The quest for the SIAC Western Division began with a lot of intrigue on Saturday. Miles, Kentucky State and Lane all had a shot at the title but Miles was the only one who could control its own destiny. In the second half the Golden Bears (5-4) mashed the gas to the championship game against Tuskegee (3-6) in a 52-23 win.
Miles blew open an otherwise close game by outscoring Tuskegee 31-6 in the second half.
Coming into the third period Miles led 21-17 before putting together a 65-yard drive that culminated with a Donte Edwards touchdown. After a later field goal Miles went into the fourth quarter with a 31-17 lead. Miles started the quarter scoring on three consecutive possessions to ultimately win 52-23.
Claude Newell finished the game with 225 yards passing and two touchdowns. Edwards finished with 114 rushing yards for Miles.
The victory sets up a matchup with Albany State next weekend in the SIAC Championship game. Albany State wrapped up the SIAC East title last week but continued in top form on Saturday against Fort Valley State. The Golden Rams defeated rival Fort Valley State 57-0 in the Fountain City Classic.
The format of the SIAC Championship includes alternating sites yearly between champions of the east and western division. This year’s schedule falls to the western division as the host, which means Albany State will travel to Fairfield next weekend.
Kentucky State did its part to keep its championship hopes alive by demolishing Central State. The Thorobreds won 63-0 over Central State, which might also be a message for the Division II playoff committee. Despite the win, Kentucky State will miss out on the chance at a SIAC Championship this season.
Lane College had an outside shot at the divisional title but fell on the road Saturday to Benedict 24-20.
Miles and Albany State met in the last SIAC Championship played in 2019. Miles won that game 21-6.