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Saturday, November 15, 2014
CIAA championship game

Beautiful day for football. Winton-Salem State side is packed with a sea of red. Virginia State has a nice crowd but folks are still coming in or tailgating outside. Was told over 40 members of media are here. All I care about is I'm inside where it's warm.The last time the game was at Durham County Stadium, a blow occurred between former commissioner Leon Kerry and a couple of the presidents. Kerry was fired the following week.

Touchdown Trojans! Defensive back Dontrell Jones picks up fumble by Mustafa Greene and returns it 64 yds for score. VSU leads 7-0 wth 10:05 left in first quarter.

Durham County Stadium is not big enough for this game. Folks are on top of folks. The coaches on both teams are in booths. Last time they were outside and it wasn't pretty. Fans didn't hesitate to let them know what kind of job they were doing. And of course we have the Commissioner's box.

Virginia State fans have the advantage. They are sitting on the sunny side. Rams folks are bundled up, but loud.

Trojans are moving the ball wee on second possession of game. At the WSSU 41. Trojans have used up almost the entire first quarter. Now at Rams 25.Kavon Bellamy went out after a great leaping catch but fell on the ball and had the wind knocked out of him.

End of 1st quarter - 7-0 Trojans lead and threatening again

Oh yeah, Trojans are starting a freshman QB Niko Johnson because starting sophomore QB Tarian Ayres was suspended for allegedly driving under the influence and being underage drinker. Trojans have 15 plays so far in this drive. Johnson runs for the end zone but fumbles. Elder Hudson III recovers fumble for VSU in end zone. Trojans lead 14-0 with 12:55 left in 1st half.

Rams playing like they've never been in the title game before right now. QBs overthrowing receivers, fumbling the ball. Trojans are fired up.

Trojans on the move again. Johnson hasn't missed in hitting his receivers. Rams fans in shock.

Trojans go for it on 4th-and-2 at Rams 22 but are denied. Will this wake up the Rams? 4:15 left in the first half.

Touchdown Rams! Phil Sims throws a 38-yd pass to Eric Williams. That 4th-down stop did fire up the Rams. Instead of 17-0 or 21-0, it's 14-7 with 1:18 left in half.

Now it's the Rams turn to be fired up. But neither team can score again. End of first half. 

Virginia State band is on the field. Enough horse hair out there to start a horse farm. Ladies and gentlemen, we had a wardrobe malfunction ala Janet Jackson.  Of course a man in the press box up here noticed it first.

Members of the media are still upset over the snub from the football banquet. We were not allowed in for the first time ever. Expect to hear more about that.

And we're off in the second half. Debate's been going on if two CIAA teams will get in if Trojans win. Or does the winner take all. Personally, I can't see the Rams not getting a shot based on reputation alone, and that's how a lot of the white schools get a berth.

VSU RB Kavon Bellamy fumbles and Rams recover at the Trojans 26. 9:56 left in 3rd quarter.

Rudy Johnson returns the favor and fumbles. Ray Prosise recovers. Trojans at own 14. Rams defense holds.

WSSU defensive lineman Jac'Que Polite is down with 6:02 left in third. Is helped off the field.

Rams and Trojans defenses have taken center stage. 3 minutes left in 3rd and no score so far from either team.

End of 3rd quarter. Still 14-7, which I'm sure is just fine with Trojans. Great crowd at Durham County Stadium. 

Bad punt has Rams at VSU 28. Tyree Massey runs 11 yards to 16. Someone mentioned that dreaded word: OVERTIME. NOOOOO! Touchdown Rams! Sims hits Brendan Felder for 20 yards. And we're tied at 14 all. What a game! You always want these type of games on national TV. Best recruiting tool  there is.

Trojans fumble the ball! Conor O'Neal recovers for WSSU.  Rams at VSU 30 with 11:11 left in game. WSSU gets first down. At the 19. Rams fumble but get the ball back. Mustafa Greene gives WSSU first down at 9. 8:07 left.

Daryl Simmons just got a big sack on Sims. Rams forced for 29-yard FG. Makes it. Leads 17-14.

Trojans driving. Johnson just threw a beautiful 38-yard pass to Kavon Bellamy. VSU at Rams 31. Touchdown Trojans! Johnson runs 25 yards for TD with 3 minutes left. 21-7 Trojans lead.

Rams start at own 29. In hurry-up offense. Sims runs ball at VSU 44 with 1:31 left. 4th and 11 at VSU 46. 43.3 seconds left. This is it for the Rams.

A new CIAA champion will be crowned.  35.9 seconds left and VSU has ball.

I've never seen a bunch of people exit a game like those Rams. it took all of 3 seconds to clear their side. Rams players are inconsolable. Niko Johnson was named game's MVP.  Tarian Ayres just may have dranked himself out of a starting job next season. Johnson was 12 of 19 for 128 yards, no TDs and no INTs. Johnson was also the game's leading rushing with 76 yards.

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Fathers Forever - 8/22

Read the latest from our guest blog from Fathers Forever, here.

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Friday, July 25, 2014
MEAC Football Luncheon

Bethune-Cookman Athletics Director Lynn Thompson missed his calling. He should be on radio. Thompson introduced the MEAC football coaches at today’s luncheon in Norfolk, Va. The conference really goes all out for its football coaches – dimmed lights, pulsating music. By the time it’s over, you are ready for some football.

New N.C. Central coach Jerry Mack was well supported with a busload of Eagle Club supporters in the house who didn’t take too kindly to the Eagles being picked to finish 8th. They booed associate commissioner Patricia Porter as she read the ranking.

