Defense dominates, Tuskegee wins 2017 SIAC Football Championship

FORT VALLEY STATE, Ga. – Hoderick Lowe ran for 1444 yards earning Most Valuable Player honors and the Tuskegee University football team won its 31st Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Football Championship Saturday afternoon defeating Fort Valley State at Wildcat Stadium 13-6. The victory gives head coach Willie Slater his seventh conference title since 2006.

The Golden Tigers held FVSU to only 183 yards of total offense, two scoreless quarters and pair of field goals in the second and fourth quarters only.  Playing in the conference championship game for the first time since 2014, the stingy TU defense also only allowed 28 yards passing.

On Tuskegee’s second possession of the game, Lowe scored on a six-yard touchdown run that capped off a nine play 46-yard drive. After holding the Wildcats to a scoreless first quarter, Juan Serna connected on a 33-yard field goal for FVSU making the score 7-3 just before halftime.

Both quarterbacks had troubles in the defensive struggle with TU quarterback Jamarcus Ezell completing 3-of-9 first-half passes for only 32 yards while Fort Valley’s Jarman Slade was only 3-of-8 for 19 yards.  Ezell did, however, finish with 69 yards on the ground with a nine carry effort. Punter Dalton Hall averaged 39.2 yards per punt with his longest coming on a 48 yarder.  Two of his five punts landed inside the 20n yard line.

With 7:44 left to play in the fourth quarter, Lowe found the end zone for the second time of the afternoon on a two-yard run putting the golden Tigers ahead 13-3

With 3:30 left to play Juan brought FVSU to within a touchdown after making a 36-yard field goal, his second of the day. The Wildcats would end up with its final possession with 2:12 remaining, only to go four and out totaling negative two yards.

Osband Thompson finished with a game-high 14 tackles while Kevin Dawson earned a career-high 12 tackles. Jonah McCutcheon and Davoris Thomas both finished with eight stops each.

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