Posts Tagged ‘Division 1’

Howard Bison Homecoming Win

October 25, 2017
Wayne Frederick Twitter 2017 Homecoming

An aerial shot of the tailgating crowd from the Twitter account of Howard University President Wayne Frederick proves that homecoming is a premier event in Washington D.C.

On October 21 the Howard University Bison had their annual homecoming extravaganza but for the first time in four years, they managed to also celebrate on the football field.  The Morgan State University Bears fell to the Bison 39-14, in front of a sellout star-studded crowd, and the thrilling game was never really in doubt.

 

The unheralded heroes of the contest were the seniors that had to read articles on shade tree, janky websites like this one for not winning every homecoming game, every single time.  This is Black college (HBCU) football, after all.  Everybody loves it because Black College football is just down like that.  The brand of MEAC football is on the rise though, and lately, the Bison have been playing like it.  Howard leads the FCS Division 1 in several key categories in offense but it was the defense that eventually lived up to their potential by stopping the Morgan Bears.

Senior linebacker Devin Rollins was the leading tackler and he recapped his game experience with HBCU Gameday but the entire defense for the Bison was motivated.  Nobody wants to lose on homecoming, and certainly not for four years in a row.  The Howard Bison red zone defense came up with big turnovers time and again, making it look like it was routine.  #6 Bryan Cook, a freshman cornerback, had two interceptions by himself.  The Bears have had their own share of problems on offense, so the Bison are still going to be answering questions about if they can stop teams with more potency, but homecoming wins are more than just wins.

Caylin Newton 2000yds total 21OCT twitter Coach Marion BrennanMarion4

A coach congratulates Howard quarterback Caylin Newton for going over 2000 yards for the season. [ Photo from the Twitter account of Coach Marion Brennan. ]

Caylin Newton is a standout true freshman quarterback.

The Black College Football Hall of Fame already has their eye on the Howard quarterback that stands out from the crowd. [ Photo from the Black College Football Hall of Fame Twitter account. ]

The added value comes from more than just beating your Baltimore neighbors in Greene Stadium, wedged in between the shadows of the famed and revered Cook and Drew HallsThe real prestige comes from the gratitude and adoration of the shining Black masses.  Indeed the entire city of Washington D.C. was at capacity for what has been a national event -no matter how the football team plays.  But this is one of those years when Howard University is actually holding the goods on the football field.  Caylin Newton broke a  20-yard rushing score with under two minutes to go in the first quarter to let all of the Bison sympathizers in the throngs know in short order.

The stalwart running back Anthony Philyaw (#7) went down with a shoulder injury in the course of play and didn’t have his best game.  Morgan State managed to tie the game in the second quarter, briefly, but the Bison never really looked back.   Caylin Newton would account for all four of the Bison offensive touchdowns on the afternoon and he just straight up confused the Bears.  (Freshman strong safety Aaron Walker had a scoop and score late in the fourth quarter.)  When Newton wasn’t juking his way on the ground he was throwing deep.  The phenomenal freshman quarterback had two scores on the ground and an equal amount through the air.

Howard University is officially in the Caylin Newtown era, now, and he has proved to be able to confound opposing teams.  The Bison faithful all love it because records are made to be broken -and Caylin already has one under his belt.  To say that he is a special player is already an understatement and we aren’t factoring in any of his family members into that announcement.  With the right protection and a good defensive effort, the Howard football team will always have better than a fighting chance with Caylin Newton under center.

Howard University Homecoming: Migration Edition

The Bison are adding to the herd.

 

Caylin Newton shredded the Morgan Bears defense in big chunks through the air by connecting on strikes of 58 yards and 75 yards for his passing touchdowns.  The Morgan Bears shouldn’t feel bad because Newton has done it to everybody this season, as he has already surpassed 2,000 Total Yards in his inaugural season.  The true freshman is also among the NCAA FCS leaders (#13 through October 21) in total offense, and he is the only one of that rookie classification within the top 30.  Howard University Football now leads the FCS in Passing Yards per Completion a feat that would have seemed impossible at this same date last year.

