College Football's opening weekend's greatest performance was given by Frank "Tick" Coleman, the nation's oldest living black quarterback
August 30, 2008
(West Grove, Pa) --- There were a lot of great performances by African American quarterbacks around the country during the opening weekend of college football including West Virginia quarterback Pat White throwing for 5 TD's in a win over Villanova, Ohio State freshman sensation Terrelle Pryor making his debut with a whirlish touchdown run against Youngstown State, and Utah's Brian Johnson throwing for 305 yards and a touchdown in a huge a 25-23 win over No. 24 Michigan at the "Big House" in front of 108,000 fans.
But the greatest performance by a quarterback was given by the nation's oldest living black quarterback. Frank "Tick" Coleman a 97-year old former quarterback provided inspiration and a rousing pep talk for Lincoln University (PA) as the Lions "Restored the Roar" at the sleeping HBCU giant with a 34-7 over George Mason, giving them their first victory in over 48 years.
Coleman (Lincoln quarterback from 1931-1935 and the first black quarterback in
the Philadelphia Public League with Central HS) watched as the George Mason
Patriots drew first blood when Akeem Smith took back an interception from
Lincoln’s quarterback Kareem Dennis 15 yards for the game’s first score in the
first couple minutes. But after the miscue, Dennis (rushed 1 yard for Lincoln’s
first score) and the Lions settled down posting 34 unanswered points including a
21-point barrage before halftime while holding the Patriots scoreless the rest
of the way (Lincoln forced three turnovers and collected three sacks).
Lincoln’s comeback was built upon big plays with none bigger than a 36-yard fumble recovery return by Aaron Coleman. The sophomore from Pittsburgh, PA scooped up the fumble and rumbled into the endzone giving the Lions a 13-6 lead that they never relinquished and energizing the standing room only crowd. Right before the half, the victory was sealed when Dennis found senior Steven Rudd with a 14-yard pass in the corner of the endzone further the Lions lead to 27-7. On the play, Rudd boxed out the George Mason defender in Randy Moss style and jumped up for the pass for an alley-oop score. For the game, Dennis a junior and multi-threat quarterback from Philadelphia’s Abraham Lincoln HS finished with respectable passing numbers of 19-37, 188 yards, 2 TD with 2 INTs.
Cries of “L-U, Pride” and “1-8-5-4, the First HBCU for Sure” filled Avon Grove High School Stadium as the facility came alive with HBCU good tidings. To end my day I tracked down “Tick” Coleman affectionately known as “Mr. Lincoln University” who wrapped a bow on the day by saying, “The win today was a great return to a tradition that was once one of the biggest in the country”.
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--- Submitted by Lloyd Vance