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Tigers Move To 8th In Regional Rankings

Following the 24-0 win over Edward Waters along with West Alabama’s 47-7 loss to West Florida, Savannah State moved up one spot to eighth in the latest 2021 NCAA Division II Super Region 2 Rankings, which were released on November 8.

West Alabama was previously ranked seventh while SSU was ninth.

In the latest rankings, the top seven teams remained the same as last week with Valdosta State being number one followed by Bowie State, Albany State, West Florida, West Georgia, Mars Hill and Newberry. SSU is now eighth followed by Lenoir-Rhyne and newcomer Fayetteville State.

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 third 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.

Einaj Carter
Einaj Carter

Savannah State 24 Edward Waters 0

Savannah State closed out the 2021 regular season with a 24-0 win over visiting Edward Waters, in a game played at Memorial Stadium on November 6, 2021.

It was Savannah State’s first time playing at Memorial since the 2010 season.

The game was played at Memorial Stadium instead of Theodore A. Wright Stadium because of poor field conditions. The move to Memorial Stadium was also made possible by a couple of Savannah State graduates in Chester Ellis and Steve Proper. Ellis is the chairman of the Chatham County Board of Commissioners while Proper is the Chatham County director of parks and recreation. Ellis played quarterback for the Tigers in the early 1970s and served as an assistant coach from the late 70s to mid- 1980s.

Kenneth Lockhart
Kenneth Lockhart

Because of the change in venue, the contest wentfroma5p.m.starting time to kicking off at 9:30 p.m. The game was over a few minutes before midnight.

Savannah State scored with two seconds left in the first quarter as Gibbons threw a seven yard touchdown pass to Einaj Carter for a 7-0 lead.

Kenneth Lockhart kicked a 42-yard field goal for SSU with 3:30 left in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead which stood for the rest of the opening half.

Early in the fourth quarter D’Angelo Durham broke lose for a 34-yard touchdown run to open up a 17-0 lead. With 8:32 remaining in the contest, Gibbons ran for a 54-yard touchdown for the final points of the game.

The 24-point victory was SSU’s first shutout since beating Morehouse 34-0 on September 26, 1998.

Gibbons ran for 127 yards and a touchdown for SSU while throwing for 61 yards and a touchdown. Durham added 102 rushing yards and a touchdown while Carter caught two passes for 30 yards and a score. Linebacker Tim Campbell had eight tackles for the defense while freshman Jamaal McKinney had three sacks.

Le’Andrea Gillis
Le’Andrea Gillis

Savannah State had 367 yards of offense while holding Edward Waters (3-7) to 109 yards. The SSU defense also had seven sacks.

The win improved SSU’s overall record to 8-2. The eight wins tied a school record which was set by three other SSU teams in 1989 (8-1), 1992 (8-4) and 1994 (8-3). The ‘89 and ‘92 teams were coached by Bill Davis while the ‘94 team was under the direction of Joe Crosby.

Tigers Tip Off Basketball Season

Its basketball season

at Savannah State. Savannah State will play an exhibition doubleheader against the Fort Stewart Army teams on Nov. 10 in Tiger Arena to open the 2021-22 season. The Tigers open the regular season on Nov. 16 at Saint Leo University in Florida. The Lady Tigers open their season on Nov. 20 against Morris College in Tiger Arena.

Trey DeLoach
Trey DeLoach

In the preseason rankings, the Lady Tigers were voted to finish in second place in the SIAC East Division while the Tigers were voted to finish fifth in the SIAC East.

The Savannah State women will be led by Le’Andrea Gillis and Amari Heard. Gillis was named to the preseason All-SIAC First team and Heard was named to the Second team.

Gillis led the Lady Tigers during the successful 2019-20 season, averaging 18.1 points a game and 5.9 rebounds. Heard was key to the Lady Tigers year as well, averaging 9.0 points and 7.7 rebounds a game. The Lady Tigers finished 15-8 and 10-7 in their first year of competition back in the SIAC.

Trey DeLoach garnered accolades for the SSU men, earning preseason All-SIAC Second team honors. DeLoach averaged 10.7 points a game during the 2019-20 season and 6.0 rebounds while making 51 percent of his shots from the floor.

Chance Competes In Cross Country Regionals

Kayla Chance
Kayla Chance

Savannah State cross country runner Kayla Chance was among 131 runners in the women’s portion of the NCAA DII South Regional Cross Country Championship that took place on November 6 in Tampa, Florida at the Abbey Golf Course.

The Savannah native completed the 6k course with a time of 24:51 which was good enough for 66th place.

Chance won the 2021 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Championship individual title on October 22 running a 19:29.0 in the women’s 5k. The title granted her a chance at a postseason run.

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