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Courtesy: Charles Smith

Football Recaps: November 4

Courtesy: SWAC.org
Release: 11/04/2017
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Southern 37, Prairie View A&M 31

Baton Rouge, La. – The Prairie View A&M University football team lost a 37-31 contest at Southern Saturday at A.W. Mumford Stadium.


Neiko Hollins passed for 242 yards and three touchdowns, two to Darius Floyd and one to Khadarel Hodge. Sta’Fon McCray rushed for 138 yards and one touchdown for the Panthers (3-5, 2-3).


Trailing by what would become the final margin, Reggie Stubblefield forced a Southern fumble at the Panther 10-yard line, which was recovered and returned by Jalyn Williams to the PVAMU 17 with 1:36 remaining. Prairie View A&M gained one first down before turning the ball over on downs with 33 seconds remaining.


Since 2009, the teams have played five times in Baton Rouge, with the games being decided by a total of 19 points.


“We knew it would be a 60-minute ball game,” said a disappointed Prairie View A&M head coach Willie Simmons. “We talked to the guys all week about it. Every time we play Southern, it’s always a dogfight. It comes down to which team makes the most plays at the end. Unfortunately for us, they made a few more plays than we did. The guys fought hard and competed. At the end, we just didn’t do enough to win.”


The contest saw four lead changes and two ties. After Southern scored first less than two minutes into the game, the Panthers tied the score two minutes later. Following a Jaylen Harris interception and 29-yard return, a three-play, 34-yard drive ended with a 17-yard scoring pass from Hollins to Floyd to tie the game at 7-7.


After the Jaguars (6-3, 4-1) regained the lead in the second quarter on a field goal, the Panthers took the lead for the first time on the ensuing drive. A 14-play, 71-yard drive ended with a 12-yard scoring pass from Hollins to Hodge to put PVAMU ahead 14-10 with just over eight minutes to play until halftime.


After Southern scored prior to halftime to take a 17-14 lead, the Panthers scored quickly on the opening drive of the third quarter. A four-play, 65-yard possession ended with McCray’s eight-yard scoring run to put the Prairie View back in front 21-17 less a minute into the second half. A Zach Elder 24-yard field goal extended the lead to 24-17 with 8:20 to play in the third quarter.


Southern scored the game’s next 20 points to take s 37-24 lead with just over seven minutes remaining before Hollins led another touchdown drive. The nine-play, 73-yard possession ended with a 15-yard scoring pass from Hollins to Floyd with just four minutes remaining.


Hodge caught six passes for 81 yards and a touchdown, and Floyd caught five passes for 76 yards and two touchdowns. Jalan Coleman led the Panthers with 10 tackles. Stubblefield and Harris each had interceptions for PVAMU.


“I tip my hat to Southern,” Simmons said. “They’re a fine football team. (Head) Coach (Dawson) Odums has done a phenomenal job here. We have to play better and clean some things up to give ourselves a chance, but I’m proud of the effort the guys gave. We’ll get back to work on Monday and try to fix the mistakes and try to give ourselves a chance to win next week.”

--Prairie View A&M Sports Information

Alabama State 13, Jackson State 3

Jackson, Miss. – The Alabama State University football team won their third consecutive contest, spoiling the homecoming festivities for Jackson State University as they walked away with a 13-3 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) victory.


“There are a lot of things that we can get better at,” Alabama State interim head coach Donald Hill-Eley said. “But you are talking about three wins a row, two homecomings and a Classic. These guys want to play, where we are weak we are also strong. It is good to see, and this atmosphere will allow these guys to be successful in life, start down and build up.


“Those are the type of things we want to create with these young men, the bottom line is not how you start but how you finish. I put in front of them that this university was started by nine slaves, and if that is not enough to hang your hat on. If God can put it in front of you, there is nothing to stop you.”


The win was the third consecutive for Alabama State (3-5, 3-2 SWAC), and the second time they have spoiled homecoming festivities this season – the first coming against Texas Southern.


“I told the guys if you start losing homecoming then you will be someone’s homecoming,” Eley said. “I don’t think we will be able to break the float out next year.”


Alabama State jumped on top early with a pair of Hunter Hanson field goals in the first half, knocking home a 39-yard field goal with 1:03 remaining in the first quarter that gave the Hornets a 3-0 lead. He would add another later in the half, this one from 43 yards – a new career long – that gave the Hornets a 6-0 lead.


“It’s homecoming,” Eley said. “They are 1-7, but you are talking about homecoming. There were 30,000 people in there, and there were about 29,500 in there for Jackson State. Those guys wanted to play hard against somebody and we knew they were not just going to lay down, but we figured if we could get ahead of them and the fans started leaving that we could take their will.”


