Clark Atlanta celebrated the return of the Marching Panthers Band and Homecoming by defeating the visiting Benedict Tigers 14-10 at Panthers Stadium on Saturday.
The Panthers jumped on the board early behind a 15 play, 93 yard drive on their first offensive possession. Junior Joshua Andrews opened up the drive with a 26 yard carry to get the offenses backs off the goal line. Andrews’ running and quarterback Charles King’s arm kept the drive moving. King’s 17 yard pass to Willie Clark put the Panthers just outside the redzone. Junior running back Jay Carter did the rest. Carter followed up a 9 yard carry with a 13 yard touchdown run.
Benedict erased the goose egg in the second quarter on the heels of a miserly 14 yard punt from Austin Casillas. The punt gave the Tigers possession just over midfield at their 43 yard line. Freshman quarterback Marcus Graham guided the offense to three first downs before hitting the wall.
Vauchard Goodridge’s sack of Graham left the Tigers facing 4 and goal from the 11. Head coach James Woody sent for kicker Eduardo Hernandez. The freshman from Miami, Florida split the uprights from 28 yards to cut into the Panthers lead.
Clark Atlanta’s lead evaporated less than a minute later. Defensive end Joshua Bradley disrupted the lateral from Jay Carter to wide receiver David Grace on the Panthers reverse. Bradley alertly pounced on the bouncing ball ahead of Grace and Carter at the CAU 15.
The Tigers didn’t waste any time turning the turnover into points. Graham floated a pass perfectly into the hands of junior wide receiver Kendariss Brown.
Benedict nursed the lead into the fourth quarter while the smoke continued to rise from the more than a dozen grills set up in the tailgate village behind the north endzone.
Punter Brian Curry returned a gift to the home team by way of a 15 yard punt to the Benedict 36. Panthers head coach Daryl McNeill pulled a page from his counterparts’ playbook calling for the Full Monty on first down.
Charles King rifled a pass down the right seam smack dab into the hands of David Grace for the go ahead score.
With the win, Clark Atlanta improves to 2-5 on the season. Benedict falls to 0-7.
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