Morehouse slugged it out with defending SIAC champion Miles for 30 minutes. The Golden Bears scored two touchdowns out of the break to take the lead and the game 37-14.
“We played Alabama State a FCS opponent and Southern, so we got beat up pretty bad,” said Miles College head coach Rucker. “We got a lot of freshmen linebackers and a couple of safety guys that’s not playing and been out for a year, so we kind of shuffled new guys in at practice. It was tough, but they had to keep playing to learn how to play.”
Next Man Up
Defensive backs Graderius Brown and Denzel Davis went down with injuries in those games and have yet to return. Linebacker Mitchell Smiley (9) was moved to strong safety to replace Davis. Freshman William Hardy (51) and sophomore Jalen McWhite (54) got their first starts of the season at linebacker.
McWhite picked up his first interception of the season in the fourth quarter to go along with four tackles and a sack. Not a bad start at all. Smiley had 11 tackles from the strong safety spot. Sophomore linebacker Andrew Gaylor had a day with 9 tackles and a sack.
How it Started
Quarterback Claude Newell led the Miles offense to a 94-yard touchdown drive on the Golden Bears’ second possession. Newell threw only one pass on the drive but it was a doozy. Tight end Montavious Tinch was on the other end of the pass with space to run. The 230-pounder rumbled down inside the 10 before being pushed out of bounds by Daniel Norman. Kingston Davis carried it the rest of the way to put the Golden Bears up 6-0. The snap on the ensuing extra point attempt sailed over kicker Jackson Spradlin’s head. The junior wisely jumped on the ball but the miscue left the door open for the Maroon Tigers.
Morehouse took the jab and countered with a lead. Santo Dunn (Griffin HS) ripped off a 33-yard run to the Miles College 1-yard line. Seconds later, the senior capped the drive punching it in over the right side. Fernando Sdelamora’s kick split the uprights to give the Maroon Tigers a 7-6 lead.
Both offenses added touchdowns in the second quarter. Newell hit a wide-open Cohen Hudson for a 24-yard touchdown strike. Hudson was so open he jogged into the end zone. Can you say missed assignment? It seemed to be a theme with the Maroon Tigers.
Frank Bailey, Jr. and Earnest Davis put the Maroon Tigers on their backs. The pair rushed for all of the drive’s 52 yards. Davis carried it the final 2 yards and the kick from Sdelamora gave Morehouse a 14-13 halftime lead.
How it Ended
Morehouse looked to extend their lead out of the break with a field goal but Sdelamora’s 38-yard attempt sailed wide left. The missed opportunity compounded the Maroon Tigers’ second-half woes.
Newell picked up where he left off finding Jaih Andrews wide open near the Maroon Tigers’ 20. Another case of blown coverage resulted in six more points for the Golden Bears. Five different receivers caught 8 passes from Newell for 207 receiving yards.
Andrews and Newell repeated their exploits from the previous series with a 24-yard pitch and catch for six. Jalen Girtman was there on the coverage but the 160-pound junior was unable to keep the bigger freshman from twisting and stretching over the goal line. The play capped an 11-play, 84-yard drive.
Morehouse, however, had an opportunity to get off the field on the drive. The Maroon Tigers’ defense forced the Golden Bears into a 4th and 2 situation at the 30. Davis used every ounce of his 220 pounds to pop through the line for a 3-yard gain.
Michael Sims and company threatened twice in the second half. Each time the Maroon Tigers crossed into Miles’s territory, Sims ended up sacked on third down.
Miles added a touchdown and a field goal in the final quarter to round out the scoring. Miles moves to 1-0 in the conference while Morehouse drops to 0-1.
Miles will have their home opener after three weeks on the road. They will face the Central State Marauders (1-2) who are fresh off being on the wrong end of a 52-0 beating by Shaw University.
The schedule maker was not kind to the Maroon Tigers. They travel down I-16 to face Savannah State (2-1). The Orange Tigers out-roared the Benedict Tigers 41-34 in a hard-fought contest at Theodore A. Wright Stadium on Saturday.
Game Photo Gallery
All photos by Jason McDonald, JM Photography for CORE360 Sports