November 2014

Lima’s three field goals lift Falcons over Shaw

Michael Lima (Sr./Miami, FL) booted three field goals including a university-record 49-yarder and Claytin Lewis (Fr./Raleigh, NC) scored on a long kickoff return as Saint Augustine’s University enjoyed a 16-9 CIAA football win over across-town rival Shaw University at a packed George Williams Athletic Complex on Senior Day Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014.

The Falcons are 2-0 against Shaw at the George Williams Athletic Complex. Two years ago, the contest between the archrivals was decided on the final play. On Saturday, the Falcons relied on the strong leg of Lima, the speedy legs of Lewis and a stout defense.

Lima was one of several seniors who stood out on Senior Day. John’ta Cooper (Sr./Cairo, GA) became the university’s career interceptions leader when he came down with the ball on a fourth-down desperation floater to seal the win. He finished his collegiate career with 10 interceptions.

Carlton Butts (Sr./Thomasville, GA) was all over the field with a game-high 11 tackles including three for a loss. Defensive lineman Nigel Crawford (Sr./Washington, DC) manhandled the Bears’ blockers at the scrimmage line on his way to seven tackles, four tackles for loss and two sacks.

The trio of Butts, Crawford and Cooper led a defense which held Shaw to 241 total offensive yards, tallied four sacks and recorded three interceptions in their best performance of the season. The point total was the lowest for an opponent this season.

The seniors were inspired by the pre-game ceremony. In addition to Butts, Crawford, Cooper and Lima, 11  seniors were honored, including tight end Kyle Mackie (Charlotte, NC), offensive lineman Desmin Moore (Fairburn, GA), defensive lineman Michael Oliver (Washington, DC) defensive back Cyrano Parsons (Teaneck, NJ), offensive lineman Martize Smith (High Point, NC), offensive lineman Ruben Velazquez (Rock Hill, SC) and team manager Bre’a Davis (Franklin, LA).

The Falcons led 6-3 at halftime courtesy of Lima. His 25-yarder knotted the score at 3-3 in the first quarter and his record-breaking 49-yarder in the second quarter put the Falcons ahead 6-3.

After an exhilarating performance by the Falcons’ Superior Sound Marching Band at halftime, Lewis provided even more fireworks when the speedy freshman returned the opening kickoff 92 yards for the game’s first touchdown. Lima’s extra point stretched the Falcons’ lead to 13-3.

Lima added another field goal, this time from 28 yards, to make the score 16-3 in the fourth quarter. The Falcons were cruising to victory but the Bears didn’t go away quietly. A 40-yard fumble return for a touchdown put Shaw back in the game at 16-9 with 4:23 left.

The home fans were nervous when the Bears forced a punt and gained possession in Falcons’ territory near midfield. But the Falcons played their best defensive series of the season.

Butts stuffed a run play for a one-yard loss and linebacker Elijah Evans (Redshirt Jr./College Park, GA) stopped a pass play for a seven-yard loss. On third down, freshmen defensive linemen Teoz Mauney (Salisbury, NC) and Darius Goodman (Richmond, VA) teamed up for a sack. Needing 27 yards for a first down, Trey Folston of the Bears threw a fourth-down bomb downfield which Cooper picked off.

Even with the interception, the game wasn’t over yet. With four seconds left, N’Gal Tillman of Shaw returned a kick with no time remaining but, much to the delight of the Falcons’ fans, he was stopped.
The Falcons finished the season 3-4 in the CIAA and 3-7 overall. The Bears dropped to 2-5 in the CIAA and 3-7 overall.

By Jordan Baber