Sports With Walter Moore


Savannah State 24 Fort Valley State 6

D’Vonn Gibbons ran for two touchdowns and D’Angelo Durham added another as Savannah State defeated Fort Valley State 24-6 in a game played at Wildcat Stadium on October 30.

The crowd of 4,568 saw SSU beat Fort Valley State at Wildcat Stadium for the first time since 1995.

The victory improved Savannah State’s overall record to 7-2 overall and 5-1 in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

SSU scored on their opening possession as Gibbons scored on a three yard run with six minutes left in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead. The drive covered 72 yards in 13 plays.

In the second quarter, Savannah State’s Jared Mack intercepted a FVSU swing pass and returned in 64 yards to the Wildcat one yard line before being tackled. One play later, Gibbons scored on a one yard run with 3:09 remaining in the first half for a 14-0 lead.

On the next FVSU possession, the Tigers intercepted another pass. This time it was Ny’em Bozeman who picked the pass off at the SSU six yard line and returned it 48 yards to the Wildcats 46. That led to a five yard touchdown run by Durham which gave Savannah State a 21-0 cushion with 20 seconds left before intermission.

Jared Mack
Jared Mack

FVSU had to punt on their following possession but the ball hit a Savannah State player and was recovered by the Wildcats at the SSU 27. That led to a 15 yard touchdown run by FVSU fullback Emmanuel Wilson which made the score 21-6 with 10:40 remaining in the third quarter.

Two possessions later, SSU drove to the Wildcat 12 where their drive stalled. Ken Lockhart kicked a 29 yard field goal to extend SSU’s lead to 24-6 at the 5:31 mark which ended up being the final score.

For the fifth time this season, the Savannah State defense held a opposing offense under 200 yards. Fort Valley State was limited to 190 yards.

The SSU defenders sacked the Wildcat quarterback four times while intercepting two passes. Brian Roberts had six tackles for the Tigers while Brandon Brown was in on five stops. Marlon Jackson had two sacks.

Ny’em Bozeman
Ny’em Bozeman

Savannah State had 211 yards of offense. Einaj Carter ran for 74 yards while Durham had 69 yards and a touchdown. Durham had SSU’s only reception which went for 27 yards.

Wilson ran for 130 yards and a touchdown for the Wildcats (5-4, 3-2 SIAC). He became the first player this season to run for over 100 yards against Savannah State. Antonio Golden, a Liberty County native, led the FVSU defense with 11 tackles and 3.5 tackles for losses.

Davenport To Oversee SSU Athletic Compliance

Tara Davenport has joined the Savannah State athletics department as the new associate athletics director for compliance and academics. She is also the Senior Women’s Administrator.

Prior to arriving at SSU, Davenport worked at Barry University as the Buccaneers assistant director of athletics for compliance and internal operations, since 2018.


A native of Chesterfield, Virginia, Davenport worked at St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she served from April 2017 to August 2018 as the assistant athletic director for compliance for the Falcon’s 14 varsity programs and over 250 student athletes.

Davenport was formerly the Compliance Coordinator at Bowie State University from 2012 to 2016. Prior to arriving at Bowie State, she was an intern in the CIAA Office from 2011 to 2012. Her main responsibility was assisting the compliance officer.

Davenport graduated from Bowie State in 2012 with a bachelor of science degree in Sports Management. She received her master of education degree in sports leadership and administration from Virginia Commonwealth University in the summer of 2018.

Tiger To Close Season Against Edward Waters

The Savannah State football team will close their 2021 season by hosting Edward Waters at Theodore Wright Stadium on November 6 at 5 p.m..

Brendan Jackson
Brendan Jackson

Edward Waters is in their first year in Division II and makes a return to the Southern Intercollegiate Conference. EWU was a member of the SIAC from 1930-35.

The football rivalry between SSU and Edward Waters dates back to 1930. EWU holds a 10-13-4 edge in the series. Savannah State has won the past three contest, averaging 45 points per game.

SSU enters the game coming off a 24-6 road win over Fort Valley State while Edward Waters was on the short end of a 16-9 setback to Miles.

Savannah State is ranked in the top 20 in several categories in Division II statistics. The Tigers are ninth in passes intercepted (13) and blocked punts (5), 12th in total defense (265.4 yards per game), 14th in fumbles recovered (10) and 17th in passing yards allowed per game (157.2).

SSU’s triple threat on offense is D’Vonn Gibbons, D’Angelo Durham and Einaj Carter. Gibbons has ran for 559 yards and seven touchdowns while throwing for 302 yards and two scores. Durham has rushed for 457 yards and seven touchdowns and Carter has 328 rushing yards and two touchdowns and 237 receiving yards while catching four touchdowns. Brendan Jackson has a team lading 34 tackles.

Eric Phoenix
Eric Phoenix

EWU (3-6) is averaging 24.6 points per game but giving up 33.8 points a game.

The Jacksonville, Florida based school is led by David Johnson (920 passing yards and 10 touchdowns), De’Shaun Hugee (420 rushing yards), Ferante Cowart (382 receiving yards), linebacker Ahmanuel Thorpe (49 tackles) and defensive lineman Ahmon Jefferson (48 tackles).

Phoenix Named Player of the Week

Savannah native Eric Phoenix has been named the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in leading Benedict College to a 24-21 win over Clark Atlanta University in a game played October 30, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.

In the game, the Windsor Forest High School graduate completed 27-of- 34 passes for 280 yards and three touchdowns against the Panthers. The 6-foot- 3 sophomore quarterback had one interception, and was not sacked. On the game-winning drive, he completed 4-of-6 passes and rushed twice for 17 yards.

Tigers Ranked 9th In Super Regional Rankings Following a big win over rival Fort Valley State, the Savannah State football team has moved into the polls and is ranked ninth in the latest 2021 NCAA Division II Super Region 2 Rankings, which were released on November 1.

Savannah State has a 7-2 overall record. Valdosta State and Albany State, the two teams that defeated the Tigers this season are also ranked.

Valdosta State (8- 0) is ranked number one followed by Bowie State (6- 0), Albany State (8-1), West Florida (6-1) and West Georgia (7-2). Mars Hill(6-2) is ranked sixth while Newberry (7-2) and West Alabama (6-2) are seventh and eighth respectively. SSU is ninth and Lenoir-Rhyne (6-2) is tenth.

Conferences that make up Super Region 2 are the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), Gulf South Conference (GSC), South Atlantic Conference (SAC) and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC).

The poll is the second of four regional rankings released by the football committee, which are used to determine the 28-team bracket for the NCAA Division II Football Playoffs. The top seven teams from each of the four regions in the final rankings on Sunday, Nov. 14 will advance to the Division II Playoffs, with the top seed receiving a first-round bye.

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