Jackson State (1-8, 1-4 SWAC) trimmed the lead to three on a field goal with 1:17 to play in the half, trimming the score to 6-3. The Hornets had a chance to score late in the half as they reached the 32-yard line of Jackson State; however, the pass from Darryl Pearson, Jr. was knocked out of bounds as the block went to zero.


The Hornets came out in the second half and took the opening kickoff 65 yards down the field against Jackson State. The 14-play drive ate up 6:31 on the clock, and Pearson put an end to it with 17-yard touchdown run with 8:29 to play in the quarter.


“We talked about it in the locker room and made some adjustments,” Eley said of the first drive of the second half. “Coach (Trey) Dunbar was able to put the ball in the right personnel’s hands and we put together a long drive. We started to see those guys get gassed against a big team. He was able to make the right calls against their personnel that ended in a score.”


The opportunistic Alabama State defense came up big again for the Hornets this week as they forced five turnovers, including four interceptions. Joshua Hill picked off a pair of passes on the day, returning them for 68 yards – including one that went down inside the Jackson State 30 yard line before it was called back for a penalty. Dennis Roberts IV and Robert Easterwood each intercepted a pass, while the Hornets also recovered a fumble.


The Hornets went for a fifth interception, but it was just out of the reach of Kurron Ramsey as the clock was winding down. As he missed it, Ramsey found the bushes just off the sideline and had to be helped out by teammates.


“Once the defense gets churning it’s tough,” Eley said. “We want to keep those yards on turnovers but we didn’t because we had too many penalties on them. Some of them were effort, but others were guys not doing what they were supposed to do.”


Jarkeith Ruffin finished the day with a team-high seven tackles, while Roberts had six for a Hornet defense that recorded four tackles for loss.


Pearson ran for a team-high 53 yards on nine carries – while adding 61 through the air, while George Golden added 46 yards on 13 carries. Robert Pritchett III also added 40 yards on six carries in the win.


The Hornets finished with 264 yards of total offense with 203 coming on the ground, while Jackson State was held to 203 yards – most of that coming in the fourth quarter.

--Alabama State Strategic Communications


Grambling State 31, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 26

Pine Bluff, Ark. – The Grambling State University football team held off a late charge by Arkansas-Pine Bluff as the Tigers escaped with a 31-26 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) victory on Saturday afternoon at Golden Lion Stadium.


Arkansas-Pine Bluff (2-7 overall, 1-4 SWAC) took the opening kickoff and marched 59 yards before the drive stalled inside the Grambling State 5-yard line. A sack by De’Andre Hogues forced the Golden Lions to kick a field goal as Jamie Gillan booted the 28-yard kick to give UAPB a 3-0 advantage with 10:33 left in the first quarter.


After the two teams traded possessions, Grambling State’s offense went to work as the Tigers went 80 yards in 11 plays as Devante Kincade connected with Jordan Jones for an 11-yard touchdown reception to give GSU a 7-3 lead with 4:05 remaining in the opening quarter.


The Golden Lions responded on their next drive as Arkansas-Pine Bluff went 62 yards in just four plays as Brandon Duncan hit Kolby McNeal on a screen pass for the 15-yard score, giving UAPB a 10-7 advantage with 2:47 left in the first.


Back came Grambling State as the Tigers marched 70 yards in seven plays as Kincade fired a 17-yard touchdown pass to Darrell Clark to give GSU a 14-10 lead with 14 seconds remaining in the opening frame.


Arkansas-Pine Bluff cashed in off a Kincade interception as the Golden Lions went 40 yards in 10 plays as Gillan booted a 34-yard field goal to close the margin to 14-13 with 8:30 left in the first half.


After a missed 49-yard field goal by Gillan, Grambling State marched 69 yards to extend the lead to 21-13 with 2:50 remaining in the quarter. On fourth down, the Tigers appeared to line up for a 46-yard field goal, but after a GSU timeout, Kincade completed a 26-yard pass to Calif Samon. On the very next play, Martez Carter rushed three yards into the endzone to cap the nine-play scoring drive.


On Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s next drive, Ja’Terious Pouncy picked off Golden Lions backup quarterback Marcus Terrell and returned the interception to the Tigers 44. Grambling State quickly matriculated the ball down the field in just five plays as Kincade connected with Marquise Kaigler for a 7-yard score to extend the Tigers lead to 28-13 with 47 seconds remaining in the half.


The Golden Lions cut the deficit to 28-16 with 4:15 remaining as Arkansas-Pine Bluff used a 10-play drive, capped by a 35-yard field goal by Gillan.


Arkansas-Pine Bluff continued to chip away at the deficit as Terrell connected with McNeil for a 9-yard touchdown pass, capping a 9-play, 69-yard drive, to close the gap to 28-23 with 11:53 remaining.


