TUSKEGEE, Ala. — In a rival game that has not witnessed back to back wins by the same team since Tuskegee (8-2, 6-0) achieved that feat during the 2011 and 2012 seasons, the Golden Tigers ended that streak emphatically defeating Miles College (6-4, 4-2) at home for the first time since 2011 by a final 50-20 Saturday afternoon from Cleve Abbott Memorial Stadium. The win clinched the West Division and TU secured a spot in the 2017 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Football Championship.
Linebacker Osband Thompson intercepted a Joseph Cambridge pass on the second play from scrimmage, returning it to the one-yard line on the opening drive. One play later, Justin Owens scored giving the Golden Tigers a quick 6-0 lead after the missed point after touchdown.
The Golden Bears quickly responded with a seven play 58-yard drive of their own, capped off with a seven-yard touchdown strike.
Nine plays and 70 yards later, Dalton Hall connected on a 22 yard FG increasing TU’s lead 9-3.
With 56 seconds left in the first quarter, Javarrius Cheatham caught his third touchdown of the season, hauling in a six-yard pass from Jamarcus Ezell making the score 16-7. The seven points were the lowest point total in an opening quarter all season long by the Golden Bears. Hoderick Lowe, who finished with 82 yards on 12 carries, scored on a one-yard touchdown at the 9:19 mark of the second quarter.
Miles stayed within striking distance when running back Justin Hardy scampered on a 58 yard run to the one-yard line. Hardy finished off the drive three plays later with a one-yard score, narrowing TU’s lead to 23-13.
The 226 first half yards of total offense for the Golden Tigers marked a season high. The 23 first half points tied a season-high that dates back to the third game of the season versus Clark Atlanta.
The Golden Tigers quickly extended its lead to 33-13 on the opening drive of the second half, when Ezell scored on 22-yard run. On the ensuing drive, the dominant third quarter offensive output continued with Ezell finding a wide open Peyton Ramzy for a 35 yard TD catch giving TU a 37-13 lead. Miles answered back one play and 75 yards later when Li’Jon Cordier found receiver Antonio Lee on a touchdown catch keeping things at a three-possession game 37-20. The last score of the quarter came with 1:58 remaining and a one-yard touchdown run from Owens, which capped off a six play 75-yard drive.
Jerkeion Goodloe rounded out the scoring for TU after a five-yard score midway through the fourth quarter.
Davoris Thompson led the Golden Tigers with seven tackles. Osband Thompson, who played his final regular season game in the crimson uniform earned five tackles and one interception.
Justin Owens rushed for a career-high 134 yards on 13 carries to go along with two touchdowns. Ezell was an efficient 6-of-11 for 154 yards and tossed a pair of touchdowns. He also rushed 11 times for 92 yards and another score on the ground. The Golden Tigers ran 59 plays for 485 yards of total offense, another season high.
Tuskegee will face Fort Valley State next Saturday in Fort Valley, Ga. In the 2017 SIAC Football Championship. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. CT Live Coverage starts at 12:45 p.m. on the Tuskegee Digital Network.