Emanuel Wilson rushed for 265 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead Fort Valley State to a 21-6 win over Tuskegee (TU)in the Boeing Red Tails Classic on Sunday night in Montgomery, Alabama.

Every preseason honor bestowed on the Wildcats’ leading rusher was stamped justified. Wilson was named to the East-West Shrine Bowl 1000, a list of the top college players eligible for the 2023 NFL Draft and post-season all-star games.

Serious Fort Valley State fans may see a lot of similarities between Wilson and former Wildcats star Derrick Wimbush. Wimbush. A 2004 Harlon Hill Trophy runner-up, signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2005. The 230-lb running back finished his collegiate career with 3,188 yards that included 1,840 yards and 22 touchdowns in his senior season.

In addition to their similar heights 6’1”, weights of ~230 lbs, and first two letters of their last name W-I, the duo have a bruising running style complemented by surprising speed. Wilson displayed that speed in the 4th quarter when he busted loose for an 87-yard jaunt and score.

“We tried to make sure we got E-man (Emanuel Wilson) the ball and allow him to make plays for us,” said Wildcats Head Coach Shawn Gibbs.

Fort Valley jumped on the Golden Tigers taking their first offensive drive 65 yards in for a score. Freshman quarterback Kelvin Durham had Wilson on his hip but decided to keep it running untouched for a 10-yard touchdown.

The score ballooned to 14-0 after a 9-play, 98-yard drive finished off by Wilson’s 3-yard plunge.

Tuskegee fought back on the ensuing offensive series thanks in part to a 60-yard kick-off return from Grantis Poole. A 15-yard pass from Alabama State transfer quarterback Ryan Nettles became a gain of 28 yards following a targeting penalty on the TU defensive back. Two plays later, Nettles put the Golden Tigers on the board with a 10-yard strike to a sliding Jordan Ogletree.

Rain returned to the Cramton Bowl in the third quarter. Both teams mounted 12-play drives in the third that did nothing more than eat up the clock.

On the first snap of the Wildcats’ second possession of the fourth quarter, Wilson ran through the middle of the defense untouched.

Tuskegee mounted an 11-play drive but came up empty after stalling at the Wildcats’ 25.

Next Up

Tuskegee travels north to play Hampton University (1-0). The Pirates prospered over the weekend defeating Howard University 31-28 in the battle of the HUs – you know.

Fort Valley State returns home where they will host Kentucky State (0-1). The Thorobreds dropped their season opener to Delta State 10-33.

Game Photo Gallery

All photos credit Jason McDonald, JM Photography for CORE360 Sports

Tuskegee - Fort Valley State