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BASN’S HBCU DESK, Vol.VI
BASN’S HBCU DESK, VOL VI
By Anthony McClean, Editor – in – Chief Emeritus
NEW HAVEN, CT (BASN): One year ago, the football fortunes of Morehouse College and Grambling State were taking a beating on and off the field. Following a modest 2-2 start, Morehouse would lose at home to crosstown rival Clark Atlanta 21-17. The defeat would be the start of a season-ending, six-game losing streak that gave the Maroon Tigers a 2-8 mark for the campaign.
Meanwhile, the 2013 struggles of Grambling State have been well chronicled. The firing of head coaches Doug Williams and Dennis “Dirt” Winston along with the much publicized players boycott — due to unfit conditions within the team practice facilities — played a huge role in one of the worse seasons (1-11, 1-8 SWAC) in the Tigers’ long storied history.
What a difference a year makes for both teams. Heading into this weekend, both schools are unbeaten in league play (Morehouse 2-0 in the SIAC East, Grambling 3-0 in the SWAC West) and sit atop their respective standings. They’ll both face a conference rival in a pivotal league contest this Saturday as well.
For the Maroon Tigers (4-1 overall), they’ll go up the road to A.J. McClung Stadium in Columbus and meet Tuskegee (3-2, 2-0) in the 79th Tuskegee-Morehouse Classic. Last week, the Golden Tigers outlasted Fort Valley State 35-28 in a turnover marred contest. Morehouse avenged last year’s loss to Clark Atlanta with a 20-7 win over the Panthers last week. Tuskegee leads the all-time 68-28-7 including last year’s 54-10 victory.
The game, scheduled for a 5:00 pm ET start, will be seen nationally on Aspire TV and can be heard on HSRN.
BEST IN THE WEST vs. BEST IN THE EAST
Riding a three-game winning streak following an 0-3 start, Grambling State will be hosting a team that’s just as hot as they are. The Braves of Alcorn State (5-1) are heading into Robinson Stadium sitting atop the SWAC’s Western Division at 3-0. They compiled 608 yards in total offense in their 33-7 victory over Alabama State at Spinks-Casem Stadium last week. ASU leads the conference in scoring (44.7 ppg) and rushing (330.2 ypg).
They are in the middle of a four game winning streak and have yet to allow an opponent to score over 16 points in a game this season. The Tigers jumped out to a 24-0 lead last week against Alabama A&M and outlasted the Bulldogs 38-28. GSU is looking to snap a two-game losing streak to ASU including last year’s 48-0 shutout in the Circle City Classic.
The Tigers lead the all-time series 37-19.
OTHER KEY GAMES
MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE at JACKSON STATE
One of the most anticipated games on the HBCU schedule will take place in Jackson. Former JSU head coach Rick Comegy, who led the Tigers to the 2007 SWAC crown as well as back-to-back trips to the title game in the last two seasons, returns to Veterans Memorial Stadium after not having his contract renewed. The game will also be highlighted by the quarterback duel between the Ivy brothers — Patrick for MVSU and Lamontiez. Since their 2-1 start, the Tigers have dropped three straight including home games against Grambling State and Prairie View A&M. The Delta Devils haven beaten JSU since 1994.
DELAWARE STATE at NORFOLK STATE
The Spartans (2-4, 2-0 MEAC) will seeking their first 3-0 start in conference play since 2011 when they host the Hornets (1-5, 1-1) for their Homecoming game. Pete Adrian’s squad, who outlasted Savannah state 14-7 last week, will look to stop a two-game losing streak to Delaware State. The Hornets lost to Bethune-Cookman 27-7 last week. However, they do lead the all-time series against NSU 15-6.
ELIZABETH CITY STATE at VIRGINIA STATE
Fresh off handing Livingstone their first loss of the season, the Vikings (2-3, 1-1 CIAA)will look to maintain their momentum against the streaking Trojans (3-2, 2-0). Authors of a three-game winning streak, VSU has used defense to stay unbeaten in the conference. They’ve done it by limiting opponents to 31 percent (18 of 59) on third down conversations on the season. ECSU compiled over 400 yards of offense in last week’s 59-21 rout of the Blue Bears at Roebuck Stadium.
North Carolina A&T 31, Hampton 14: Tarik Cohen ran for 155 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries and caught three passes for 81 yards and another score in North Carolina A&T’s victory over visiting Hampton Thursday night. Desmond Lawrence added 82 yards and touchdown on two carries for the Aggies (5-2, 2-1 MEAC).
Hasaan Klugh was 13 of 17 for 167 yard and a touchdown, a 68-yarder to Cohen in the second quarter. North Carolina A&T rallied to take the lead in the third quarter. Marquell Cartwright tied it with a 2-run and Cohen gave the Aggies a 20-14 lead with a 60-yard run late in the period.
Lawrence scored on a 68-yard run early in the fourth and Klugh completed a pass to Dequan Swann for a two-point conversion to make it 28-14. Cody Jones completed the scoring with a 23-yard field goal. Jaylian Williamson was 16 of 26 for 182 yards and a touchdown for Hampton (1-5, 0-2). Jorrian Washington ran for 71 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.