By Keisha J Kelley
Sept 11, 2021
For the first time since 2019, the Clark Atlanta Panthers were back in their home stadium ready to put on a show for fans and friends. The weather weather was perfect but the Panthers fell to Lane 35-26.
The Dragons came out strong in the first quarter managing to outscore the Panthers 21-0 With a bad punt, a fumble, and a TD pass from Tarik McKinzie, the Dragons looked unstoppable. CAU's offense would answer right before halftime with a 72 yard drive and 11 yard touchdown pass to Draker Jerry to make the score 21-7.
With a little over three minutes left in the first half, Lanes offense would move fast and gain another score. A 23 yard run by Sharif Brown moved the ball for 72 yards. The score came on a 30 yarder from McKinzie's TD pass to Mikhi Lyles, putting the Dragons up 28-7 at halftime.
CAU made a quarterback switch in the second half, switching out Elijah Odum and swapping in freshman Sharif Brown. Brown completed one of his first five passes during the first two drives. The first drive ended with a 36 yard field goal from Carlos Saldana. He then put up a 9-yard toss to Kendell Wimberly and a 25 yard run set up by Saldana for a 50-yard goal to move the score to 28-13.
Lane answered on the next drive by throwing for 84 yards for another TD. The score continued to climb, this time 35-13.
The Panthers still hung on after a 49 yard touchdown strike to Trey Wilson, cutting the lead 35-20. Brown still gunning for CAU, hit Jeremiah Gibbs with a pass and 20 rushing yards. He had three 17 yard passes, the final one coming to Jerry for a touchdown to make the score 35-26. The extra point was blocked.
Both Brown and Odum combined for 232 yards and three touchdowns in the air. Brown also had 51 yards rushing and 191 yards in the second half with two touchdown passes.
Charles Crawford led the CAU defense with eight tackles, five of them solo. He also broke up two passes. Tyler Wimberly had second tackles, two for losses totaling 11 yards and a sack. Rodney Lewis also had seven stops, one for a loss of four yards. Breante Glover also had a sack.
For Lane, McKinzie went 25-for-38 for 318 yards and two touchdown passes, while Brown rushed for 121 yards and three touchdowns. Virgil Young caught six passes for 101 yards for the Dragons. Jeffrey Johnson had six tackles for Lane, while Andrew Farmer had five tackles, four for losses, and three sacks.
CAU will head back to CAU Panther Stadium next Saturday as they take on Shorter University at 12pm.