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Miles College vs. Alabama St. Highlights First Full Week of HBCU Football in the State

San Shade, Miles Head Football Coach (Provided)

By Donald Hunt

Special to The Times

This should be an interesting and exciting season of college football for many Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This season should feature some great HBCU players and teams. This should be a big week for HBCU football.

Alabama A&M opened its season with 59-0 blowout loss against host University of Alabama-Birmingham on Thursday, Sept. 1. The Bulldogs representing the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) in this non-conference game need a rebound game next week with skill players led by wide receiver Abdul-Fatai Ibrahim and running back Gary Quarles. Ibrahim and Quarles were preseason first-team All-SWAC selections. They were both a big part of the Alabama A&M high scoring offense last year that featured all-conference quarterback Aqeel Glass, who has since graduated.

UAB out of the Conference USA features a strong rushing attack with running backs DeWayne McBride and Jermaine Brown Jr. This contest will prepare both teams for regular season play in their leagues.

In other non-conference action this weekend, Miles College will kick off its season against Alabama State on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 5 p.m. The game will be played at ASU Stadium in Montgomery, AL.  Alabama State is coming off a big 23-13 victory over Howard University in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge last week. The Hornets picked up their first win of the season.

The Hornets’ offense under the direction freshman quarterback Dematrius Davis is capable of lighting up the scoreboard. Davis completed 16-of-23 passes for 184 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also had nine carries for 37 yards in the win over Howard.

Alabama State’s first-year head coach Eddie Robinson, Jr. has three solid defensive players with cornerbacks Keenan Isaac and Irshaad Davis and defensive lineman Stefon Young-Rolle.

Under first-year head coach Sam Shade, Miles is the preseason pick to win the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Western Division title and to play for the conference crown. Miles College has talent on both sides of the football. Shade’s team appears to be loaded with four preseason first-team All-SIAC selections – Tyler Lowery (offensive line), Marcus Lodge (wide receiver), Roosevelt Thompson (defensive line) and Mitchell Smiley (defensive back) and one second-team preseason pick Jackson Spradlin (placekicker).

In other HBCU action, Tuskegee University will face Fort Valley State in the second annual Red Tails Classic on Sunday, Sept. 4 at 6 p.m. This contest will take place at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Al. Reginald Ruffin, former head coach at Miles College, has taken over the Tuskegee university football program as head coach.

The Golden Tigers have two outstanding players with offensive lineman Nathan Harrison and tight end Latrevien O’Neal. Harrison and O’Neal have earned preseason second-team All-SIAC honors. This should be a good opening game in the SIAC. Both teams will be looking to get off to a great start in conference play.

Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC)

Saturday, Sept. 3

Miles College at Alabama State 5 p.m. Montgomery, Al

Lane College at Arkansas-Pine Bluff 6 p.m. Pine Bluff, AR

Delta State at Kentucky State 1 p.m. Frankfort, Ky

Clark Atlanta at Edward Waters 3 p.m. Jacksonville, Fla.

Southeastern University at Savannah State 6 p.m. Savannah, Ga.

Allen University at Newberry 6 p.m. Newberry, S.C.

University of West Alabama at Morehouse College 6 p.m. Atlanta, Ga.

Mississippi College at Albany State 7 p.m. Albany, Ga.

Elizabeth City State at Benedict College 7 p.m. Columbia, S.C.

Sunday, Sept. 4

Fort Valley State at Tuskegee University 6 p.m. Montgomery, Al

Central State at Winston-Salem State 4 p.m. Canton, Ohio


Southwestern Athletic Conference Schedule (SWAC)

Saturday, Sept. 3

Texas Southern at Prairie View A&M 6 p.m. Prairie View, TX

Bethune-Cookman at University of Miami 2:30 p.m. Coral Gables, Fla.

Miles College at Alabama State 5 p.m. Montgomery, Al

Grambling State at Arkansas State 6 p.m. Jonesboro, AR

Lane College at Arkansas-Pine Bluff 6 p.m. Pine Bluff, AR

Stephen F. Austin at Alcorn State 6 p.m. Lorman, Miss.

Florida Memorial University at Southern 6 p.m. Baton Rouge, La.

Sunday, Sept. 4

Florida A&M at Jackson State 2 p.m. Miami Gardens, Fla.


SIAC                           Overall

Albany State                                     0-0                                       0-0

Allen                                                0-0                                       0-0

Benedict                                          0-0                                       0-0

Clark Atlanta                                    0-0                                       0-0

Fort Valley State                               0-0                                       0-0

Morehouse                                       0-0                                       0-0

Savannah State                                0-0                                       0-0


Central State                                   0-0                                       0-0

Kentucky State                                0-0                                       0-0

Lane                                               0-0                                       0-0

Miles College                                   0-0                                       0-0

Tuskegee University                         0-0                                       0-0



SWAC                             Overall

Alabama State                               0-0                                       1-0

Alabama A&M                                 0-0                                       0-1

Bethune-Cookman                          0-0                                       0-0

Florida A&M                                   0-0                                       0-0

Jackson State                                0-0                                       0-0

Mississippi Valley State                  0-0                                       0-0


Alcorn State                                    0-0                                       0-0

Arkansas-Pine Bluff                          0-0                                       0-0

Grambling State                               0-0                                       0-0

Prairie View A&M                              0-0                                       0-0

Southern                                         0-0                                       0-0

Texas Southern                                0-0                                       0-0