2022 CIAA Football: Week #3 Preview – Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association


CHARLOTTE – Ahead of the first week of conference play between CIAA teams, let’s have a preview of what’s to come on Satuday:
Winston-Salem State (0-2) at Elizabeth City State (0-2), 12 P.M.

Both teams enter Saturday with 0-2 records but one team will get their first win of the season and a head start in conference play. The key matchup is the engine of the Rams’ offense running back Asa Barnes versus the heartbeat of the Vikings’ defense, linebacker and 2022 Preseason All-Conference selection Juanya’ Majette. Barnes averages 5.6 yards per rush after 29 carries for 163 yards through two games. Meanwhile, Majette has led the team in the tackles in each game this season, totaling 17. Whichever team wins that battle should be looking at a “1” in the win column.

Johnson C. Smith (0-1) at Chowan (0-2), 1 P.M.

The Bears’ Head Coach Adrian Jones has to hope that the two tough non-conference matchups (Wingate and Wayne State) have prepared his squad against Head Coach Kyle Jackson and Bowie State, who is coming off a disappointing loss on the road last week. On paper, the two teams match up pretty well. The Bulldogs’ Dion Golatt Jr. has passed for 579 yards (60.8 completion percentage) and five touchdowns and Keshane Hinckley has caught 15 passes for 190 yards through two games. On the other side for Shaw, the Bears have some stalwarts in its secondary, headlined by leading tackler Akeythio Carson (14 tackles and a forced fumble) and Elijah Wilson (two interceptions). The Bears employ a balanced diet on offense with Christian Peters racking up 466 yards passing while 2022 Preseason All-Conference selection Sidney Gibbs has rushed for 150 yards and Jatoine Fields has added 97 yards on the ground with an average of 7.5 yards per carry. However, the Bulldogs’ front seven duo of Joshua Pryor (a 2022 Preseason All-Conference selection) and Shaun Tolbert has combined for 24 tackles, including four for a loss.

Saint Augustine’s (0-2) at Virginia State (1-1), 6 P.M.
The gameplan for both teams appears to be simple. For Virginia State, utilize the running back trio of Darius Hagans (136 rushing yards per game), Upton Bailey (50), and Kimo Clarke (41). In the Bluefield State win, the Trojans rushed for 401 yards with Hagans rushing for 261 yards on 21 carries and Clarke needing just five attempts for 71 yards. In the Lenoir-Rhyne game, Virginia State recorded under 100 yards rushing. Falcons’ linebackers Lee Sales and Jamieson Alston will be tasked with stopping that explosive run game. Alternatively, the Falcons’ Chris Perkins will need to turn in a performance like last week (19-of-30 for 223 yards and two touchdowns), which earned him conference player of the week honors.

Livingstone (1-1) at Virginia Union (2-0), 6 P.M.
Virginia Union’s Jada Byers has been nothing less than fantastic in the two non-conference games but CIAA action is where legends are made. Byers, the 2021 CIAA Offensive Rookie of the Year, is aiming for Player of the Year honors after breaking the conference rushing record with 319 yards on 32 carries against Valdosta State last week. Meanwhile, the Blue Bears are fresh off shutting out Elizabeth City State and will rely on the combination of Jaden Echols and Christian Bostic to contain Byers. The duo have combined for 27 tackles and five stops for a loss through two games. Offensively, Livingstone probably needs Lasirton Bryant to produce like he did in the game against Catawba (6 catches for 93 yards and two touchdowns). First, Livingstone will need to block the Panthers’ Isaac Anderson, who is building upon his 2021 CIAA Defensive Rookie of the Year honors with 3.5 tackles for a loss this season.

Fayetteville State (1-1) at Lincoln (1-1), 7 P.M.
Now that the Lions have notched their first road win since 2015 last week against Central State, they return home for the opportunity to earn their fourth win in conference action since 2015. If Lincoln intends to do that, Isaiah Freeman and Dah’Mear Triplett will have to continue to play big roles. Freeman has 270 yards passing and two touchdowns, while adding 78 yards on the ground through two games. Triplett has totaled 10 catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns. However, Lincoln goes up against perhaps the stingiest defense in all of the CIAA, the Broncos are surrendering just 17 points per game. FSU cornerback Brandon Barnes-Brown and defensive lineman Devin Cowan are living up to their preseason billing of all-conference players and intend to make Saturday rough for Freeman and Triplett.

All CIAA games are available for purchase on the CIAA Sports Network.

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Virginia Union’s Jada Byers Named First Team All-American

Virginia State’s Darius Hagans Accepts Invitation to NFLPA Collegiate Bowl

Virginia Union’s Jada Byers Wins Lanier Award


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