Miles has played more than 90 seasons of football but before Saturday night at Sloan-Alumni Stadium, the program had not seen anything along the lines of what it had accomplished against Central State.
The Golden Bears scored touchdowns on offense, defense, and special teams in a 55-4 shellacking of the Marauders. But the score is where one will find the history. CSU (1-3, 0-2 SIAC West) became the first team that Miles (2-2, 1-0) held to exactly four points. There are very few ways that a team can amass four points and each of the individual elements (a safety and a defensive 2-point conversion) required to happen at a very small rate. The chances that the Marauders would have one of each without scoring any other points in the game is nearly infinitesimal.
But it was those miscues that cost Miles a shutout in its home opener. But they did not take away from a dominant performance that saw the Golden Bears take control of the contest from the opening kickoff and remove any doubt on the final outcome by halftime.
Quarterback Claude Newell, III was efficient and decisive on the first two Miles drives. His 15-yard touchdown run capped an 11-play, 76-yard series to open the ball game before adding a 3-yard scoring run on the next possession to open a 14-0 advantage less than 11 minutes into the contest. But those scores were just the opening salvo in a lopsided battle that saw Central State completely outmanned.
Miles wide receiver Collin Woods did not have a catch in the game but he still made his presence felt. Less than two minutes into the second quarter, Woods blocked a Jose Chaires punt, which was corralled by Aaron Frazier and returned six yards for a touchdown. It was the first of two blocked punts for Woods, the second came in the third quarter and was also returned for a touchdown, this time for 20 yards by Zarious Keyes.
The Golden Bears still had more points to put on the board before halftime. Newell had a 1-yard scoring toss to Cohen Hudson and Donte Edwards – the SIAC’s leading rusher – broke off a 34-yard touchdown run to highlight a 10-carry, 103-yard effort, which all came in the first half. Miles led 34-0 at that point but a bad snap on the extra point led to a loose ball that Joseph White gathered and returned for a defensive 2-point conversion.
Ahead 34-2 at the break, head coach Reginald Ruffin began to empty the bench and get playing time for his reserves. But the scoring continued.
After Keyes returned his blocked punt for a score early in the third quarter, backup quarterback Jalen Parker threw his second touchdown pass of the season, a 37-yard connection with tight end Montavious Tinch (3 catches, 74 yards). Then the defense got the Golden Bears on the board as James Sawyer picked off backup CSU quarterback Tyriq Henderson and returned it 45 yards for his first career Pick 6 as Miles took a 55-2 lead with 4:23 left in the third quarter.
The Marauders would close out the scoring when Justice Merritt tackled Frazier in the end zone for a safety with 37 seconds left in the third. But it was not near enough for CSU, which was held to just 123 yards in total offense, only 35 of them on the ground.
Courtesy: Miles College Athletics