If you are late to this party, you need to stop hating and recognize that Caylin Newton has been more than a boon for the Bison and peep our proclamation.  We have purposefully overstated it in the past but we need to #ProtectCaylin at all costs because he is the future of Black College football.  The ESPN announcers broadcasting the play-by-play of the game only lamented the disappearance of the simmering crowd in the middle of the fourth quarter  (when Caylin Newton sat down) but we don’t always expect all them to really get it.  A win like this is a luxury the current students aren’t used to and they undoubtedly went to better position themselves for the festivities bubbling a block down Georgia Avenue.  Caylin Newton has proven to be the gift that keeps on giving by inspiring the recruiting efforts of Howard University and through his leadership on the field.

Head coach Mike London, and his son Michael W. London Jr., are rightfully optimistic.  The Bison (4-3) have bought into their #MissionPossible mantra and they’re heading down to South Carolina State on October 27 with a winning record.  The future is bright and that is worthy of some serious dap.  The Chronicles of Six hopes that everyone had a Happy Howard Homecoming and that you will continue to check our CP-time, bootleggin’ asses for updates and coverage.  Go Bison!

[Featured Image from the Twitter account of President Wayne Frederick, linked above.]

 

Saint Johns Beat DeMatha In Football

October 21, 2017

2017 will certainly be a year that goes down in Saint Johns College history if only for ending a very long streak of losing in football to DeMatha.  The Cadets finally managed to have a good day and bested the Stags on the gridiron 38-22 in front of their homecoming crowd on Military Road.

It isn’t hard to put this win into perspective for Saint Johns because no one on their current football roster was born the last time that they beat the Stags in 1994.  We announced some time ago that Cadets changed the football landscape and that the rivalry with the Stags was back.   With this win, Saint Johns will undoubtedly justify the drastic changes that they have undertaken but it probably still rings a little hallow.

DeMatha falls to 4-4 on the year, and 0-3 in the WCAC.  For the first time in a while, DeMatha is fighting to be the fourth-best team in a very competitive league.  Looking at the strength of schedules, DeMatha doesn’t have any significant wins at this point in the season and Saint Johns merely joined the ranks of Good Counsel and Gonzaga who also beat the Stags this year.  The loss to Saint Johns College was their third in a row in a season in which DeMatha has struggled against upper echelon football teams.

The defending WCAC champions are now fighting just to make the playoffs.  DeMatha needs two straight wins at Bishop McNamara (October 28) and Archbishop Carroll (November 4) in order to control their own destiny.  Nothing will come easy for the Stag squad this season because, by now, everybody smells blood.

There have been some bright spots for the DeMatha Stags football team.  Senior Judson Tallandier was named to the American Under-19 football squad.  Senior Kicker Jake Dolinger is showing why four-year Stags are still the most sought after student-athletes in NCAA recruiting after recording a notable score on the SAT.

Yet DeMatha finds themselves in an unfamiliar position because they are unable to dominate key aspects of football games against teams -like they have in years past.  Sacks and rushing touchdowns are both down in 2017.

Cervus elaphus in the city

Stags are in unfamiliar territory.

The Big Four all have offensive and defensive lines that hover around the average weight of 300 lbs per player -and that makes for very tough sledding.

 

Once more the Stags are still trying to find their footing in a sport that isn’t very forgiving.  DeMatha has even tried changing quarterbacks to no avail: both Tyler Lenhart and Eric Najarian have notched two losses as the starter.  The ability to overcome injuries and distractions is also a huge part of football and the DeMatha Stags still aren’t totally out of contention yet.

If DeMatha can claim the fourth seed outright, there is still a chance to defend their title and win a fifth straight WCAC championship.  Can they come back unscathed from the verge of annihilation in 2017?  Stranger things have happened to the Stags so we will have to keep you posted.

[Featured Image: City of Ashton website]

 

2017 WCAC Football Preview: SNAFU

October 5, 2017

The Washington Catholic Athletic Conference is arguably the toughest high school sports association in the United States of America.

wcac_logo_600_res_

The toughest conference in America.

The WCAC has been at the forefront of ushering in a new era of recruiting that has shifted the landscape of secondary education, and football is no exception.

