COLUMBUS, Ga. — Jamarcus Ezell scored on a quarterback keeper in overtime and Tuskegee won the 82nd Annual Tuskegee-Morehouse Classic 23-17 Saturday afternoon at A.J. McClung Memorial Stadium in Columbus, Ga.
The Golden Tigers trailed 17-14 with three seconds left in the game when Dalton Hall converted on a 23-yard field goal as time expired forcing overtime.
Following an errant snap over the head of Ezell on Tuskegee’s opening possession, Morehouse ended up with the ball at TU’s 17-yard line and scored first when Ricci Nuckles found a wide open Tamarick Vanover on a double pass on their first play from scrimmage taking a 7-0 lead.
Hoderick Lowe tied things up for the Golden Tigers with a seven-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter.
The Golden Tigers came up with a huge play defensively after the Maroon Tigers drove the ball 61 yards on nine plays, but Twan Adams and Kendarius Whitehead sacked Kivon Taylor forcing a field and making the score 10-7.
Taylor added a score for Morehouse converting on a nine-yard run just before halftime extending their lead 17-7, which is how the score remained at the break. Out of six games this season, it marked only the second time TU has trailed at halftime. The biggest disparity in the first half was the fact that the Golden Tigers were held to -21 yards rushing on 17 attempts. Morehouse rushed for 73 yards. TU did, however, produce a season-high 336 yards of total offense including 218 passing and 118 on the ground.
Both teams sustain a possession each without scoring which took up the entire third quarter.
With 12:42 left to play, Ezell got the Golden Tigers in scoring position with a 52-yard run. Three plays later Phillip Brown forced his way into the end zone on a three-yard score narrowing deficit 17-14. Brown earned MVP honors rushing for 72 yards on 11 carries with one TD. Ezell passed for a season-high 218 yards on 12 of 31 attempts.
Osband Thompson led TU on defense with 15 tackles.
In the first overtime, Jonah McCutcheon picked off Taylor’s pass giving the Golden Tigers their first possession and setting up the go-ahead touchdown on an Ezell sneak making the win for TU its 20 out of the last 24 meetings between the two school.
Tuskegee faces Jackson State next Saturday in Mobile, Ala. In the 5th Quarter Classic. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. Coverage on the Tuskegee Digital Network starts at 5:45 p.m.