ORANGEBURG, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolina State opened the spring season Saturday with a heavy heart.
The Bulldogs’ starting quarterback, Corey Fields, buried his brother Friday. His brother died in an ATV accident several days before that, according to head coach Buddy Pough.
“He’s a real man’s man when you talk about Corey Fields,” said Pough.
Fields opted to remain with the team every day after his brother died to prepare for the opener at home against Alabama A&M. He did so to honor his brother and lead the team.
In a conversation, Fields told Pough, “I’m just going to make sure I honor my brother by doing the right things in life from this point forward.”
“He’s a special young man,” Pough said of Fields. “I’m sure his family is hurting now.”
Fields did all he could to try to push the ball down the field. SCSU struggled to move the ball offensively in its 31-7 loss to Alabama A&M.
The Bulldogs’ defense frustrated the road Bulldogs in the first half. Defensive back Decobie Durant intercepted three passes. He ended up leaving the game due to cramping, said Pough.
Former Irmo High star Zafir Kelly picked off a pass near the end zone in the second quarter for SCSU. But the Bulldogs were unable to generate any momentum offensively after big-time turnovers.
“We had some really good stops on defense, and they kept us in the game until mid-way second quarter,” added Pough. “Eventually, they just scored. Our defense, I thought, played pretty well for a while.”
Alabama A&M was a late addition to the football schedule, which did not allow a great deal of time to game plan ahead of the opener.
“This was a disappointing result, but it was not totally unexpected,” Pough mentioned. “I thought we were a little bit behind in our preparation. I’m glad we played. It gives us a better measure of where we are at. I think as a staff, it’s eye-opening for us. Our staff has to go back and get some things done.”
Win or lose, the goal this spring is to help this young football team improve at all positions.
“We were more interested in going out and playing the game again than wins or losses,” Pough said. “We want to win, don’t get me wrong. At the same time, I want to make sure we do everything we can to give as many young men as possible an opportunity to develop and be ready for the coming years.”