 

The tale of the WCAC in football, and really all the sports played is a story of the best of teams and the worst of teams.  The conference known for producing nationally ranked basketball teams in the same season is unique in that all programs at least enjoy the privilege of greatness by association.  Unlike basketball, which has exhibited relative parity over the years, WCAC football programs are worlds apart.  The schism between schools that made the unwavering commitment to compete on a national level in football and those that didn’t clearly strained the organization more than the other sports.  The result was a lopsided mess military guys call a SNAFU: systems normal all fouled up.

DeMatha, Good Counsel, Saint John’s College, and Gonzaga would all make headlines with their football programs by notching clutch wins in national upsets.  The four schools with the biggest football traditions in the WCAC continued to prosper, and all of them could be seen on national broadcasts via ESPN over the last five years.  The WCAC schools in Virginia were the first to secede and they ultimately identified football as the cause.  Bishop Ireton, Paul VI, and then Bishop O’Connell decided that they couldn’t compete with the rising talent level that all of the exposure generated for the Big Four.  Archbishop Carroll, Bishop McNamara, and Saint Mary’s Ryken were equally unnerved by the massive arms race occurring in football but hung on despite taking a lot of lumps.

The WCAC was forced to reorganize and update the rules to accommodate a stronger commissioner.  Next year they will unveil a two-tiered football schedule and they have expanded to include The Heights School, which is already competing in soccer this year.  The conference will be unified in the sport of football again, but in this interim year get ready to see more of just how we got this way in the first place.  The Big Four will continue to dominate, sometimes shuffling win and losses between each other but with seldom a loss to the other WCAC members.  The 2017 WCAC football season has already begun with Gonzaga pummeling Bishop McNamara 38-0 on Eye Street with a freshman starting at quarterback.

There just aren’t too many schools that want to face that kind of ability to reload on a yearly basis and the Mustangs (0-5) deserve some sort of award for courage.  Deeper programs like Gonzaga keep attracting Division 1 caliber players because of examples set by alumni like Kevin Hogan in the NFL.  This is just one example but the Gonzaga Purple Eagles (5-1) are still fighting to break into their first WCAC championship game since 2011.  Gonzaga is clearly a playoff team.  The Eagles were even cut off from competing for the tiny DC “state title,” but they haven’t won a WCAC football championship since 2002.  Gonzaga is our pick to finish fourth this year but if they stay healthy they can give anyone problems, for a spell.

Our Lady of Good Counsel will also be challenged to sustain their glory on the gridiron in 2017.  The WCAC’s winningest football coach Bob Milloy retired in 2016, after only the second season since 2004 in which they didn’t appear in the championship game.  Replacing legends is never easy but the Falcons (4-1), again, looked within their program and picked a gamer in head coach Andy Stephanelli.  Good Counsel is still solid and they have shocked teams in the area that might have forgotten that the Falcons were league champions in football from 2009-2012.  Still, after facing what should be the top two teams in the WCAC in the ensuing fortnight we believe that home field advantage should be enough to rattle Gonzaga on October 27.

The Saint John’s College Cadets are proof that the transition to elite status in football can come at a steep price.  SJC suffers from an identity crisis and every season that goes by seems to make it worse because they certainly sacrificed the most and have the least to show for it.  The Cadets opted to go the full-on Moneyball route, but cash hasn’t proven to be a panacea so far.  Program alumnus and Under Armour founder Kevin Plank financed a complete overhaul that included an injection of transfers and two head coaches at one point.  The Cadets have been knocking on the door in recent years with a lot of notable wins, but none against the defending WCAC champions in the last quarter century.

SJC was supposed to be overwhelming the league with their unlimited resources, but they have underachieved in WCAC football and they have to look back to the old Metro conference for their last title in 1989.  Head coach Joe Casamento is trying to change all of that by unleashing the new and improved program on the top teams in the nation but the cracks in the plan have been obvious.  The Christian Brothers are probably wondering if a 2-2 record was worth these changes but they haven’t given up the lofty expectations that they have for their football program.  School missions aside, whether or not superstar transfers can manufacture enough team chemistry for a title is the question that has relegated the Cadets to second place of late, despite attaining a national ranking in USA Today earlier this season.

