The Fort Valley State University Wildcats are the 2016 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football champions for the first time in seventeen years. The 33-30 double overtime victory over Kentucky State University happened Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala. Fort Valley State’s other championships came in 1970, 71, 72, 76, 80, 82, 83, 85, 91, 92 and 1999.
Junior running back Chauncey Jackson was named 2016 SIAC Championship Most Valuable Player and Kevin Porter the 2016 SIAC Championship Outstanding Coach of the Game.
FVSU collected 20 first downs in the game to KSU’s 15; KSU out gained the Wildcats 265 yards to 106 on the ground, FVSU added 254 yards in the air to 119 yards for KSU. The Wildcats had 360 yards of total offense on 76 plays to 384 yards on 67 plays for the Thorobreds. In penalties, the team had nine for 75 yards and KSU were rewarded with 10 for 101 yards, while time of possession went to FVSU with 46.32 to KSU’s 28.18.
Senior quarterback Otis Brown led the Wildcats in rushing with 52 yards, followed by Jackson’s 43 yards, one touchdown and freshman running back Jamari Clark’s 19 yards. Brown completed 17-of-32 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns and one interception. Sophomore wide receiver Christopher Weems grabbed four catches for 65 yards to lead the team, while Clark finished with three catches, 46 yards, junior wide receiver Bodarius Johnson 43 yards, three catches, Jackson three catches, 43 yards, one touchdown, junior kicker/punter Juan Serna punted four times for 161 yards and a long punt of 60 yards, while making a 37 and 43 yard field goal. Senior defensive end Brian Walker returned three punts for 20 yards, three kickoffs for 144 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, senior linebacker Ryan Bowman had nine tackles (seven solos), one tackle-for-losses (one yard), one interception (four yards) and three quarterback hurries, while freshman defensive back Camron Young grabbed nine tackles (six solos), a half tackle-for-losses (one yard), one pass break up, and junior linebacker Cannon Thomas with six tackles (five solos),a half tackle-for-losses and one forced fumble.
In the first quarter, KSU put up two quick scores: Reginal Harris’ 40 yard touchdown pass, and with 6:41 left, Lavelle Cloyd’s 58 yard rush for the second (KSU 14 – FVSU 0).
Otis Brown completed a pass to Weems for 32 yards, placing the ball on the two-yard line. Then with 3:17 on the clock, Jackson went up the middle for the two-yard touchdown to complete an eight play, 72 yard drive; junior kicker/punter Juan Serna’s kick attempt was good (FVSU 7 – KSU 14).
At the 6:51 mark, KSU’s Darmontre Warr rushed around the right side for five yards and a touchdown, Bill Rose kick attempt was good (KSU 21 – FVSU 7).
Rose kicked off to the FVSU’s 10-yard line, senior defensive end/punt and kick returner Brian Walker returned the ball 90 yards for a touchdown; Serna’s kick attempt good (FVSU 14 – KSU 21).
With 7:05 left in the third quarter, Brown tied the game with a 16 yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Bolden Davis, completing a 5 play, 55 yard drive, Serna’s kick attempt good (FVSU 21 – KSU 21).
KSU’s Rose completed a 7 play, 34 yard drive with a 45 yard field good as time run out in the quarter (KSU 24 – FVSU 21).
Serna’s 24 yard field goal attempt went wide to the left with 10:10 on the clock, which would have tied the game, but he was given a second shot from 37 yards out with 8:32 remaining (FVSU 24 – KSU 24).
First overtime: The Wildcats received first and after seven plays, Serna kicked a 43 yard field goal (FVSU 27 – KSU 24). KSU answered with Rose’s 32 yard field goal (KSU 27 – FVSU 27).
Second overtime: It was KSU’s ball and the Wildcats defense held, forcing KSU’s Rose to kick a 32 yard field goal (KSU 30 – FVSU 27).
Next drive for the Wildcats, Otis Brown completed a seven yard pass to Christopher Weems, moving the ball to the three yard line. Brown’s rush failed to gain, losing eight yards to the 11 yard line. After two time outs, Brown threw an 11 yard touchdown pass to Chauncey Jackson for the championship win (FVSU33 – KSU 30).