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ANGEL CITY CLASSIC

Prairie View A&M prevails, 28-17

September 28, 2008|Steve Springer | Times Staff Writer

Somewhere between the band clinic, the youth game, the step show and the concert, there was a football game Saturday at the Coliseum.

Not exactly USC versus Ohio State. However, for organizers of Saturday's Angel City Classic -- pitting Morehouse College against Prairie View A&M -- it was bigger than that.

The game, won by Prairie View A&M, 28-17, was the centerpiece of the annual showcase for historically black colleges across the country.

This was the third year for the game, originally named the Silver Dollar Classic, and the first time it was televised nationally.

At least it was until a power outrage knocked Fox Sports off the air with 5 minutes 22 seconds left in the game.

There was no lack of power in the legs of Donald Babers, a 5-foot-9, 170-pound Prairie View A&M junior who rushed for 180 yards and a touchdown to lead the Panthers.

"Reggie Bush was my hero," Babers said. "I'm just glad I could play on the same field he did."

Prairie View A&M trailed, 17-14, at the half before dominating the final 30 minutes. After Anthony Beck put the Panthers on the scoreboard with a 60-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter, and Babers reached the end zone on a seven-yard run in the second quarter, Russell Ball (14-yard run) and Moses Ellis (32-yard fumble recovery) accounted for Prairie View A&M's points in the second half.

Morehouse's points came on a 16-yard pass from Christian Sterling to Pernez Pinckney, a two-yard run by Pinckney and a 22-yard field goal by Micah Streiff.

Prairie View A&M improved to 4-0. Morehouse fell to 3-2.

Morehouse, located in Atlanta, was founded in 1867 and boasts among its alumni the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., actor Samuel L. Jackson and director Spike Lee. Prairie View A&M, situated outside Houston, was founded in 1876 and counts among its alumni Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. David Brewer and NFL Hall of Fame defensive back Kenny Houston.

"These black colleges are pillars in our community," said entertainer Nick Cannon, who addressed the crowd of 52,487. "It shows kids that there's an alternative, something that can give them hope. Whether it's the football players or the bands, here is something they can be proud of, something they can strive to be a part of."

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steve.springer@latimes.com

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