The four-time defending WCAC football champion DeMatha Stags have also had a lot to do with that.  Head coach Elijah Brooks is now unquestionably the best in the league and his players desperately want to add to this budding dynasty.  The Stags lost their opening game of the season but have reeled off four straight wins since then, two of them shutouts.  The DeMatha defense hasn’t given up a score in the second half of a football game since Bishop Gorman got the better of them in August.  DeMatha (4-1) will open WCAC play against a Gonzaga team that already has three shutouts under their belt on October 6.  It is safe to say that everyone is coming for the kings of the WCAC and SJC and Good Counsel are good tests for the Stags to improve their national ranking in USA Today.

It is a long way down from the top and the rest of the WCAC will just be searching for ways to get by in football in 2017.   The faces and names might be old news but the essence of the conference is probably going to remain the same for a little while.

With a league that routinely produces heavyweights, the WCAC will realize that they were wise to err on the side of caution and let some teams sit the football slugfest out.  What we have this year are six teams competing for the WCAC trophy in football and the rest will rejoin the league next year when the new rules take effect.  DeMatha, SJC, Good Counsel, Gonzaga, McNamara, and Carroll could finish in that order during this abbreviated 2017 football season. 

It is worth writing that basketball seems to be the honey that kept Bishop Ireton, Ryken, O’Connell, and Paul VI in the WCAC hive.  (Those teams will all play independent schedules in 2017, and they won’t be in contention for a title in football this year.)  The overall risk-reward for student-athletes is better in basketball and the notoriety of the league has made it a pipeline to Division 1 schools, and beyond.  Football is still trying to find a balance in the WCAC, but the shadow of a more formidable conference is still going to bash each other with everything they have in the meanwhile.  The only thing that could stop this show is if the culture changes and WCAC football is on the rise.

As per usual, the traditional rivalry games are worth experiencing live.  The oldest, continuous football game in the country between Gonzaga and Saint John’s is on November 4.  Bishop McNamara is hosted by Archbishop Carroll on October 7.  Good Counsel will try to pull off an upset against DeMatha on Friday, October 13 at the PG Sports & Learning Complex.  Then DeMatha will travel to Saint John’s on Military Road on October 21.

Did we forget to mention that DeMatha vs Gonzaga is October 6?  We hope that you tune into DM Stags TV to check this one out free of charge on the NFHS NetworkThe Big Four are all ranked in the top ten in The Washington Post, so everyone should remember.  Follow the #WCAC hashtag on Twitter if the #DeMatha (live) hashtag is too lit.  We have you covered here at The Chronicles of Six, so always check for updates in our Sports category!  Let us keep connecting you to the reputable sources.

Protect Caylin Newton At All Costs

September 19, 2017

Howard University has a superstar in true freshman quarterback Caylin Newton.  Nobody knows how that just happened, but now the next smart thing to do is to protect him at all costs.  Hashtag: #ProtectCaylin.  Caylin Newton has a chance to take Howard University to the big time in football.  The Buffalo Soldiers have given way to a slick new Bison logo provided on Under Armour uniforms and the reboot is the perfect time make gains in athletics.  The offensive and defensive lines are the areas that need improving the most, and by the looks of things, the Bison have their work cut out for them.  Recruiting at the linemen positions will have the greatest impact in the immediate future and it is a crucial stepping stone to make the most of Caylin’s time.

Caylin Newton already proved that he has big game potential when he shocked the world by leading Howard football over UNLV, on the road, to upset the biggest point spread in history.  Howard football is currently sporting a record of 1-2 but considering that they changed the record books in week one, the next two losses were progressively worse.  Caylin Newton has certainly inspired the Bison to punch above their weight, but when they faced the University of Richmond they fell 68-21.  Meeting the fellow FCS school, Richmond Spiders, was a humbling experience that exposed the need to augment the talent up front.

Football starts when they snap the ball and Howard University is going to have to get better at dominating the line of scrimmage.  Pass protection is going to continue to be an issue for the Bison because Caylin Newton lacks the size of his older brother.  Caylin has matched Cam Newton’s indomitable will to win so far, and that can lead to dangerous situations.  Caylin Newton plays with a chip on his shoulder, stalling for time, dipping and dodging, and slanging on the run.  Shifty moves have kept defenders at bay for the moment, but the Bison can’t afford to continue to let Caylin take these risks.

