HBCU Weekend Wrapup: Week Six

By Tony McClean
Updated: September 28, 2008

FAMU Tubas NEW HAVEN, Ct. — Here’s how teams in the BoxToRow.com/BASN Top 10 HBCU Football poll fared this weekend.

No. 1 Tuskegee 20, Fort Valley State 16

Visiting Tuskegee ran its win­ning streak to 20 straight games — though not easily — by defeating SIAC rival, Fort Valley State on Saturday. Special teams play nearly cost Tuskegee, which missed a PAT fol­lowing a first-quarter Tony Fourney 8-yard touchdown run and lat­er had a third-quarter blocked punt returned for a touchdown.

Still, quarterback Ja­cary Atkinson scored on a 2-yard run in the final seconds of the third quarter to put Tuskegee ahead, 20-10, for what proved to be the win­ning score. Fort Valley (1-4, 1-2 SIAC) held the Golden Tigers (4-0, 4-0 SIAC) scoreless in the fourth quarter and closed to within four points on a Skyler Thornton 47-yard touchdown reception from Garrett Williams with 3:41 to play.

No. 10 Florida A&M 28, No. 2 Tennessee State 21

Curtis Pulley ran for two touchdowns and passed for another to lead Florida A&M to a victory over Tennessee State in the 20th Atlanta Football Classic on Saturday.

Playing at the Georgia Dome before a crowd of 50,428, the Rattlers (3-1) won for the seventh straight time against the Tigers (4-0). FAMU led 21-0 early in the second quarter as Pulley, alternating at quarterback with Eddie Battle, scored on runs of 44 and 29 yards along with a 26-yard passing score. The last two games in the rivalry had been decided by a total of 18 points and TSU again made it close despite the big early deficit. Javarris Williams scored on a 3-yard run with 3:53 left and the Tigers got the ball back.

But Qier Hall intercepted an Antonio Heffner pass near the goal line inside the final minute. Pulley finished with 98 yards rushing and added 100 more yards on 9-for-13 passing for the Rattlers. Battle was 12 of 14 passing for 110 yards. Florida A&M coach Joe Taylor got his 200th career victory. The Rattlers accumulated 258 yards — 139 running and passing by Pulley — en route to a 28-14 halftime lead, scoring on four of five possessions in one stretch. TSU had 227 net yards at halftime. Florida A&M led 14-0 after the first quarter on a 26-yard pass from Pulley to Adrian Scott and Demetric Henrys 10-yard run, then made it 21-0 early in the second quarter on a 44-yard dash by Pulley.

Tennessee State rallied to cut the lead to 21-14 on a 4-yard run by Williams and Heffners 55-yard pass to Brandon Belvin. But the Rattlers went back up by two touchdowns on Pulleys 29-yard scamper late in the second quarter. Heffner was 10 of 17 passing for 176 yards in the first half, but lost two fumbles. He finished 20 of 37 for 241 yards and ran for 86 net yards. Phillip Sylvester gained 96 yards on 18 carries for Florida A&M.

No. 3 Prairie View A&M 28, Morehouse College 17

Donald Babers ran for 180 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries as Prairie View A&M rallied for a victory over Morehouse College in the Angel City Classic on Saturday at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. Anthony Beck also made two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown, for the Panthers (4-0).

Pickney Pernez scored twice for the Maroon Tigers (3-2). Christian Sterling threw for 328 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions while completing 32 of 51 passes. Morehouse took a 17-14 lead on Micah Streiff’s 22-yard field goal with 48 seconds left in the first half but Russell Ball scored on a 14-yard run to put PVA&M ahead 21-17 with 5:47 remaining in the third quarter. The Maroon Tigers drove to the Panthers’ 31 yardline before Beck’s second interception ended that drive with 8:18 to play.

Prairie View’s Moses Ellis finished the scoring by returning a bad snap 37 yards for a touchdown with 1:40 left. A power outage with 5:22 to play disabled the score board and prematurely ended Fox’s telecast, but the game clock operated on auxiliary power.

Benedict College 13, No. 5 Albany State 10

Lamont Downing’s touchdown run in the fourth quarter gave host Benedict its first victory against Albany State (3-1, 2-1 SIAC) in six years. Benedict (3-2, 2-1 SIAC) also scored on its first possession with a 73-yard pass from Robert Reese to Corey Gardhigh. Benedict blocked a 42-yard field goal try by Albany State at the end of the first half. Not even the quarterback combo of senior Kisan Flakes (11-of-20, 86 yards) and junior A.J. McKenna (6-of-12, 62 yards) would be enough for Albany State.

