WILBERFORCE — With points earned for touchdowns, defensive stops and turnovers, the Marauder defense claimed a 21-18 victory over the Central State University offense, April 22 at McPherson Stadium.
Early interceptions by defensive backs Kjamus Sanders and Najai Jackson helped the defensive unit take a 12-0 lead.
Dealing with 24 mph wind gusts, the CSU passers adjusted. Midway through the second quarter, quarterback Trent Mays connected with Martell Clark for a 40-yard touchdown. Lavon Meeks came in on the next series to lead a methodical drive, ending with a 10-yard pass to Curtis Jones for another score. Linebacker Demetrius Colbert came up with a big play for the defense, intercepting a tipped pass to add points for the defense.
Defensive back Devon Cunningham had three acrobatic pass break ups in the second half, which were crucial in forcing the CSU offense into three-and-outs.
“We focused on communication throughout spring practice,” said Cunningham. “From a defensive perspective, we always want to make sure we are all on the same page. Guys are more vocal than ever before.”
The offense found the end zone once more with 2:22 remaining when signal caller Mikiel Clemons connected with running back Kalon Grover.
“We had some big plays through the air today and that is what we really wanted to see from our offense. We wanted to see our quarterbacks make good decisions, our receivers to make plays on the ball and our defensive backs to battle and force turnovers,” said head coach Cedric Pearl. “For the most part, we have all new faces playing in our secondary. We feel good about the progression of our defensive backs and look forward to seeing them make an impact this fall.”
The Marauders open the 2017 college football season at home at 1 p.m. Sept. 2 against Elizabeth City State (N.C.). The Vikings were 5-5 last season in Central Collegiate Athletic Association play.
High Schoolers drawn to IMM Experience
The CSU Spring Football Game is also used as a recruiting tool for the world renown Invincible Marching Marauders. Organized by Band Director Ramon Key, Jr., high school students from Chicago, Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus spent the day with current members of IMM, learning what it takes to play on the collegiate level. High school students were also able to perform with IMM, which included marching into the stadium and playing in front of the crowd during Saturday’s Spring Game. An estimated 120 students took part in Saturday’s program known as the IMM Experience.
Information provided by Central State University (marauderathletics.com).