Courtesy: Clark Atlanta Athletics
In a win that reverberates throughout the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Johnathon McCrary threw for 357 yards and five touchdowns to lead Clark Atlanta
University to a huge 44-36 homecoming win over Albany State Saturday.
Clark Atlanta (4-4, 3-3 SIAC), a team that had been leading the SIAC in offense most of the season but only had 130 yards of offense in a loss to Benedict last week, piled up 445 yards of offense and scored 30 points in the second half in handing Albany State (5-3, 4-1 SIAC) their first conference loss this season.
It was also a big day for 14 seniors who were playing their final home game at CAU Panther Stadium as CAU broke a three-game losing streak.
Former #Vandy QB and current @caupanthers @CAU_Football redshirt JR Johnathon McCrary theee for 357 yards and 5(!!) TDs v Albany State this afternoon. #TruetoAtlanta #HBCU pic.twitter.com/SwNHAKPKpe
— Donnell Suggs (@suggswriter) October 22, 2017
“I love these guys,” a jubilant CAU head coach Kevin Ramsey said afterwards. “I kept telling these guys that we’ve got it. We just keep playing our game; we’ve got weapons; we swarm around on defense. This is the result.”
Most importantly, the Panthers gain a little ground in the SIAC East Division championship race by knocking off Albany State who hadn’t lost a division game. CAU is now 1-2 in the division while Albany State is 2-1. Fort Valley State is 2-0 while Benedict 1-1 and Morehouse is 0-2.
Title chances still alive
It all means that CAU still has a chance to win the title, though a lot of things would have to happen.
Saturday, the Panthers fell behind by 15 points early in the second quarter after McKinley Habersham’s second touchdown of the quarter gave ASU a 22-7 lead.
But then the Panthers, in front of a spirited and loud homecoming crowd and ESPN3’s cameras, got it going.
McCrary threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Deandre Jackson just before halftime, and then a 6-yard TD toss to Roger Thomas midway through the third quarter to pull to 22-20.
Albany State’s Terrance Harris scooped up a CAU fumble and ran it 67 yards for a touchdown to extend their lead to 29-20. Then, the Panthers scored 24 unanswered points to go up 44-29 late in the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter is ours! #WeAreCAU #GoCAU pic.twitter.com/Cab2PbbZbI
— CAU Athletics (@caupanthers) October 21, 2017
Fourth quarter drama
ASU made things interesting by quickly countering with a quick drive that was spurred by a 44-yard Chancellor Johnson pass to Mike Green and then a Johnson 1-yard TD run to pull to within eight points with just over two minutes remaining.
The Panthers went three-and-out on the next drive, punting back to Albany State. The Golden Rams drove down to the CAU 7-yard line before Quantavious Singletary picked off a Chancellor pass at the 2-yard line to put the game away.
Jackson finished with six catches for 92 yards and touchdown while Rodney Morris caught four passes – two for touchdowns – for 84 yards. Johnathan Sanders had five receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown. Jajuan Lankford also rushed for a TD.
On defense, Julian Colvard led CAU with five tackles, all solo, and four pass break-ups. Jaquatin Victrum, Singletary, William Profit, and Detavion Galmer each had four tackles for CAU. The CAU defense also had two interceptions and a sack.
Albany State was led by Habersham, who rushed for 67 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson finished with 261 yards passing and one rushing touchdown. They were led on defense by Emmanuel Brown who had nine tackles.
The Panthers hit the road quickly, playing at Miles on Thursday night.
“We have a short week… and that’s what we have to look forward to now,” Ramsey said. “It’s going to be a short celebration, but it is homecoming, right?”
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