtime when Casillas, now 0-4 in  the field goal department, nailed a 36 yarder just before the first OT ended.  But then Fort Valley took their turn at scoring from the 25 and utilized 7 plays  before senior quarterback Eugene Smith rushed into the end zone from the one.

“Our defense played a great game,” Pittman told INSIDE following the win.” They  controlled the ball and won it for us. It was really a must win for us and  we’ll take it any way we can get it.”

That contrasted the  frustration CAU was feeling on the other side of the field as they made their  way to the lockers. “ I just knew we weren’t going to lose this one,” said  Earl. “ We work each and every day for moments like this. To lose it is the  worst feeling ever.” “ This is a game of inches and we fell short by a few of  them,” said Williams. “We will get better. We will get a "W" sooner or later.”

ELSEWHERE IN 100 YEAR OLD SIAC:  Morehouse College finally got in the win column last week with their 42-20 victory  over the Marauders of Central State in the 16th annual Chicago  Football Classic.  Coach Richard Freeman may have found  yet another new scoring  tandem in freshman Mongavious Johnson who threw for two scores and senior Shelton Hamilton who rushed for two others. The Morehouse defense kept the  Marauders out the end zone and shut them out via 21 unanswered points in the  second half….. 2-1 Winston-Salem upset 2-0 Tuskegee’s bid for an unblemished season  with a 35-13 win in The Cleveland Classic in Cleveland, OH….Two touchdowns in the 11th hour  by 1-1  Taylor University  of Indiana led to a 27-21 win over 2-0  Lane….SC State destroyed 2-0 Benedict 59-6 in last week’s annual Palmetto  Classic in Columbia SC. Benedict had been after Buddy Pough’s “Dawgs” to return  to the classic. It shows you best be careful what you ask for…...and Albany  State University won its first of the year defeating visiting Elizabeth City  34-13. The losing monkey is finally off the back of James “Mike” White who also won the 100th game of his coaching career.

XTRA POINTS: Remember Alvin Wyatt, the  former head coach at Bethune Cookman University? He’s on the roster as defensive  coordinator for Jacksonville gcac logoFlorida’s Edward Waters College…Speaking of EWC,  the campus has been around the panhandle state for 147 years and is a member of  the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference comprised of EWC, Southern-New Orleans, Xavier and  Dillard Universities of New Orleans, Toogaloo College of Mississippi,  Philander-Smith of Little Rock Arkansas, Talladega College of Alabama, Fisk of Nashville  Tennessee, and South Carolina’s Voorhees College.  The GCAC was formerly organized and began competition in 1981.  It is a member of the NAIA.


Tuskegee over Lane
Tennessee State over Central State
Benedict over Fort Valley
Albany State over Miles
Kentucky State over Stillman
Morehouse over Edward Waters
Last week’s predictions: 3 right, 5  wrong

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