Tuskegee remained unbeaten and continued its dominance of Morehouse with a 28-19 victory against the Maroon Tigers in the 81st Tuskegee-Morehouse Classic in Columbus, Ga., Saturday. The win was the fifth in a row for the Golden Tigers (6-0, 4-0 SIAC) against their conference rival and the 12th in the last 13 times that the teams have met.
The Golden Tigers got off to a sluggish start and led 7-0 at the half, Quarterback Kevin Lacey got them rolling with his passing after intermission as Morehouse set its defense to stop Tuskegee’s running game. The Maroon Tigers limited Tuskegee to just 35 yards on the ground. Lacey, a fifth-year senior, stepped up with 300 passing yards and four touchdowns while completing 18 of 19 attempts. Lacey’s touchdown throws included third-quarter bombs of 60 yards to Desmond Reece and 50 yards to Dekendrick Moncrief.
Still, Morehouse remained within striking distance of the lead, only trailing 21-19 going into the fourth quarter. The Maroon Tigers (2-4, 1-2 SIAC) were able to stay close thanks to their defense, which scored twice by returning fumble recoveries for touchdowns after. quarterback Monquavious Johnson scored Morehouse’s first touchdown on a nine-yard run that made the score 14-7. Tuskegee was able to hold on to the lead by thwarting two Morehouse two-point conversion attempts.
The Golden Tigers extended their lead when Lacey threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Javarrius Cheatham 13:47 left in the game. Jonah McCutcheon’s pass interception with 1:48 left in the game killed any hope Morehouse had of rallying to win.
Tuskegee had a stellar defensive performance. The Golden Tigers limited Morehouse to 176 total yards, including just 33 on the ground, forced three turnovers, had four quarterback sacks and blocked two field goals.
Eastern Illinois 35, Tenn. State 34 — Quarterback Ronald Butler had a career high in passing yards, but it wasn’t enough to save the Tigers from an OVC road loss, their first defeat of the season. Butler threw for 303 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Big Blue (4-1, 1-1 OVC) rallied from a 21-10 halftime deficit and took a 34-28 lead with 14:48 remaining in the contest. Tennessee State took the lead on Butler’s 44-yard touchdown pass to Steven Newbold. However, Eastern Illinois responded with a 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive to regain the lead, and the Leathernecks’ defense made the advantage stand up. Butler led Tennessee State on a drive that put the Tigers in position to recapture the lead. He marched the Tigers 48 yards to Eastern Illinois’ 29-yard line in 10 plays, but Lane Clark missed a 46-yard field goal with 3:00 left on the clock. Clark connected on a 52-yard field goal at the end of the first half. It was the third longest of his career.
North Carolina A&T 35, Norfolk State 0 – Senior running back Tarik Cohen ran his way into the MEAC record books while leading the Aggies to an easy home conference victory Thursday night. Cohen, the MEAC Offensive Player of the Year each of the past two seasons, rushed for 200 yards on 23 carries to become the MEAC’s career rushing leader with 4,7,02 yards. He broke previous record of 4,660, which was set by Will Ford (South Carolina State, 2006-09). Cohen went past Ford on a 62-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.
The run gave Cohen his sixth career 200-yard rushing game of his career and broke former Aggies star Maurice Hicks’ record of five. Cohen also had 19 receiving yards, giving him a school record 5,849 career all-purpose yards. Former Aggies kick returner/receiver Herbert Harbison held the previous record with 5,383 career all-purpose yards. Wide receiver Denzel Keyes also got into the record book for North Carolina A&T with his 20th career touchdown reception on a three-yard catch from backup quarterback Oluwafemi Bamiro, who entered the game when starter Lamar Raynard was injured earlier in the quarter. North Carolina A&T (4-1, 2-0 MEAC), No. 18 in the FCS rankings, held Norfolk State (1-5, (0-3 MEAC) to 137 yards total offense, including just 26 on the ground.
North Carolina Central 17, Florida A&M 13 – The Eagles overcame foul weather that limited their offensive production with a strong second-half performance in a home MEAC victory. Heavy rain and wind gusts from Hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc on both teams’ offenses most of the game. North Carolina Central (4-2, 3-0 MEAC) only mustered 10 yards total offense in the first half. Florida A&M (1-5, 1-2 MEAC) led 5-3 going into the third period thanks to a safety and Colby Blanton’s 34-yard field goal.
North Carolina Central got untracked after halftime and took a 10-5 lead on a 42-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Malcolm Bell to LeVontis Smith at 11:24 of the fourth quarter. Florida A&M regained the lead, 13-10, midway through the period on Devin Bowers’ 18-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion. A bad snap by the Eagles on a punt gave Florida A&M the ball at North Carolina Central’s 18-yard line and put the Rattlers in position for the score. Dorrel McCain scored the winning touchdown on a 25-yard run with 4:54 remaining in the game. North Carolina Central recovered from its anemic first-half offensive showing with 209 yards total offense in the second half with 118 coming in the fourth quarter.
Alcorn State 42, Alabama A&M 19 – Quarterback Lemorris Footman returned to the lineup after missing a game and led the Braves to a SWAC East road win. Footman accounted for five touchdowns as the Braves (2-3, 2-2 SWAC) snapped a three-game losing streak, Footman ran for three touchdowns and passed for two more. He had 254 total yards, 132 passing and 122 rushing. Alcorn was clinging to a 21-19 lead going into the fourth before scoring 21 unanswered points to pull away. Alabama A&M 1-5, 1-4 SWAC) led 16-14 at the half.
Bethune-Cookman at South Carolina State, postponed (Hurricane Matthew)
Hampton 27, Delaware State 17
Morgan State at Savannah State, postponed (Hurricane Matthew)
Monmouth 59, Howard 27
Alcorn State 42, Alabama A&M 19
Montana 67, Miss. Valley State 7
Prairie View A&M 24, Alabama State 17
Bowie State 21, Chowan 14
Fayetteville State 7, Shaw 6
Saint Augustine’s 38, Elizabeth City State 37
Virginia State 44, Elizabeth City State 38
Virginia Union 39, Lincoln (Pa.) 6
Winston-Salem 15, Johnson C. Smith 14
Albany State at Charleston Southern, Cancelled (Hurricane Matthew)
Benedict 19, Lane 18
Miles 36, Central State 0
Clark Atlanta 27, Shorter 23
Kentucky State 26, Fort Valley State 10
Eastern Illinois 35, Tennessee State 34
Lock Haven 51, Cheyney 12
Lyon College 35, Texas College 21
Notre Dame (Ohio) 48, West Virginia State 21
Saint Joseph’s 27, Lincoln (Mo.) 17
Webber International at Edward Waters, postponed (Hurricane Matthew)