Sports With Walter Moore


Savannah State Kicks Off Football Season

Savannah State started their Division I football farewell tour on August 30 with a 52-0 loss to Alabama-Birmingham, in a game played at Legion Field.

This is the Tigers last season playing at the FCS level. SSU administrators made the decision to move the athletics program to Division II in April 2017.

Savannah State made $275,000 from the game.

UAB scored on their first possession of the game, using a nine-play, 70- yard drive that was capped when Spencer Brown scored on a three yard run with 10:54 left in the opening quarter.

A pair of defensive turnovers led to the Blazers adding to their lead in the second quarter.

Chris Woolbright returned a interception 34 yards for a touchdown with just under eight minutes remaining and a interception by Brontae Harris set up a score with 4:55 left in the quarter. With 2:37 left before the half, Kingston Davis scored on a one yard run for a 28-0 cushion.

UAB scored on both of their possessions in the third quarter with Collin Lisa catching a touchdown pass and Nick Vogal kicking a field goal for a 38-0 lead.

Alabama-Bir- mingham tacked on a touchdown run early in the final quarter to push their advantage to 45-0.

Savannah State put together their best drive of the contest in the fourth quarter. The Tigers drove from their own 25 to the UAB 42 before being forced to punt.

UAB responded with a eight-play, 88 yard drive that ended with the final score of the evening and a 52-0 lead with 3:23 remaining.

The crowd of 27, 124 saw the Tiger offense pick up 178 yards with 155 coming on the ground. SSU also had ten penalties for 94 yards.

Rashad Saxton ran for 46 yards and Jaylen McCloud added 43 while D’Vonn Gibbons ran for 40 yards. The passing game struggled with Gibbons and TJ Bell combining to complete one pass in 17 attempts. D’Andre Snead had the lone reception for 23 yards.

Isaiah Bennett and Mulik Simmons each had nine tackles for the defense while John Wilson had a interception for the Tigers.

UAB’s offense rolled up 548 yards.

Albany State Teams Honored by City of Albany

Four of Albany State University’s athletic teams were honored by the City of Albany Board of Commissioners on August 28.

On behalf of the Board of Commissioners, Mayor Dorothy Hubbard presented Resolutions to the men’s golf, women’s cross country, softball and baseball teams who all captured SIAC Championships during the 2017-2018 school year.

The presentation took place at the Government Center Building at the start of the City Commission Meeting. The student-athletes and coaching staffs were invited to the front of the room where Mayor Hubbard offered remarks of congratulations and presented each team with a formal written Resolution from the City of Albany.

SSU Football: Looking Back to 1998

The 2018 football season will mark the 20th anniversary of Savannah State’s football defensive unit that produced one of the best defenses in Division II.

During the 1998 season under head coach Darryl McNeil, the Tigers defense led the nation in total defense and rushing defense. SSU was a member of the SIAC and led the conference in total defense, rush defense and pass efficiency defense.

SSU won their season opener on the road with a 16-2 win against Elizabeth City State but lost their second match-up to Bethune-Cookman (14-7) in the 45th Gateway Classic at Jacksonville’s Alltel Stadium.

Savannah State reeled off victories over Clark Atlanta (38-7), Lane (27-0) and Morehouse (34- 0) before suffering a 24-7 setback from Albany State in Macon’s inaugural Music City Classic. The Tigers bounced back with wins against Morris Brown (19-16) and Kentucky State (32-24). However, SSU would falter down the stretch, losing two of their last three games. SSU beat Miles 23-6 but that victory was sandwiched between losses to Fort Valley State (28-10) and Tuskegee 22-20.

The results were a 7-4 record, which also happens to be the last time a Savannah State football squad had a winning season.

Defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, who is now the head coach of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, was named the Div. II Defensive Coordinator of the Year by the American Football Coaches Magazine and Reggie Jackson and Shenarda Jones made the All-SIAC team.

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