An 0-4 start with three by a touchdown or less is a tough way to start the season. It is even tougher when your arch-rival five feet away is enjoying an undefeated season. Roger Thomas rushed for a team-high 115 yards and a touchdown to lead Clark Atlanta to a much-needed 31-6 win over Allen University.
The Panthers scored 21 unanswered points in the first quarter and never looked back. Quarterback Elijah Odom led it off. The junior transfer from Texas Southern abandoned the pocket and walked 24 yards into the end zone.
Allen struggled to get out of their own way. The Yellow Jackets were unable to cross midfield until the second quarter.
Interceptions by freshmen Corey King and Marvin Maddox kept the Panthers’ offense off the board. Maddox stepped in front of a pass from Odom at the goal line with 20 seconds remaining in the first half.
The visitors from Columbia, South Carolina were gifted great field position at the Panthers’ 33 after Diquan Brown recovered the fumbled punt by Caleeb Roberson. Panthers defensive end Kameron Rogers and linebacker Tyrone Mixon dropped freshman quarterback Gary Tyner for a loss of seven yards. The Yellow Jackets squandered their next two downs and the best opportunity to put points on the board.
Myles White gave the Yellow Jackets another shot with a 23-yard punt return close to midfield. Freshman Ashton Duncan guided the offense down to the 25 before running out of gas.
Allen erased the goose egg on the scoreboard with their final possession of the contest with a 6-play 65-yard drive. Jermain Alston broke loose for a 30-yard gain down to the Panthers’ 28 with 3 minutes to play. After scrambling twice for 16 yards, Tyner delivered a pass to Diquan Brown just inside the goal line. Brown wrestled the ball from freshman defensive back Ronnell Jackson for the Yellow Jackets’ only score.
All photos by Jason McDonald, JM Photography for CORE360 Sports