Two late Sharif Brown touchdown passes weren’t enough for Clark Atlanta to overcome a big Lane first quarter as CAU fell to the Dragons 35-26 Saturday at CAU Panther Stadium.
Clark Atlanta (1-1) gave up three Lane (1-1) first-quarter touchdowns after a bad punt, a fumble, and a long Tarik McKinzie touchdown pass to fall behind 21-0. Lane’s Ike Brown had two touchdown runs during that span – one for 25 yards and another for one yard out – during the Lane spurt.
The CAU offense got going right before halftime as Elijah Odom capped a 7-play, 72-yard drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Drakar Jerry to make the score 21-7 with just over three minutes left in the half.
But the Lane offense quickly moved down the field afterwards. Buoyed by a 23-yard Brown run, the Dragons moved 72 yards in eight plays over two minutes and 21 seconds, scoring on a 30-yard McKinzie touchdown pass to Mikhi Lyles to put them up 28-7 at halftime.
Lane had 305 yards of offense and 17 first downs in the first half alone, with Brown rushing for 94 yards and McKinzie throwing for 161 yards.
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But the CAU defense clamped down in the second half, only allowing Lane to score once more in the game – a Brown TD run early in the fourth quarter.
CAU switched quarterbacks in the second half, pulling Odom and inserting freshman Sharif Brown. Brown started slowly, completing one of his first five passes during the first two drives. But the first drive ended with a Carlos Saldana 36-yard field goal, and his 9-yard toss to Kendell Wimberly and subsequent 25-yard run set up Saldana for a successful 50-yard field goal, pulling CAU to28-13 with 7:34 left in the third quarter.
But on the next drive, McKinzie threw for 84 yards on a drive that ended in Brown’s TD that made it 35-13.
Brown tried to lead CAU back, throwing a 49-yard touchdown strike to Trey Wilson to pull CAU to within 15 at 35-20. The CAU defense then held Lane out of the end zone, with Noah Shalz missing a 40-yard field goal.
Brown went to work again for CAU, hitting Jeremiah Gibbs for a pass and then rushing for 20 yards. He three 17-yard passes, the final one to Jerry for a touchdown to make the score 35-26 with 2:29 remaining. Saldana’s extra point was blocked.
Time wasn’t on the Panthers’ side though, as Lane salted away the remaining time for the win.
Brown and Odom combined for 232 yards and three touchdowns in the air, with Brown – in his first action in a CAU uniform – accounting for 191 second-half yards and two touchdown passes. He also led CAU with 51 yards rushing.
Jerry caught five passes for 67 yards and two touchdowns, while Gibbs and Anthony Brown caught three passes each. Corey King Jr. also had two grabs.
Charles Crawford led the CAU defense with eight tackles, five of them solo. He also broke up two passes. Tyler Wimberly had second tackles, two for losses totaling 11 yards and a sack. Rodney Lewis also had seven stops, one for a loss of four yards. Breante Glover also had a sack.
For Lane, McKinzie went 25-for-38 for 318 yards and two touchdown passes, while Brown rushed for 121 yards and three touchdowns. Virgil Young caught six passes for 101 yards for the Dragons. Jeffrey Johnson had six tackles for Lane, while Andrew Farmer had five tackles, four for losses, and three sacks.
The Panthers are back on the field at CAU Panther Stadium next Saturday when they host Shorter University at noon.
Courtesy: Clark Atlanta Athletics