Loss to Tuskegee is a serious blow to Wildcats

October 5, 2011 – After a critical win against Benedict College, the Fort Valley State University Wildcats entered the game against Tuskegee University’s Golden Tigers with a sense of urgency. With a record of 1-3, the team was well aware that another conference loss could have disastrous implications on the season. In the matchup against the winless Golden Tigers, the outcome leaves many fans wondering just what the future holds for the Wildcats, who lost to Tuskegee 18 – 15.

Despite the disappointing showing, FVSU began the game strong. After the teams traded punts for the first seven minutes of the game, the Wildcats scored first with 7:45 remaining in the quarter after freshmen running back Travis Richmond broke free on a 67-yard touchdown run. While the extra point attempt failed, the Wildcats took an early 6-0 lead.

The margin held until the 9:40 mark in the second quarter. After a 15-play, 81-yard drive by Tuskegee stalled at FVSU’s 14-yard line, the Golden Tigers converted on a 27-yard field goal by Eduardo Murillo. The Wildcats’ lead was cut to 6-3.

On the ensuing kickoff, a Wildcats’ fumble was recovered by Tuskegee at FVSU’s 27-yard line. Five plays later, Golden Tigers’ quarterback Justin Nared gave Tuskegee its first lead of the game with a two-yard touchdown run. With the converted extra point, Tuskegee led 10-6.

The Wildcats inched closer to Tuskegee in the third quarter when junior kicker JustinRosenbaum converted a 47-yard field goal with 12:05 left. The kick narrowed the Golden Tigers’ lead to 10-9.

Later in the third quarter, FVSU re-took the lead after freshmen quarterback JahyrieHarris concluded a six-play, 51-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver DeMario Barber. Again, while the Wildcats’ extra point attempt failed, the lead swung back to FVSU, 15-10.

The game was decided with 6:22 left in the fourth quarter when Tuskegee’s Naredconnected with wide receiver Philander Browder on a 32-yard touchdown pass, giving the Golden Tigers a 16-15 lead. Instead of kicking the extra point, the Golden Tigers pushed for a two-point conversion by Nared. The 18-15 score held for the remainder of the game as Tuskegee claimed its first win of the season (1-3). The Wildcats’ record fell to 1-4.

For the second, consecutive week, the Wildcat offense was sparked by plays of Richmond. He was the game’s leading rusher with 116 yards on 15 carries. He averaged 7.7 yards per carry. Harris completed nine of 15 passes for FVSU, with a total of 149 yards and one touchdown.
Defensively, Courtney Daniel led the Wildcats for the second, straight weekend. Last week’s SIAC Defensive Player of the Week finished with 13 tackles in last night’s game. Bernard Goodrum and Ricky Johnson contributed 7.5 tackles each.

The Wildcats travel to Frankfort, Ky. on Saturday, Oct. 8 to meet the Kentucky State University Thorobreds at their homecoming celebration. Kickoff for the SIAC contest is at 1:30 p.m. Live broadcast coverage of the game can be heard on the Wildcats Sports Network (Radio: WFVS LP-104.3 FM in Fort Valley, Ga.; Internet: www.fvsu.edu).

-Wildcats Athletics-