JSU Closes in on East Title - SWAC Football Recaps
Jackson State dashed Alabama A&M's title hopes and moved one step closer to punching a ticket to Legion Field. But with Alabama State's win over Southern in the last game of the day, the Tigers must beat Alcorn State next weekend to earn the remaining spot in the SWAC championship game.
Jackson State 35, Alabama A&M 21
JACKSON (AP) -- Rakeem Sims rushed for 125 yards and two touchdowns, and Clayton Moore passed for 233 yards and a touchdown as Jackson State defeated Alabama A&M 35-21 Saturday night.
The Tigers (6-4, 6-2 Southwestern Athletic Conference) moved ahead of the Bulldogs (7-3, 6-3) in the Eastern Division race and hold a tiebreaker advantage over Alabama State if they can beat Alcorn State next week.
Moore also ran for a 7-yard touchdown to open the scoring in the second quarter, and Sims's 7-yard scoring run made it 14-0 at halftime.
Alabama A&M halved its deficit in the third quarter, but Jackson State regained control with two big plays.
Moore found Rico Richardson with a 67-yard touchdown pass, then Ryan Griffin returned a fumble 35 yards to make it 28-7.
Bulldogs quarterback Deaunte Mason threw for three touchdowns, but the Tigers limited him to 17 completions in 40 attempts for 193 yards.
Alabama State 31, Southern 30
BATON ROUGE (AP) -- Greg Jenkins passed for 225 yards and two touchdowns as Alabama State held on to beat Southern University 31-30 Saturday in a Southwest Athletic Conference showdown.
Trailing 28-14 to begin the third quarter, Southern's (3-7, 2-6) Charles Hawkins returned the second half kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown, cutting the deficit to 28-21.
After trading two field goals late in the third quarter, Alabama State (7-3, 7-2) entered the fourth quarter leading 31-24.
Following a missed 43-yard field goal by Bobby Wenzing, with 3:05 remaining Dray Joseph led Southern on a 10-play, 45-yard drive resulting in what looked to be the tying touchdown with 20 seconds left to play.
Instead of tying the game by kicking the extra-point, Southern attempted to go for the win with the two-point conversion. Joseph's pass fell incomplete as Alabama State held on for the victory.
Mississippi Valley 22, Prairie View 20
ITTA BENA, Miss. (AP) -- Garrick Jones rushed for two late touchdowns to rally Mississippi Valley State past Prairie View A&M 22-20 Saturday.
The Delta Devils (4-6, 4-4 Southwestern Athletic Conference) trailed 20-10 entering the fourth quarter before Jones took over. His 1-yard touchdown run with 7:06 remaining cut the Panthers' lead to 20-16.
After MVSU forced Prairie View A&M to punt with under two minutes left, Jones finished a 10-play, 80-yard drive with a 10-yard run with 14 seconds remaining for the winning score
Prairie View A&M (3-7, 3-5) scored first when Rickey Simpson returned Jones' fumble 60 yards for a touchdown.
After the teams exchanged field goals, Jones threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Julian Stafford for a 10-10 tie. Jones, who carried 18 times for 82 yards, completed 18 of 28 passes for 221 yards with an interception.
Spencer Nelson's 7-yard touchdown run put Prairie View A&M ahead at halftime 17-10.
Ark.-Pine Bluff 24, Grambling St. 17
GRAMBLING, La. (AP) -- Justin Billings and Dennis Jenkins each went over the century mark rushing as Arkansas-Pine Bluff outgained Grambling State 526-258 in a 24-17 victory Saturday in Southwestern Athletic Conference action.
The Golden Lions (8-2, 7-1) outrushed the Tigers (1-9, 0-8) 318-46, yet narrowly won the time of possession battle by 34 seconds as Grambling State hung tough with the SWAC's West Division champions.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff jumped to a 14-0 lead as Benjamin Anderson completed a 66-yard TD pass to Willie Young and ran in an 8-yard score. Billings added a 1-yard TD run as the Golden Lions built a 24-7 lead by the half.
Billings amassed 130 yards on 22 attempts while Jenkins picked up 105 yards on 19 carries.
Grambling State began four drives in Arkansas-Pine Bluff territory, but capitalized only once -- a 21-yard TD pass from Frank Rivers to Jeremy Hernandez in the fourth quarter.
Alcorn State 34, Texas Southern 24
ALCORN (AP) -- John Gibbs threw three touchdowns and Arnold Walker ran for two more as Alcorn State beat Texas Southern 34-24 in a Southwestern Athletic Conference matchup Saturday.
Gibbs, who completed 18 of 38 passes, threw touchdowns of 23 and 9 yards in the first half as the Braves (4-6, 4-4) took a 14-10 lead into halftime.
Rudy Johnson connected with James Davis from 22 yards out on Texas Southern's first drive of the second half to give the Tigers (2-8, 2-6) their first lead of the game, 17-14.
After Walker's first rushing touchdown put Alcorn State back ahead 21-17, Johnson broke a 46-yard run to give the Tigers a 24-21 fourth-quarter lead.
But Alcorn was not finished, as Walker's second touchdown, this time from 1-yard out, swung the lead back into Alcorn State's favor, 27-24, and Gibbs' third touchdown pass put the game away.