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Published on August 1st, 2018 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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Palmetto Capital City Classic, “Sunday Showdown”

Pictured Benedict College head football coach Mike White and Fort Valley State University head football coach Kevin Porter. Photo by Calvin Reese, Millennium Magazine.

By Dennis Switzer, Sports Information Director, Benedict College

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The biggest game on the 2018 Benedict College football schedule will have a big-time audience. The 2018 Palmetto Capital City Classic between Benedict and Fort Valley State will take place on Sunday, Sept. 23 in order to give it some unrivaled attention, it was announced on Tuesday.

Benedict College head football coach Mike White, FVSU head coach Kevin Porter, PCCC executives as well as Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin and other dignitaries were on hand at Tuesday morning’s press conference at the Columbia Convention Center to announce the week-long activities. Classic officials said the game will be played on a Sunday this season in order to avoid scheduling conflicts with USC, Clemson and South Carolina State.

White said the Classic selected the most prominent game on the 2018 schedule, as Fort Valley State has played in the SIAC Championship as the Eastern Division champion the past two years, winning the league crown in 2016.

“The Palmetto Classic could not have hit it better when they brought these two teams together,” White told the audience at the convention center. “Our goal is to win the east, and Fort Valley has won it the last two years and representing the east and that was a good football game we played last year.”

Benedict is coming off a 7-2 season, with both losses on the road in overtime. One of those losses came against the Wildcats. The Tigers rallied from a 21-0 first-half deficit to tie the game. In the second overtime, the Wildcats recovered a Benedict fumble to secure the victory. Benedict defeated Fort Valley State 28-14 in 2016, the last time the game was in Columbia, as the Tiger defense held the Wildcats to just 10 yards rushing.

“I think it’s going to be a really great game this year. It’s been a great game the last two years,” White said. “It’s going to be a very exciting game. Usually the Palmetto Classic kicks off our season, this year it’s going to kick off our conference season. To win the east, you have to go through Fort Valley. We’re looking forward to compete for a championship. Fort Valley has won it the last two years and we’re out to change that and it all starts with the Classic.”

Benedict returns 16 starters this season, including nine on the offensive side of the ball. At the recent SIAC media day, Benedict was picked to finish second in the east, behind Albany State and ahead of Fort Valley State, and placed five players on the preseason All-Conference team.

“We do have a good football team. It’s probably one of the best groups Benedict has had in a while,” White said. “We’ve got a good defense, a good offense, a big quarterback, and we should be a more exciting team this year.”

The Palmetto Capital City Classic game will be the culmination of a week of activities, including a dinner to honor PCCC executive director Willie Jefferies, a White Party and a golf tournament.

For more information about all the Palmetto Capital City Classic events call 803-252-9200.

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