While Flakes would give the Golden Rams their only lead with a touchdown plunge late in the third quarter, it was Downing’s touchdown (a 48-yard run) with 4:42 remaining that sealed the win for the Tigers.

Central Connecticut State 28, No. 6 Delaware State 10

James Mallory ran for 123 yards and a touchdown to help Central Connecticut beat host Delware State on Saturday night. Mallory, who had 32 carries, helped the Blue Devils (3-1) gain 262 yards on the ground. It was Mallory’s fourth straight 100-yard game. CCSU took a to 21-7 lead, highlighted by Hunter Wanket’s 28-yard touchdown pass to Nick Colagiovanni with 43 seconds left in the first half. The Hornets (1-2) trimmed the lead t o 21-10 just before halftime connecting on a 34-yard field goal by Riley Flickinger with no time on the clock.

Alondre Rush blocked a second-quarter punt attempt by DSU’s Nick Lochner and it was recovered at the Hornets’ 1-yard-line and Eric Richardson scored two plays later to give CCSU a 7-0 lead.

Winton directed a 74-yard drive for DSU on the next possession, capping it with his own 6-yard touchdown rush to tie it at 7-7. The Blue Devils went ahead 14-7 with 6:05 left in the first half when Josh Vargas rushed from 15 yards out, ending a 4-play, 76-yard drive in 1:42.

No. 8 South Carolina State 43, Winston-Salem State 17

Malcolm Long threw for 261 yards and two touchdowns to lead South Carolina State to a victory against host Winston-Salem on Saturday night. Long completed 13 of 21 passes with no interceptions for the Bulldogs (3-2). William Ford led SCSU with 116 yards rushing on 19 carries and a touchdown. Octavius Darby added 108 yards receiving and a touchdown on three catches. Bryant Bayne caught 10 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown for the Rams (0-4), who were outgained 443-276 in the game. Tony White returned an interception 28 yards for a touchdown to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. WSSU kicker Adnan Kljajic made a 30-yard field goal in the opening quarter. But SCSU scored 28 unanswered points in the second quarter, which included Travil Jamison’s 2-yard touchdown run and Long’s 79-yard touchdown connection with Octavius Darby.

No. 9 Grambling State 13, Langston College 2

Luis Leal’s pair of first-half field goals were more than enough to give host Grambling State a win Saturday over NAIA foe Langston. The visitors outgained the Tigers 175 yards to 173 on the day, but GSU (3-2) held Langston to one-of-12 on third-down conversions. Leal hit from 35 yards in the first quarter and 34 yards in the second. Lionel Pierce sacked Tigers quarterback J.P. Tillman in the end zone late in third quarter for a safety to pull the Langston (3-2) within four points. But Greg Dillon, taking over under center for Tillman, found Nick Lewis for an 18-yard touchdown pass that iced it for Grambling. Dillon and Tillman combined to go 9-of-18 for just 48 yards. Danny Lowery was 11-of-28 for 66 yards for Langston.

Bethune-Cookman 33, No. 10 Norfolk State 17

Brian Sumlar scored three touchdowns to lead host Bethune-Cookman over Norfolk State on Saturday. Sumler finished the game with 69 rushing yards on 16 carries for the Wildcats (3-1, 1-1 MEAC). Maurice Francios led Bethune-Cookman with 186 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. DeAngelo Branche ran for 124 yards on 21 carries for the Spartans (2-3, 1-1). NSU outgained BCC 319-316, but had three turnovers in the fourth quarter. Sumlar scored on a 1-yard touchdown with 12:23 left in the second quarter. Norfolk State answered with a score on Dennis Brown’s 30-yard run.

Sumlar put Bethune-Cookman ahead 19-13 midway through the third with another 1-yard run, which would give the Wildcats the lead for good. After a 49-yard Justin Castellat field goal pulled Norfolk State within two points, Sumlar and Androse Bell added scoring runs of 3 and 2 yards to seal the game in the fourth quarter.

NOTE: No. 4 Hampton and No. 7 West Virginia State were idle.