I think I smell progress. Don’t stare too hard at the scoreboard, after two humiliating losses the Clark Panthers were again on the wrong side of a 22 point loss. The Fort Valley State University Wildcats came into Panther stadium and won a lopsided game. However, the scoreboard don’t tell the whole story. On a trick in the second quarter, sophomore QB Otis Brown was injured. The defense that is Coach Kevin Ramsey specialty held the Wildcats to 14 first half points. The second half the Panthers scored and brought the game close to a tie with a TD pass by junior QB Matthew Vincent to senior RB Travius Blair. Vincent threw for 252 yards and 2 touchdowns. That was all the scoring the Panthers would do. Travis Richmond went on to score two TDs and the depth of the Wildcats was just too much for the Panthers.
Deandre Jackson, 2 receptions for 37 yards, showed that he may be the smallest player in college football but he has the biggest heart of anybody on any field. Listed at 5’3″, this guy is on the field more than the grass. I’m about to tell my age with this one but he was like that watch…He took a licking and kept on ticking. The medical staff ran the required tests for concussions and he passed them. The rebuilding of a program is filled with more downs than ups. There will be more losses, more baby step progress and more double digit losses. Jackson is the type of player you want to guide your organization into the future. He is tougher than leather (You gotta do 80’s references by 3’s so bear with me I got one more coming)! He got up after every big hit the Wildcats gave him. I say give that kid a game ball and an ice bath and a spa day.
The 6′ 2″ JR LB Jacob Mitchell and 5′ 11″ FR WR Brentin Martin are becoming the two standout performers during this young 2015 season. Martin had his best game of the season with 6 receptions for 62 yards. He is easily Vincent most reliable target. Martin hasn’t crossed the end zone yet but with more games like this he will be a very valuable asset to the offense. Mitchell is a tackling machine. He had another 8 tackles versus the Wildcats. If Coach Ramsey is to have any success creating a decent defensive, Mitchell will be the one making his vision a reality. His head was in what seemed like every tackle. The rebuilding blocks are being set by some savvy vets and a standout freshmen.
Next week those blocks will have one of the biggest test of the year. Coming off a 593-yard offensive explosion, the University of West Georgia Wolves are a force. They are 3-0 and are not looking to lose any time soon. Led by SR QB Dallas Dickey, the Wildcats will probably beat the Panthers by halftime. Dickey threw 4 TDs against Fayetteville State after throwing 2 TDs the week before. The Panthers are heading to Carrollton, Georgia and it doesn’t look like they will get their first win down there. Fingers crossed, toes crossed and I think I pulled a muscle in my pinky toe.
The band….. I have to say must adopt the “size don’t matter” philosophy. I expected larger, louder, bigger and bolder. The dances were ok. The music was not too audible up in the box. Clark Atlanta University will need to head to Southwest Dekalb and steal some of their band members from FAMU. The Wildcats won the band battle. More formations louder clearer music and lots more hair swinging than Willow Smith. The Panthers did the straight line formation and, when your band is mostly JUST a drum line have to say that, that was expected. The Panthers band did try to start a drum line battle like the Beat Street Breakers vs the Bronx Rockers (told you!!!!) but was stopped due to the line of scrimmage being too close. Going to have to give them a loss on this one, then I’m going to retroactively make them 0-3 simply because I haven’t been moved by them yet. Somebody gotta pay for this record. Team is in rebuild mode and looking good, band needs take note.
by Lytrell Howard