FORT VALLEY, Ga. –In the 2017 SIAC Championship Game rematch, the Wildcats (1-6/1-3 SIAC East) drove to the Golden Tigers (4-3/2-1 SIAC West) two yardline on the opening possession. FVSU, though, failed to convert as it committed the first on a fumble of what would be a combined six turnovers between the teams along with a bad snap on a home field goal in the first two quarters.
The Wildcats finally converted for a 33-yard Abisai Gutierrez field goal following a David Brown sack and fumble recovery set up the try. The FVSU 3-0 lead over Tuskegee with 3:14 left in the first quarter was the home team’s first time of the season it scored first in a game. The lead last only 7:18 as Tuskegee drove 70 yards on 13 plays capped by a four-yard short pass and the visitors never trailed again the final 40:59 of the game.
The FVSU defense gave up 350 yards, the most since week 2 against Top 15-ranked Valdosta State, but it forced three Tuskegee turnovers with a pair of fumbles and nifty Cameron Young interception along the home sideline. The unit also recorded 10 tackles for loss and two sacks.
Free safety Zach Anderson posted a career-best 18 total tackles, 11 solo, to go with two tackles for loss of five yards. His safety teammate, Young, contributed 14 stops, 1.5 tackles for loss and the interception. Nicco Whigham and Andrew Robinson added seven tackles apiece.
Tuskegee was able to keep possession of the ball for 38:11 minutes, including 21 minutes of the 30 second-half minutes. The Wildcats amassed 216 yards on 59 snaps.
Jeremy McCants ground out 50 yards on 10 carries for a solid 5.0 yard/carry average. Lorenzo Smothers pulled in nine passes for 50 yards and a 35-yard kick return. Jeffery Mack grabbed two balls for 53 yards, including an exciting 44-yarder, and a 41-yard kick-off return. Jhi’Marre Brown raced through the Golden Tigers secondary on a 35-yard burst for his one catch.
Despite only averaging 2.7 yards per carry in 44 rushes, Tuskegee was able to control the clock with 118 net yards. Quarterback Ahmad Deramus was accurate with 18 completions on 23 passes for 232 yards to have two touchdowns and an interception.
Following the visitor first touchdown to make it 7-3, FVSU put together a quick drive three possessions later to end the first half. Driving 54 yards in only 1:21, a Garrel Quainton 3rd-and-4 pass went incomplete at the Tuskegee 28-yardline. A Gutierrez 45-yard field goal feel a few feet short to keep it at 7-3 for halftime.
The Golden Tigers wasted no time in extending the margin to open the third quarter. Tuskegee went 70 yards as Deramus found Justice for the second time on the drive from 11 yards after a key 28-yard wheel play set up the score into home territory, to make it 14-3.
Trailing 17-3, the Wildcats made one last surge to the Golden Tigers 10-yardline, but they could only muster a Gutierrez 28-yard field goal. The Gutierrez boot made it 17-6 with 2:09 left, before the opponent ran out the clock to end the game for the second week in a row.
FVSU completes its home schedule with the biggest date of all. The Wildcats host the Bears of Lenoir-Rhyne for Homecoming next Saturday, Oct. 20, in a 2 p.m. matchup.