CHICAGO – Central State University fell to 0-2 on the season after Saturday’s 20-13 loss to Clark Atlanta University in the 19th annual Chicago Football Classic held in Soldier Field.
CSU totaled 453 yards of total offense compared to CAU’s 348 but costly turnovers and errors in execution kept the Marauders from scoring throughout the afternoon. The Marauders turned the ball over three times and were 0 for 4 in fourth down conversion attempts.
The first score of the game came from CAU after the Marauders failed on their first fourth down attempt of the day. The Panthers capitalized with a 43 yard drive over six plays. Jaha McCray finished the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run. After a failed extra point attempt, CAU led 6-0 at the 11:11 mark of the opening quarter.
CSU would respond at the 4:47 mark of the first quarter when quarterback Lavon Meeks ran in for the score to cap off a 64 yard drive. The score gave CSU its only lead of the afternoon, 7-6.
The Panthers cashed in again on great field position late in the second quarter. Beginning the drive at the CSU 40 yard line, CAU went 40 yards on four plays capped by a Johnathon McCrary scramble into the end zone.
Down 13-6 with 1:19 remaining, the Marauders struck quick when Meeks hit Marquis Wells on a 74 yard touchdown pass and catch to tie the game, 13-13.
CSU remained quiet offensively for the rest of the afternoon. Keeping the Marauder offense in check, Clark Atlanta took the lead for good with a 47 yard touchdown drive. Matthew Daniels capped of the drive with a 4-yard run to put his team up, 20-13, with 1:56 remaining in the third quarter.
CSU crossed midfield four times in the final 15 minutes but each drive failed to produce any points. With 1:32 remaining, Meeks led the Marauders down to CAU’s 35 yard line with 7 seconds left. With limited time remaining, Meeks threw into heavy coverage and was intercepted by Jacob Mitchell as time expired.
McCray and Daniels combined for 138 yards and 2 scores on the afternoon to lead the Panthers to victory. Trenton Earl finished the afternoon with 75 receiving yards. Defensively, linebacker Jaquatin Victrum had a game-high 15 tackles. With the win, Clark Atlanta improves to 1-1 overall with a 1-0 mark in SIAC play.
De’Michael Jackson accounted for 154 yards on the ground, averaging 7 yards per carry to lead the CSU rushing attack. Wells led all receivers with 9 receptions for 123 yards. Anthony Hamm led all CSU defenders with 9 tackles, including two tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Dropping the first two games of the year, the Marauders will try to get on the right track when they play Benedict College (1-1) in the home opener on Saturday at 1:30 pm.
Courtesy: Central State Athletics
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