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Rumble in the Jungle: Conner makes his debut for Tigers

August 24, 2007

BC Tigers Sports Information

When Stan Conner accepted the job as new head coach at Benedict in January, his first order of business was to change the face of the program. Saturday, sporting a new lookgold helmetsthe new field general will make his debut on the sidelines as the Tigers travel to face archrival Morehouse, 7 p.m. at B.T. Harvey Stadium in Atlanta.

In its own regard, there is no love lost for both schools, which has developed into one of the biggest rivalries in the SIAC. Several games have gone downtothewire, but it has been Morehouse, lately with the upper hand. In last season's battle in Columbia, turnovers and a late touchdown scored by the Maroon Tigers in fourth quarter was the deciding factor in the heartbreaking 2524 loss for Benedictthe team's third consecutive loss to the Morehouse.

Under its new coach the team will now embark on a journey to become one of the premier programs in the highly competitive SIAC.

In the past, the lack of offensive presence has gone on a downward spiral, while the defense has continued to flourish as one of the conferences' top units. Experience, however, along with some key additions should have the Tigers offense lighting up the scoreboard. Senior Elijah Clark and the return of all four starters on the offensive line will be the backbone of the Tigers 'O' this season. After taking over the reigns at starter last season, Marcus Webb will start the season under the helm for the Tigers. The 6foot2 versatile lefty from Coffee County, Georgia will also share time with JUCO transfer and onetime Mississippi State player Omar Love. Love, who has sub 4.5 40 speed, will bring a change of pace to BC's run and shoot style offense. The always dangerous wide receiver/return specialist Richard Siders, along with xx and xx will be the targets for both quarterbacks.

Defensively, the Tigers will boast one of its best units in recent memory. The team has improved on the defensive line and secondary with the return of several key players, but will have to replace a depleted linebacking core left by AllConference selections Deon Lanier and Titus Curry. Preseason AllConference Defensive Back Carl Spellman, cornerback/safety Andre Gladness and defensive end Donny Wilcher.

For Morehouse this will also mark the debut of new head coach Rich Freeman, a former defensive coordinator at Lane. Freeman, one of the top defensive signal callers in the conference, brought over his inquisitive mind and incorporated it into the system to match the array of talent Morehouse has on its defense. An aggressive, quick unit, Morehouse will be anchored by its defensive secondary, defensive line and its returning leading tackler, linebacker Terrance Thomas.

Morehouse will revert from its traditional smash mouthstyle of football to the spread offense. Leading the way is threeyear starting quarterback Carlos King, who has been a thorn on the side to Benedict over the years. In last year's meeting King had 146 total yards of offense, including the game winning touchdown pass to James Steadman late in the fourth quarter. Running back Kevin Moore, who impressed coaches during preseason workouts, will also look to have a breakout season.

BC Tiger fans this is definitely a game you don't want to miss. Here is a closer look at Saturday Night's battle between Morehouse and Benedict.

Benedict (00) vs. Morehouse (00)

7 p.m. B.T. Harvey Stadium

Atlanta, Georgia

Radio: Benedict Tiger Football Network WGCV 620 AM

Tale of the Tape

Offense: Even

Both teams are in a transition phase and learning new offenses.

Quarterbacks: MHC

Threeyear starter King is undefeated against the Tigers; In order to stop him, BC must contain

Running Back: BC

Elijah Clark returns in hopes of becoming the first Tiger to eclipse the 1,000 yard mark in school history. Morehouse has an unproven but good running back, who coaches are raving about.

Offensive Line: BC

The Tigers, led by Stanley Wright, return all four starters

Wide Receiver: Even

Both teams have at least one go to guy returning

Defense: BC

Defensive Line: BC

Although twoAll Conference selections are gone, some depth returns in the position. Morehouse will counter with two big defensive run stuffers

Linebacker: Morehouse

Morehouse has some quick backers that swarm to the ball, while BC will have fresh new faces lining up in the middle

Defensive Backs: BC

BC has a tandem playing together for three seasons.

Special Teams: Morehouse

Kicker Micah Stripe has range, while BC has to replace Martin Degazon

Players to Watch

Benedict

RB Elijah Clark, Sr. DB Carl Spellman, Sr. DL Donny Wilcher, QB Marcus Webb, QB Omar Love, OL Stanley Wright, OL Michael Spencer, DB David Smith, DB Andre Gladness

Morehouse

QB Carlos King; FS Derrick Scott, CB Earl Thomas, WR James Steadman; RB Terrance Thomas, OL Kevin Moore

Outlook: With both teams pick to finish in the bottom of the barrel in the SIAC standings, Benedict and Morehouse will be looking to make a statement in this game. Although both teams have an array of firepower on offense, it will be defense and special teams that will be the determining factor of this epic battle between two archrivals. Expect another nail biter, with the ball finally rolling the Tigers way in the end.

Keys to Victory for the Tigers: Win the battle on the offensive and defensive lines; Attack the inexperienced Morehouse offense line and apply pressure to the quarterback, King; Stop the run; Develop a rhythm on offense to keep the defense of the field; Win the battle on Special teams and field position

Prediction: Benedict 22, Morehouse 16

Calleb Obumba 
Sports Editor
Dekalb and Rockdale Neighbor Newspaper
770.454.9388 phone
770.454.9131 fax
cobumba@neighbornewspapers.com

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