By Donald Hunt
For The Birmingham Times
Tuskegee University saw its season come to an end with a 45-26 loss to North Greenville in the NCAA Division II playoffs. Despite the loss, the Golden Tigers completed the season with a 9-3 overall record.
Tuskegee quarterback Kevin Lacey turned in a solid performance in the team’s final game of the season. Lacey connected on 22-of- 36 passes for 276 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He also had seven carries for 36 yards.
This was the fourth straight year the Golden Tigers have been to the playoffs. Tuskegee was ranked as high as No. 5 in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) coaches’ poll.
The Golden Tigers have garnered a number of honors this season. Lacey was named the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year. He connected on 148-of-261 passes for 2,232 yards with 20 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
On defense, Tuskegee was led by linebacker Osband Thompson who had 137 total and 69 solo tackles with 3.5 sacks. Thompson was named the SIAC Defensive Player of the Year.
In addition to the players, Tuskegee head coach Willie Slater had a big season. Slater picked up his 100th career win against Miles College on Nov. 5 at Legion Field in Birmingham. He just finished his 11th season at Tuskegee. During his career as the Golden Tigers’ mentor, he has captured three Black College National Championships and six SIAC crowns while guiding his team to four consecutive postseason appearances.
In other action, Alabama State defeated Miles College, 53-20, winning the Turkey Day Classic at ASU Stadium in Montgomery. ASU running back Khalid Thomas had 17 carries for 171 yards and two touchdowns. The Hornets’ quarterback Quinterris Toppings completed 17-of-24 passes for 166 yards and two TDs.
The top performers for Miles College were quarterback David Whipple who threw for 158 yards and two touchdowns completing 10-of-13 passes and wide receiver Earnest Bell had six receptions for 72 yards.
Alabama State finished with a 4-7 record overall while Miles College completed its year with a 5-5 overall mark.