Jackson State opened its college football season Saturday with a 22-17 win over Florida A&M, and Chester’s Ariane McCree started at linebacker for Jackson State, notching eight total tackles, including six solos. McCree also recorded a sack and a tackle-for-loss in an excellent start to the 2014 season. The Tigers host Virginia-Lynchburg Saturday.
Other locals’ college football contributions from the opening weekend of action:
ECU 52, N.C. Central 7
Rock Hill’s former Northwestern Trojan Brandon Williams started at linebacker, making five tackles and breaking up two passes for the Pirates, who face South Carolina Saturday. Nation Ford’s J.T. Boyd also saw some snaps for ECU as a reserve offensive lineman. Redshirt junior linebacker Neil Williams (Chester H.S.) made a single tackle for the Eagles. NCCU hosts Elizabeth City State on Saturday.
N.C. State 24, Georgia Southern 23
Former South Pointe Stallion Montay Crockett made a single catch for 37 yards in the Eagles’ narrow loss to N.C. State. Crockett, a redshirt sophomore, and Georgia Southern are back in action this Saturday at home against Savannah State.
Illinois 28, Youngstown State 17
Former York Cougar running back Ryan Moore made five carries for six yards in the Penguins’ loss to the Illini Saturday, in which Illinois scored 21 fourth quarter points to come from behind and win. Youngstown and Moore return to action Saturday at home against Duquesne.
Michigan 52, Appalachian State 14
There was no big upset for the Mountaineers in Ann Arbor this time, but York’s Beau Nunn did start at left guard for Appalachian, the redshirt freshman’s first career start. His brother Hunter also appeared for the Mountaineers, who host Campbell this coming Saturday.
Georgia 45, Clemson 21
Several locals featured in the Tigers’ season-opening loss to the Bulldogs. Chester’s Kalon Davis started on the offensive line, while Nation Ford’s Jay Jay McCullough played some snaps at tight end and caught one pass for two yards. Former Northwestern Trojan standout Rod Byers also played for the Tigers on the defensive line.
Coastal Carolina 31, The Citadel 16
The Citadel fell to its rivals from up the coast, but the Bulldogs featured a number of locals in the defeat. Clover’s Aaron Miller started at quarterback, running the ball 20 times for 49 yards and completing 1 of 8 passes for 19 yards. Rock Hill’s Mitchell Jeter made two tackles as a starter at defensive tackle, including one for a loss, while South Pointe’s Josh Massey played as a true freshman, making a pair of tackles. The Citadel faces the nation’s top-ranked team Saturday, defending national champions Florida State.
Georgia Tech 38, Wofford 19
Chester’s Terrance Morris started at linebacker for the Terriers in their season-opening loss to the Yellow Jackets. A redshirt freshman, Morris made four tackles in his first start for Wofford. The Terriers’ second game comes in two weeks against North Greenville.
Eastern Kentucky 29, Robert Morris 10
Rock Hill’s Tyrell Curry made two tackles in his NCAA debut for the Colonels, after transferring to EKU from the junior college ranks. EKU plays at Miami (OH) Saturday.
Louisiana-Monroe 17, Wake Forest 10
Former South Pointe Shrine Bowler Zeek Rodney made his first collegiate tackle in the Demon Deacons’ loss to their Sun Belt foes. Rodney didn’t start but did play extensively as part of a very young Wake Forest defensive line, and overall team. Wake hosts Gardner-Webb Saturday in its second game.
Texas A&M 52, South Carolina 28
Gerald Dixon and Gerald Dixon Jr., started on the Gamecocks’ defensive line and Dixon, the former South Pointe player, made two tackles and a first half sack on A&M quarterback Kenny Hill. Dixon Jr., the former Northwestern Trojan, added a tackle, while former South Pointe Stallion kicker Landon Ard blasted three of his four kickoffs for touchbacks. South Carolina hosts East Carolina Saturday.
Charlotte 33, Campbell 9
South Pointe‘s Eric Westbrook played as a true freshman in the Camels’ season-opening loss, breaking up a pass. Campbell faces Appalachian State in Boone this Saturday.
Northern Illinois 55, Presbyterian 3
The Blue Hose took a beating in its 2014 season opener, and a local defensive product was busy throughout. Former Great Falls Red Devil Isaiah Lynn, a redshirt senior linebacker, made eight and a half stops, including six solo tackles. Presbyterian plays Bluefield College at home on Saturday.
Butler C.C. 57, Independence 16
Anthony Johnson, the South Pointe two-sport standout, made two catches for 57 yards and a touchdown in the Grizzlies’ big season-opening win. Quarterback Demarcus Smith threw four touchdowns for Butler, and one of them was a 39-yard bomb to Johnson, his first college football TD catch. The Grizzlies hit the road this weekend to face traditional junior college power Iowa Western Saturday.
Navarro 50, Georgia Military 30
The best local performance of the opening weekend was easily Corey Neely’s outing for Georgia Military College. Former South Pointe Stallion Neely was named the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Defensive Player of the Week after making 17 total tackles, including 13 solos. The sophomore defensive back also recovered a pair of fumbles.