Central State blanked in interim coach’s debut

George Ragsdale will serve as the interim head coach of Central State football for the rest of the season. Nick Novy/Central State Athletics photo
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George Ragsdale will serve as the interim head coach of Central State football for the rest of the season. Nick Novy/Central State Athletics photo

The head coach was different, but everything else stayed pretty much the same Saturday as Central State lost its sixth game of the season, falling 29-0 to Tuskegee at McPherson Stadium.

Last Tuesday, George Ragsdale, CSU’s veteran running backs and receivers coach, was named the Marauders’ interim head coach replacing Bobby Rome, who resigned a day earlier.

Rome, who coached just six games for the Marauders, stepped down after meeting with school administrators Monday after a reprimand of players early Sunday morning following a long, overnight bus ride back from Fort Valley State in Georgia, where CSU had lost, 35-14.

Ragsdale stepped into the void as he’s done twice before in a coaching career that began in 1983.

A hall of fame running back at North Carolina A & T who played three seasons for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Ragsdale took over as the head coach at his alma mater for the final four games of the 2008 season after the head coach was fired and did the same at Grambling State for five games in 2013.

This time the task is especially daunting. The 1-6 Marauders are decimated by injuries. They have given up 244 points this season and scored only 77.

CSU managed just 173 yards of offense Saturday and turned the ball over three times. Quarterback Jacoby Smith completed 10 of 19 passes for 80 yards, threw an interception and was sacked three times. Demonte Dunlap led CSU rushers with 53 yards on 13 carries.

Tuskegee got three field goals from Arnes Husik (36, 32 and 22 yards) and scored three touchdowns:

Quarterback Luis Williams threw a 20-yard TD pass to Latrevi O’Neal. Ivonte Patterson ran 14 yards for a score and Kedrick Greene had a 10-yard TD run.

CSU plays at Edward Waters College in Jacksonville next Saturday.

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