By Donald Hunt
For The Birmingham Times
It’s not easy to win a playoff game on the road. It requires a huge effort, but Tuskegee was up to the task edging host Newberry, 35-33, in the first round of the NCAA Division II playoffs. The Golden Tigers were led by their senior quarterback Kevin Lacey who completed 13-of-17 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns. Lacey also had three carries for 19 yards.
Offensively, Tuskegee was able to really move the football against Newberry’s defense. Lacey hooked up with wide receivers Desmond Reece (8 catches for 99 yards) and Javarrius Cheatham (4 receptions for 93 yards and 3 touchdowns) to form a strong passing attack. In addition, the Golden Tigers’ freshman quarterback Jamarcus Ezell completed 2-of-4 passes for 29 yards including a 27-yard TD toss Cheatham.
On the ground, Tuskegee running back Kenny Grant had a big day. Grant had 18 carries for 139 yards and one touchdown. He had a 49-yard TD run, too.
On defense, Tuskegee linebacker Osband Thompson was all over the field. Thompson had 11 total and seven solo tackles with one tackle for loss and one sack. Defensive lineman Daryl George was terrific against the run as well as the pass recording seven solo tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks. Linebackers Quavon Taylor and Kalil Gray seven solo tackles apiece.
Tuskegee (9-2) will go back on the road to face sixth seeded North Greenville on Saturday, Nov. 26 in the second round of the playoffs.
Turkey Day Classic
In other action, Miles College (5-4) will face host Alabama State (3-7) in the Turkey Day Classic on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24) at 3 p.m. This will be the final game of the season for both teams.
Speaking of final games, Auburn crushed Alabama, 55-0. The Bulldogs received a notable effort from defensive back Devonte Simon who had 12 solo tackles along with two tackles for loss. Alabama A&M finishes the season with a 4-7 record overall.