Greene County News
INDIANAPOLIS— Central State dropped a hard-fought battle with Kentucky State, Saturday Sept. 24 in the Circle City Classic contest at Lucas Oil Stadium in overtime, 17-14, for the third season in a row.
KSU dominated time of possession in the first quarter, but a stout CSU defense kept the Thorobreds out of the end zone. In the second quarter, the Marauder special teams opened the scoring when safety Nehemiah Coward blocked a punt and Devon Cunningham recovered the loose ball and ran it back for the touchdown at the 11:47 mark.
KSU marched the ball down to the CSU 35 yard line, but Deonate Gary halted any chance of points with a sack on a failed KSU fourth down attempt. The Marauder defense continued to get the ball back into the hands of the offense when Clim Robbins picked off freshman quarterback Jules St. Ge on the KSU 21-yard line.
After three straight plays of no gain, CSU coach Cedric Pearl decided to go for it on fourth and 10. His decision paid off as Mikiel Clemons found a streaking Marquis Wells for a 29-yard score through the air. With 6:30 left in the first half, CSU took a 14-0 lead. While the Marauders where finding momentum, KSU turned the ball over three more times before the half. Unfortunately for CSU, the Marauders were unable to capitalize off KSU’s miscues as the score remained 14-0 at halftime.
The combination of penalties and the absence of Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference passing leader Lavon Meeks (due to an upper body injury) contributed to CSU’s scoreless third quarter. In a game of strange bounces and unpredictability, the play that was perhaps the most unconventional may have been during KSU’s first touchdown drive. On the second play of the drive, a pass deflected off a referee and was caught by Dashad Tucker for a perceived interception. After a conference on the field, the officiating crew correctly ruled that the ball was out of bounds and landed incomplete. In addition to having a potential turnover taken away, CSU picked up a personal foul for celebrating on the field. KSU took advantage of a short field as Jakar Turner capped off a 35-yard play drive with a 2-yard touchdown reception with 6:15 left in regulation.
After forcing CSU to once again punt, KSU’s Lavelle Cloyd blocked an Isaiah Smith punt. Vincent Edwards recovered the ball in the end zone to even up the score, 14-14, with 3:42 remaining. On the next CSU possession, Clemons overthrew his receiver and the ball went into the hands of KSU defender Raymond Malone, who returned the ball 47 yards down to the CSU 31-yard line with 32 seconds left. The Marauder defense was able to hold and force extra time thanks to an Okoye Bozeman sack to take KSU out of field goal range.
In overtime, Central State was unable to move the ball in the first three plays, then Myrthel Stewart Jr. sacked CSU quarterback Mikiel Clemons to give possession to KSU. With the ball and a chance to win, KSU’s Darmontre Warr carried the ball five times for 19 yards to put KSU in position for a game-winning field goal. KSU senior kicker Bill Rose calmly knocked it through the uprights before being swarmed by his teammates and coaches.
Central State was led by De’Michael Jackson’s 32 carries for 127 rushing yards. The rest of the offense was held to 81 combined yards. Deonate Gary led CSU with 11.5 tackles, one sack, one pass break up and a forced fumble.
Falling to 0-4 on the year, the Marauders will be on the road Saturday against Kentucky Wesleyan (0-4).
Story courtesy of Central State University.