ATLANTA, Georgia – The Central State University defense came up with two fourth quarter interceptions while the offense executed a crucial fourth down conversion late to propel the Marauders to a 26-19 road win over Clark Atlanta on Saturday night.
With the win, CSU improved to 2-1 overall with a 1-0 mark in SIAC play. CAU falls to 0-3 on the year with a 0-1 ledger in the SIAC.
CAU struck on its first drive with a 3-play, 62 yard drive capped off by a Charles Stafford pass to Darrell Nichols for a 29-yard score (CAU 7-0)
CSU responded on the next possession as running back Terraris Saffoldended an 87-yard drive with a 9-yard touchdown to tie the game at the 9:29 mark of the first quarter (6-6)
Appearing in his first game of 2019, CSU linebacker Kailen Abramsintercepted a Stafford pass at midfield. CSU later settled for a Joshua Nunes field goal to take the lead (CSU 9-6)
In the second quarter the Marauders went on a 8-play drive spanning 72 yard touchdown drive as Saffold scored his second rushing touchdown of the half from 10-yards out to give CSU a 10-point lead with 13:39 left in the first half (CSU 16-6)
With 1:40 remaining in the half, CAU marched 52 yards to the end zone to narrow the deficit to four at halftime (CSU 16-12)
The only points of the fourth quarter came at the 14:50 mark as Nunes knocked the ball through the uprights for his second field goal of the night (CSU 26-19)
The CAU offense went 68 yards on its first possession of the fourth quarter. A pass from Stafford to Caleeb Roberson took the ball down to the 1-yard line. After failing to score on their first two attempts, the Panthers were penalized and moved back 15-yards for a personal foul. CAU opted to throw the ball on third and fourth down without success as CSU took over on down with 9:38 remaining (CSU 26-19)
Facing a short yardage situation on fourth down from their own 24-yard line, CSU opted to go for it as fullback Darius Meadors fought for two yards and a CSU first down to allow more time to run off the clock.
CAU managed to get into CSU territory again with just under five minutes to play before a heavily pressured Stafford was picked off again by Abrams to end the Panther threat (CSU 26-19)
Clark Atlanta got one more possession with 1:01 left. Stafford completed passes to Drakar and Roberson to get the Panthers down to the CSU 42-yard line. Stafford’s next pass inside the Central State 10-yard line was picked off by CSU’s Devon Cunningham to put the game away (CSU 26-19)