Legendary football coach Willie Jeffries again was the keynote speaker and, to be honest, some members of the media groaned because they thought Jeffries was going to tell those same old tired jokes. We were all pleasantly surprised. He was in rare form. So much so that he’s going to get a separate blog tomorrow, but here’s a pre-taste: “My wife and I have been married for 52 years. How have we done it? We go to dinner twice a week; dim the lights, have some good food and music. She goes on Tuesday, and I go on Thursday.”

• Bethune-Cookman coach Brian Jenkins used his 3 minutes at the podium to plead the cause of all HBCUs. “HBCUs are in serious trouble. I challenge everyone to support our universities.” Jenkins said he’s given over $8,000 to Bethune in his four years in various capacities.

• Delaware State coach Kermit Blount recently wore red pumps for charity to protest violence against women. “If you find any pictures of me on the Internet in red pumps, it was for a good cause,” Blount said. “I have a new respect for women.”

• New Hampton coach Connell Maynor was much more subdued than his CIAA days. And he seemed to know what folks were thinking. “All y’all think I’m cocky. It’s because I know what my God can do,” said Maynor who is a professed born-again Christian. Then he issued this warning: “You picked me to finish 7th, that’s not gonna happen.”

• Leave it to the white guy to get the party started. Norfolk State coach Pete Adrian brought the house down with a revised version of The Temptations’ I Wish It Would Rain, and a breakdown dance after his speech. Priceless!

• N.C. A&T coach Rod Broadway had the most introspective speech. Broadway said his life has gone through three stages: the first was all about providing for his family; the second was to climb the career ladder; and now the third, which is to make a difference in young men’s lives. Doesn’t mean he still doesn’t want to win, though.

• Mack talked a little smack. He said NCCU is second to none and won’t back down to anyone. “I’m disappointed that we’re picked 8th. I’m not new to this, I’m true to this.”

Now, are you ready for some football!

 

Predicted order of finish:

1.      Bethune-Cookman                                            

2.      South Carolina State                                         

3.      North Carolina A&T                                            

4.      Howard                                                                                         

5.      Delaware State                                                

6.      Norfolk State                                                     

7.     Hampton                                                             

8.     North Carolina Central                                       

9.    Morgan State                                                         

 ** Florida A&M and Savannah State are not eligible for postseason competition, therefore they are not listed on the above prediction order.

 

 

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Fathers Forever - 6/26

Read the latest from our guest blog, Fathers Forever, here.

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Green Tie Awards

Several state legislators were honored for their activism on environmental issues at Tuesday's 2014 Green Tie Awards in Raleigh.

Senator of the year – Angela Bryant for her "consistent ability to prioritize protecting our environment when making hard decisions....and providing real leadership over the years on key issues at the intersection of environment and social justice."

Representative of the year – Larry Hall for his "sponsorship and votes for sound environmental legislation, being proactive on environmental issues and his record."

Rising stars: senators' Valerie Foushee and Mike Woodard; reps. Nathan Baskerville, Carla Cunningham, George Graham, Duane Hall, Yvonne Lewis Holley, Bobbie Richardson and Evelyn Terry.

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Jerry Mack at Durham Sports Club, Part 1

N.C. Central football coach Jerry Mack was the keynote speaker Wednesday at the Durham Sports Club. Mack was escorted by his “bodyguards,” assistant athletic director George “Bulldog” Smith and running backs coach Adrian Jones.

A near capacity crowd at Croasdaile Country Club listened as Mack, an Arkansas State graduate, began with an overview of his highly traveled career, beginning with his first job out of college at Delta State as a graduate assistant at the barely legal age of 21.

“I learned a lot at Delta State,” he said. “First, don’t watch the clock. You have to have a passion for what you do. Second, sacrifice. I had a chance to take a job at my alma mater, but it was not the right situation for me at the time. I had to tell my wife, who was home with a 1 year old, that I was not coming back home to take the job, I was staying at Delta State. It’s not a conversation you want to have with your wife. But Delta State is where I developed my craft. Third, I learned to manage my time. And fourth, I learned to recruit. The players at Delta State were just as old as I was or older.”

On his stint at Jackson State:

“That community is what Durham could become. It is a great community. Young men grow up wanting to play at JSU. I want the same thing in Durham –high school athletes at Southern Durham, Hillside, Northern, Jordan – players that want to play for NCCU.”

On Central Arkansas:

“Central Arkansas was detail-oriented program. The same athletics director that was at Delta State when I was there was at Central Arkansas and he hired me. So I tell players you never know who you’ll meet again so don’t burn your bridges. Central Arkansas got the most out of players. That’s why I say hard work beats top talent if the top talent doesn’t work hard.”

On Arkansas Pine-Bluff:

“This was my first opportunity as a (offensive) coordinator and where I grew as a coach. But I made some mistakes. I told God ‘If you just let me be an offensive coordinator again or head coach, I won’t make the same mistakes.’ “

On University of Memphis:

“Going home is not always what you expect. (Mack is a native of Memphis, Tenn.) We lived up the street from my parents. I wouldn’t make that same mistake again. My kids loved it, my wife not so much.”

On South Alabama:

“Great staff. Mobile, Alabama, is the best city I’ve worked in. The kids played hard. We lost five games by two points or less, but we ended up winning our last four games. They never gave up.”

 

Dang, it’s 1:41 a.m. Thursday morning.

Part 2 will be Mack’s interview process for the job and the response from the Eagle community so far.

 

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
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