Hampton, VA – The final weekend of the CIAA Football Season has always been the most exciting of the season. The 2007 Finale is no different. Four teams still have a realistic chance to punch their tickets to Charlotte for the Championship Game. Of course, Virginia Union and Shaw control their own destiny in the East and West respectively. Fayetteville State and Elizabeth City State both must win and hope for help to make it to next week’s Title Game in the Queen City.
GAME OF THE WEEK: VIRGINIA UNION AT FAYETTEVILLE STATE: Virginia Union has been the CIAA’s most consistent team in 2007. The Panthers are also the most balanced offensive team in the league, leading in passing and rushing offense. QB Lamar Little has crossed the 2,000 yard total offense mark for the second consecutive year. VUU has averaged 31 points per game in 2007 and will force FSU to score touchdowns to beat them. Lately, the Broncos have played like a team reborn. Three consecutive wins against Western opponents have placed FSU right back in the Championship Game race. The Broncos will need a stellar defensive effort to knock off the Panthers and for QB Bryan Hardy to play his best game of the year to defeat VUU. LB Geron Harper, playing in his final home game, will need to rally the defensive troops to contain the dangerous Little and the powerful VUU offensive arsenal. The FSU Offense will need to sustain drives and help keep their defensive teammates off the field. There is a possibility these two teams could meet again on November 10. (1:30 p.m. at Fayetteville, NC).
Players to watch: (Virginia Union: QB Lamar Little; RB Elihu Smith; DL Brandon Smith).
(Fayetteville State: QB Bryan Hardy; LB Geron Harper; RB Richard Medlin).
ST. AUGUSTINE’S AT SHAW: Talk about a spoiler…it can definitely be St. Aug. Since the Falcons are mathematically eliminated from Championship contention, they can do the next best thing to playing in the Game…keep their bitter rival out of the Game! If Shaw loses to St. Aug and FSU wins, then the Bears stay home. Shaw knows if they win then they’re in. However, that will be easier said than done with their crosstown rival standing between them and the Championship Game. St. Aug has had Shaw’s number since both programs returned in 2003 and 2004 respectively. When they last met in 2005, St. Aug handled Shaw 33-0. The Bears squeaked out a 16-14 win at Bowie State on Saturday thanks to the leg of K Ryne Powell. QB Travis Robinson will need to be on the mark against the Falcons. 2006 All-American DL Alex Hall will pressure Robinson all day. Shaw will be looking to return to the Championship Game for the first time since 2004 when they won it all. The Bears will be looking to capture the Western Division crown for the first time. (4:00 p.m. at Durham).
Players to watch: (St. Augustine’s: DL Alex Hall; DL Marcus Crump; QB Brandon Franklin). (Shaw: QB Travis Robinson; RB Alan Atwater; K Ryne Powell).
BOWIE STATE AT ELIZABETH CITY STATE: The Vikings saw their Eastern Divisional lead slip away at St. Paul’s. Instead of controlling its championship destiny, they must win and hope for help from Fayetteville State. After scoring a season-high 55 points against Livingstone, ECSU could only muster a touchdown against St. Paul’s. They will need to do better than that to knock off Bowie State and keep their divisional hopes alive. The dangerous Isaac Redman must be contained if the Vikings hope to knock off Bowie State. Defensively, ECSU has been stout but has not gotten any consistent play from their offense. DL Greg Moore has been on a tear the past few weeks and will hope to extend his career at least one more week if they can knock off Bowie State. (1:00 p.m. at Elizabeth City, NC).
Players to watch: (Bowie State: RB Issac Redman; QB Jason Scott; DL Alexander Payton).
(Elizabeth City State: RB Brandon Fields; DB Justin Hamilton; DL Greg Moore).
ST. PAUL’S AT VIRGINIA STATE: The Tigers have been on quite a roll lately. Last weekend, they won their third conference game in a row by knocking off ECSU 14-7.
St. Paul’s hopes to knock off Virginia State and finish at .500. Virginia State will look to finish their 2007 campaign with a win. (1:30 p.m. at Petersburg).
Players to watch: (St. Paul’s: QB Dessein Jean; WR Morris Saadiq; DB Gregory Toler).
(Virginia State: RB Nick Fleming; QB Michael Terry; WR Davian Richards).
JOHNSON C. SMITH AT LIVINGSTONE: The Golden Bulls will look to finish their 2007 campaign off strong against their old rival Livingstone. In fact, the first black college football game in history was played between the two rival schools. (1:00 p.m. at Salisbury, NC).
Players to watch: (Johnson C. Smith: QB Carl Richardson; WR Jeremy Franklin; DB De’Audra Dix). (Livingstone: QB Steven Williams; DB Lionel Vincent; RB Rashaad Flucker).