Livingstone Football: Massie wins CIAA award
By Nick Bowton
Livingstone enjoyed the bus ride home from Pennsylvania on Saturday night after beating Lincoln 27-10 for the first victory of the Lamonte Massie coaching era.
The Blue Bears then received recognition for that victory when Massie was named CIAA coach of the week and linebacker Robert Massey-Brice was named CIAA rookie of the week.
Massie said his individual honor was “nothing I did. I’m just a beneficiary of what all those other guys did.” As for Massey-Brice? Massie continued to praise his play one week after he had 14 tackles and was passed over for a weekly conference honor.
Massey-Brice had six solo tackles, six assists and a sack that forced a fumble against the Lions. He leads the team with 45 total tackles.
“It’s extremely exciting,” Massie said. “Of course, when you don’t win you’re not going to get those looks.”
AFTER FURTHER REVIEW: The boxscore from the Blue Bears’ first victory since 2006 credited Massey-Brice with a touchdown on a fumble recovery.
Massey-Brice actually forced the fumble with a sack, and teammate Justin Johnson recovered the fumble for Livingstone’s final touchdown Saturday. Massey-Brice wears No. 34 and Johnson No. 43.
“We sent our middle linebacker inside, and he put pressure on the guy, ripped the ball free,” Massie said. “Our whole defensive line was involved. Johnny on the spot was Justin Johnson. We need a couple of plays like that every game.”
JUST THE WAY IT WORKED: The Blue Bears rushed for a season-high 184 yards at Lincoln, far above the 34.5 yards they averaged in their first four games.
Livingstone came into this season with an emphasis on the run after struggling with the rushing attack all last season, but Massie said the team didn’t necessarily plan on running the ball 40 times Saturday. Senior Rashaad Flucker had 25 of those carries for 150 yards.
“In all reality, it just happened,” he said. “We were going into game with the balanced thought process of putting the ball on the perimeter and running screens. Then it got misty and Flucker came out, had a couple of good runs early.
“Guys were blocking, and he was hitting it. Next thing you know, he had 150 yards rushing.”
NO PASSING ZONE: Livingstone held Lincoln to 16-for-34 passing for 199 yards and three interceptions.
Massie figured the Blue Bears could fare well against Lions quarterback Kareem Dennis, as Massie once coached him at Edward Waters.
“Devonta Harmon had two interceptions as a freshman,” Massie said. “Two great interceptions at critical time periods. Then on top of that, we didn’t break contain. The quarterback, I knew what his weaknesses were, that he would stare the receiver down as he threw it.”