Despite a loss to Winston-Salem State University on Oct. 13, Saint Augustine’s University is in position to turn around the football season heading into the Homecoming game this weekend.
The Falcons go up against Fayetteville State University at 1 p.m. on Oct. 20 in the George Williams Athletic Complex.
The team was on a two-game winning streak before the Winston-Salem game and the team’s record stands at 2-2 in the Southern Division and 2-4 overall.
The Falcons have gotten past the toughest part of their schedule. Five of the six games so far have been on the road, and two of the opponents — both losses — were to Division I schools.
The Falcons were hoping for a turnaround Sept 15 when they were scheduled to play defending CIAA champions Virginia State University at home. But due to Hurricane Florence, the game was cancelled.
“If we would’ve gotten the chance to play them and win, that would’ve been the momentum we needed to turn the season around,” said Curtis Hardy, a junior criminal justice major from Washington, D.C.
The Winston-Salem game was another road game. Falcon quarterback John Darby IV (Fr./Detroit, MI) ran for 98 yards on 14 carries, but turnovers stymied the Falcons in a 36-6 loss.
The Falcons, led by Darby, outrushed the Rams 168-108 but committed four turnovers. The Rams scored 16 points in the first half off three SAU miscues for a 23-6 lead at halftime.
A fumble on the Falcons’ first series led to a Rams’ field goal but the game’s biggest turnover occurred on SAU’s second possession. The Falcons had a chance to take the lead after driving to the Rams’ one-yard line, but a third-down rollout pass was intercepted in the end zone. That led to a four-play, 80-yard scoring drive by the Rams for a 10-0 lead the Falcons could not catch.
But the Falcons have not given up. After their losses, they were back in the lab watching film to see where they could improve.
In the one home game, against Bowie State, you could feel the energy from the students, cheerleaders, and band.
Wide reciever Jonte Miles (Soph/Beltville, MD) is not discouraged.
“We had a slow start. … All we can do is get back out there next week and play harder,” Miles said.
— Anthony Dixon