While most of the competition that the Bison will face is nothing like their first three opponents, Howard football should also take the hint that as game tape makes the rounds good teams may start to figure things out.  Caylin Newton’s statistics against Richmond last week are a sign of weaknesses that need to be addressed as soon as possible.

PASSING CP-TO-INT YDS TD LONG
Caylin Newton 5-17-2 183 1 43
RUSHING TO YDS TD LONG
Caylin Newton 10 24 1 17

 

 

The Howard University defense didn’t fare much better against the Spiders.  The Bison gave up 333 yards on the ground to go along with the massive 68 point total.  It would be difficult to muster a win against fellow HBCU or MEAC opponents with those kinds of numbers.  A strong pass rush and an ability to stop the run are essential components necessary to compete for a championship in football.

Whether looking for talent or for inspiration on the gridiron, new head football coach Mike London doesn’t have to go far.  After suffering the walloping defeat against a team London led to an FCS national title in 2008, it should be easy for him to take a page out of their book.  Mike London needs to scope out and scoop up local talent because the Washington DC metropolitan area is producing NCAA Division 1 athletes at an unbelievable clip.  DMV schools like the University of Richmond and the University of Maryland have made it point to focus on a few elite high schools in the area, in particular, and Howard needs to do the same.

Caylin Newton Twitter

Caylin has joy for the game.

Perhaps the last time that Howard University was in this position Jay “Sky” Walker was the quarterback for the Bison.  The team was a perfect 11-0 in Walker’s senior year and they were crowned the National Champions of Black College Football in 1993.  It is certain that the 1993 team will be inducted into the Howard University Athletics Hall of Fame soon, and Jay Walker can be seen on ESPN broadcasts and in the Maryland House of Delegates.  Howard University is the institution for Black learning and it sports monikers such as The Capstone and The Mecca.  The school sells itself long before the conversation turns to mundane activities such as football -and Howard definitely wants to keep it that way.

The Jay “Sky” Walker or Antoine Bethea type of player can remain among the Bison elite and bring more recognition for The Hilltop to chronicle.  The Yard has seen the most famous of our people and nothing happening on a football field is going to change that.  With that already stated, Howard University athletics needs to make a recruiting push to protect assets that they have already acquired on the field.  Howard University has a good reputation in everything and Caylin Newton is only going to add to that.  The Bison need to thicken the herd and we should all prepare for the coming stampede.  Players of his caliber don’t come along very often, but when they do there will be others looking benefit from all of that added attention.

For full disclosure, we need to also state that Caylin Newton is not completely alone right now and that there are others doing their parts.  Senior running back Anthony Philyaw was honored as a preseason national watchlist candidate and was named the Preseason MEAC Player of the Year according to the Howard University Athletics website.  Sophomore wide receiver Kyle Anthony was placed on the Preseason All-MEAC second team and shows promise.  From Miami, Florida the Bison have senior linebacker Devin Rollins who is probably their best defensive player on their best defensive unit.  These few players illustrated the problem in a close loss to Kent State two weeks ago.  There just aren’t enough of the guys doing the dirty work to make sure Caylin Newton can shine at this moment.

The skill positions will be okay but Howard football needs to bulk up and show that they know how to play football again by controlling the trenches.  The offensive line is set to graduate forty percent of their ten roster spots next year and will be looking for stability.  While they are much younger on the defensive side of the ball, the Bison should probably consider sacrificing one of those roster spots to add a defensive end.  Howard doesn’t want to get caught with their pants down around their ankles when teams inevitably try to shut down Caylin Newton with hard-to-read blitz packages and by hogging the time of possession.

Howard University is on the verge of breakthrough if they can address these issues.  (Watch the Twitter hashtags if you want to see a grown man troll them to death, if they don’t: #PullYoPantsUp and #CombYoHair.)  We hope that they don’t drop the ball by leaving Caylin Newton overexposed.  Black college football needs this, also.  Caylin Newton’s choice to attend to Howard and start on the field right away bodes well for a unique and important subculture of the game.  The recent changes in the Howard University Athletic program demonstrated that it feels good when the Bison are leading in every aspect.  Building around Caylin Newton sends the right message to other athletes with high skill sets that are considering an education at Howard University or other HBCU’s.

