ATLANTA — 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 college football road win over Clark Atlanta, Sept. 21 at Panther Stadium.
With the win, CSU improves to 1-2 overall with a 1-0 mark in Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play. CAU falls to 0-3 on the year with a 0-1 ledger in the SIAC.
With Central State leading 23-19 after three quarters of play, the only points of the fourth quarter came at the 14:50 mark as placekicker Joshua Nunes knocked the ball through the uprights for his second field goal of the night and a 26-19 CSU lead.
The CAU offense went 68 yards on its first possession of the fourth quarter. A pass from Charles 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 downs with 9:38 remaining.
Facing a short-yardage situation on fourth down from its 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 Kailen Abrams to end the Panther threat.
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.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
The CSU defense held CAU to a total of four rushing yards on Saturday. CAU’s four rushing yards was the fewest allowed by a CSU defense since Oct. 15 of 2016.
Returning to action, CSU All-American linebacker Kailen Abrams recorded his first interception of his collegiate career in the first quarter and his second in the fourth quarter.
CSU senior running back Terraris Saffold carried the ball a career-high 36 times and finished with a game-high 165 yards and two touchdowns. Saffold has eclipsed the century mark on the ground in back-to-back weeks.
CSU receiver Dalane Brown II has had three straight games of at least one catch for 30 or more yards. He led CSU receivers on Saturday with six receptions for 89 yards and one score.
CAU was penalized 12 times for a total of 142 yards.
CSU is 4-2 in the all-time series against CAU.
UP NEXT: The Marauders will travel to Mobile, Alabama to play in the Gulf Coast Challenge at Ladd-Peebles Stadium against Alabama A&M at 7 p.m. (Eastern) Saturday, Sept. 28.
Story courtesy of Central State University Athletics (maraudersports.com) .