Sports Contact: J.T. Wilcox, Sports Information Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HIALEAH, FL – Football has become a very pass-happy sport. Just about every team's quarterback is slinging the ball around the field to a brigade of receivers.
But the team's – even the most pass-happy ones – that win most consistently are the ones that can still line up and run the football.
ASA Miami decided to put the ball in the hands of its sophomore running back Evan Burgess and he delivered a season-best performance Saturday – racking up 153 yards on a career-high 32 carries to lead the Silver Storm to a 24-14 victory over No. 10 ranked Georgia Military College at Ted Hendricks Stadium.
Burgess, a Pearland, Texas native, all but cemented the victory for ASA Miami (3-1, 2-1 JUCO) when he capped an 8-play, 53-yard drive with a 17-yard rumble into the end zone. That scoring run not only extended the Silver Storm's lead to 24-14, but it also buoyed a drive that took five minutes off the fourth-quarter clock.
After the game, ASA's players dumped the water cooler over the head of head coach Roosevelt Williams in celebration of defeating Georgia Military College for the first time in program history. Coming into Saturday's game, ASA Miami had lost its seven previous matchups with the Bulldogs, but Williams knew his team would be capable of toppling the NJCAA's No. 10 team if it limited its mistakes.
"I knew this was possible…I told the guys before the game, 'rankings don't matter. If we go out and limit our mistakes, we can beat any team in the country'," Williams said as his team celebrated behind him.
"We knew coming in that we would need to get Evan [Burgess] and our run game going. Evan is a work-horse back and we wanted to feed him and get him into a rhythm early. Credit to [offensive coordinator] Eddie Brown for keeping the offense balanced with his play calls, to our offensive line for creating running room up front, and Evan for running hard, not going down on first contact, and getting tough yards."
Thanks to Burgess' big day on the ground, ASA Miami not only got the best of GMC (4-2) for the first time, it also set a new record for most wins against NJCAA opponents in a season. The Silver Storm snapped a four-year losing drought against JUCO opponents on September 14th with their win over Arkansas Baptist College and set the new mark – which will extend with any subsequent victories against fellow junior colleges this season – on Saturday.
Aside from Burgess, the Silver Storm got a solid performance from freshman quarterback Jaeze Tracey. Tracey, who left last week's game at Lackawanna College during the third quarter with a minor injury, played from start to finish Saturday and completed 17 of 30 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns.
Tracey was also productive with his legs, rushing for 43 yards on four carries and using his feet to extend plays – including a five-second scamper around the pocket on a fourth-and-goal before connecting with freshman receiver Biran Durr on an 11-yard touchdown throw to tie the game at seven midway through the second quarter.
Georgia Military's offense had success moving the ball early – jumping out to a 7-0 lead by scoring on its first offensive drive of the day – but ASA's defense seemingly clamped down tighter on the Bulldogs as the game wore on. GMC amassed just 247 total yards of offense, fumbled the ball four times (losing two), threw two interceptions, and surrendered five sacks – including a K'Jakyre Dailey sack to end the game.
Marcellus Piper led the Silver Storm – who will travel Savannah, Georgia to face Louisburg College next Saturday – with eight solo tackles and an interception, D'Narrius Morgan added seven total tackles, Amauchu Collins had three tackles and a pair of sacks, and Shadrach Martin finished with three total tackles and an interception.
Coach Williams said that Saturday's victory is a testament to the solidarity not only within the team but the athletic program as a whole.
"This win is huge for us…but not just us, for everyone at ASA," Williams said. "The football team is a brotherhood. Those guys are brothers. But our success is because we have a family at ASA. From the athletic director on down, we're all moving towards the same goal. But I maintain, when we limit our mistakes, we can play with any team in the country."