Caylin Newton is a quarterback that is going to make the news.  All Howard University football needs to do is to keep him safe in order to make sure that there will always be good news to report.   All of that begins with the right recruiting approach.  That is the real football mission that is very possible.

We are going to keep it digital here and keep you posted.  Go Bison!

Super Sophomore Championship Goodness

November 23, 2014

What year would be complete without a recap of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Championship? DeMatha was able to overcome a 14-0 first quarter deficit and eventually defeat Good Counsel, 24-20 for their 22nd league title. By all accounts, it was a great contest and the Falcons fought to the end but were unable to prevail. The defending champions of the WCAC were underdogs mainly because they were considered to be too young to compete for the title in 2014 but a class of super sophomores had something to say about all of that.

The class of 2017 is loaded. Quarterback Beau English won the starting job earlier this year and matured markedly during a WCAC regular season campaign that only included one loss to Good Counsel. Beau English scored on a third quarter quarterback sneak and managed the game superbly for the Stags. Sophomore running back Anthony McFarland caught one touchdown pass from English and sophomore Khory Spruill completed the class of 2017 trifecta by rushing for a score.  Good Counsel Coach Bob Milloy was named the 2014 Coach of the Year for his undefeated regular season campaign, but DeMatha Coach Elijah Brooks might have done a better job in the end.

It is worth mentioning that Good Counsel was also counted out at the beginning of this season and they definitely didn’t get the respect that they have earned at the beginning of the year in almost everybody’s poll. (It probably isn’t worth mentioning that one of the reasons why Gonzaga sucks is that they hijacked the polls in 2014 and barely made the WCAC playoffs –despite possibly being the best football team within the confines of Washington D.C.) The Falcons will likely find themselves near the top of the WCAC field of football competitors next year, but they will have to contend with a lot of the same names from DeMatha that are only sure to get better in Coach Brooks’ system. DeMatha will return 15 bona fide starters according to sources.

DeMatha also has four juniors on the ESPN 300 list and will likely get a fifth when cornerback Brenton Nelson transfers from his school in Florida. The catalyst for the game happened to be one of the very talented juniors that was snubbed.  Darryl Turner, Jr. wears #1 at DeMatha and he caused the fumble that robbed Good Counsel of a critical possession late in the game which helped the Stags seal the victory.  The cupboard is just about full of Division 1 student-athlete prospects, again.  This is largely why hardcore Stags who are in-the-know believe that DeMatha is preparing for an epic run at a national championship very soon.

Season Wrap Up: Stopping the Run on 2014

November 23, 2014

(Or, none of these teams were able to stop the run in 2014.)

Gonzaga, McNamara, Saint John’s College, O’Connell, and Saint Mary’s Ryken were all out of contention for the 2014 WCAC football title but what they also have in common is a relative optimism about their programs in the last two years. During that same period of time we have all witnessed the WCAC become extremely competitive in high school football and the parity within the league recently has been especially astounding.

Which two of the aforementioned five teams slated to play in the WCAC next year had the best year in 2014 and should be feeling the best looking ahead?  Please comment!

Ryken can say that they beat a playoff team (McNamara) and will start WCAC play next year with something to prove in the state of Maryland. Their current coach is a former DeMatha head football coach and he already knows what the WCAC is about. Ahem.

McNamara did just unveil Ramar Williams, a certain Division 1 football prospect, and shocked everybody by making the playoffs but it remains to be seen if they will get anybody to play defense for the Mustangs. Is one sensational sophomore quarterback enough to turn an entire program around, anyway?

Saint John’s College beat some of the best football teams in the United States of America but couldn’t manage a win against the top four in the WCAC. I think that this speaks volumes about the state of WCAC football and less to the ability of the Cadets –even if early victories don’t count as much as late season wins.

Bishop O’Connell really thought that they were doing something for a minute there… Well it seemed like it anyway. Also the Knights say that they have some players ready to take over the league but I don’t know their names so I couldn’t possibly mention them here.

In the preseason Gonzaga was nationally ranked and picked to take home a WCAC championship glory after a much extended absence –but it was not to be. After struggling to make the playoffs the Purple Eagles failed to score in the second half for the second time this year against a familiar WCAC foe –but their season isn’t over due to the new DC state championship format.