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SWAC Championship Game: Alabama A&M Vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. –The battle lines have been drawn and the duel is set for the 2006 edition of the Southwestern Athletic Conference Football Championship game.
The Golden Lions of the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff will try to extend their winning streak into the post season against the Bulldogs of Alabama A&M University. The game will be played on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Legion Field.
Alabama A&M comes into this game with an 8-3 overall record, 6-3 in the SWAC. This is the Bulldogs’ second consecutive trip to the championship game and fourth overall in game’s eight-year history.
The Bulldogs lead the conference in scoring defense (allowing only 19.5 ppg.) and in first downs (209) while the program is second overall in total offense (346.2 ypg.)
Senior quarterback Kelcy Luke has completed 159-of-279 passes for 1,724 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also leads the team in scoring with 50 points.
Senior running back Ta’Mar Scott leads in rushing with 142 attempts for 682 yards and seven TDs. The defense is anchored by senior linebacker Johnny Baldwin. Baldwin leads AAMU and is second in the SWAC with 99 tackles.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff boasts an 8-3 record, 7-2 in conference play. This will be UAPB’s first trip to the championship game. The Lions have won seven games in a row to get to this point.
The Golden Lions lead the SWAC in fourth-down conversion (7-of-8 for 87.5 pct.) and PAT kicking (35-of-37 made for .946 pct.), and pass efficiency (167.1). They are also second in scoring offense (29.1 ppg.) and pass offense (200.6 ypg.)
Senior signal caller Chris Wallace is 123-199-7 for 1,978 yards and 19 touchdowns. Wallace also leads the conference in pass efficiency (169.8). Sophomore running back Martell Mallet leads the SWAC and UAPB in rushing, with 223 carries for 1104 yards and 14 TDs. On the defensive side, senior linebacker Justin Bass leads the Lions with 87 tackles and is ranked 5th overall in the conference.
Earlier this season, the Golden Lions edged out the Bulldogs 23-21 in regular season play. During the October 21st match-up, Alabama A&M found themselves down 23-7 with 12 minutes remaining in regulation.
The Bulldogs’s Kelcy Luke engineered two drives – the first ending with a 48-yard pass from Luke to Trevis O’Neal and the second culminating with Luke scampering seven yards for the score.
The Bulldogs went for the two-point conversion following both touchdowns: they successful on the first, but were stifled on the second.
MOTHERLAND CLASSIC RESCHEDULED
The first Motherland All-Star Classic, scheduled for Saturday, in Abuja, Nigeria has been tentatively re-scheduled to Feb. 10, 2007. Michael Watkins, chairman of the Eddie Robinson Foundation that founded the game and grandson of the legendary coach, said Tuesday that logistical problems related to upcoming governmental elections and political conventions in Abuja neccessitated the rescheduling. The parties are working to resolve matters and clear the February date.