The Tigers (8-1, 5-0) capitalized on a Golden Lions turnover as Keshawn Williams coughed up the football at its own 18. Grambling State went three-and-out, but benefited from a 38-yard field goal by Marc Orozco to extend the lead to 31-23 with 6:07 left.


Arkansas-Pine Bluff went 46 yards in nine plays, but ended up with a 43-yard field goal by Gillan to trim the margin to 31-26 with 2:04 remaining.


After forcing Grambling State to punt the football, Arkansas-Pine Bluff was forced to go 86 yards for the game-winning score.


The Golden Lions were able to pick up a first down, but La’Allan Clark’s sack with four seconds left sealed the victory for the Tigers.


 --Grambling State Sports Information

Alcorn State 47, Alabama A&M 22

Lorman, Miss. – Three student-athletes rushed for over 100 yards for the Alcorn State University football program as the Braves pulled away in the second half for a 47-22 win over Alabama A&M on Saturday at Jack Spinks-Marino Casem Stadium.  

Sophomore Corey McCullough drilled four field goals to break the single-season school record with 14. The previous record was 13 set by Wilfredo Rosales in 1980 and David McConnell in 2003.  

Alcorn (5-3, 4-1 SWAC) rushed for 416 yards as a team. It was the most since 2015 when the Braves set the school record with 500; ironically, it was against AAMU (3-6, 3-3 SWAC) at home.  

Junior P.J. Simmons led the way with a career-high 172 rushing yards. Sophomore quarterback Noah Johnson rushed for 124 yards, and senior De'Lance Turner posted 113. The trio combined for five rushing touchdowns.  

Back to the kicking game, McCullough made field goals of 39, 38, 37 and 24 yards, respectively. He was one shy of the single-game field goal record set by Rosales in 1980. McCullough also punted six times for 309 yards for a 51.5 average and a long of 56 yards.

Defensively, senior Michael Brooks and juniors Brady Smith and Trae Ferrell each wrapped up seven tackles. Senior Nick Brown grabbed his first career interception.  

The Bulldogs were guided by running back Jordan Bentley who ran for 134 yards and a touchdown. Isaiah Bailey hauled in 93 receiving yards and a score.   After a pair of defensive stops to begin the game, the Braves started moving the ball on their second possession. Johnson ran for 26 yards to the left on the first play of the series, and Turner followed it up with a 31-yard rush through the middle to get into the red zone.

Though, Alcorn got pushed back after a 15-yard illegal block and a five-yard false start, and settled for a 24-yard field goal by McCullough. The Braves led 3-0 at the 7:14 mark.  

Alcorn started its next drive with great field position at the AAMU 42 after the defense pushed the Bulldogs back after an intentional grounding penalty. The Braves faced a 3rd-and-2 when they handed it to Simmons who started to the left, cut back to the right and sped through the middle for a 33-yard touchdown. It put Alcorn ahead 10-0 with 4:52 left in the opening quarter.

On AAMU's next drive, the Bulldogs were looking at a 3rd-and-9 when Brooks caused a strip-sack and freshman Qwynnterrio Cole recovered the fumble at the AAMU 20. McCullough tacked on a 37-yard field goal to push the advantage up to 13-0 with 2:49 to go in the first.  

At the start of the second quarter, the Bulldogs were driving after a pair of third-down conversions. The Braves forced a pair of incomplete passes, but AAMU's Nick Carden made a 39-yard field goal to make it a 13-3 game.  

The Braves were situated with a 2nd-and-20 after a holding penalty when Simmons busted through the right and juked his way for a gain of 49 to the AAMU 23. It resulted in a 38-yard field goal by McCullough which pushed the edge back up to 16-3 with 12:12 left in the second quarter.  

Alcorn had a chance to extend its lead after freshman Damien Anderson recovered a muffed punt at the AAMU 10, but the Bulldogs made a defensive stand and blocked a 30-yard field goal attempt.  

Near the end of the half, the Bulldogs put together a long 10-play, 80-yard drive which resulted in a seven-yard touchdown pass to Bailey on a third-and-goal. It cut AAMU's deficit to 16-10.  

On the ensuing kickoff, Turner ran one back 93 yards for a touchdown, but it was called back after a holding penalty. Still, the Braves had an opportunity to put points up at the end of the half and McCullough drilled a last-second 39-yarder to put Alcorn on top 19-10.

--Alcorn State Sports Information

Texas Southern 38, Mississippi Valley State 21

Itta Bena, Miss. – The Texas Southern Tigers picked up their first win of the season as they defeated Mississippi Valley State 38-21 on the road.

TSU quarterback Elijah Odum played a key role in the Tigers win over MVSU as he gained 172 yards on the ground on 23 carries to go along with two rushing touchdowns and one touchdown pass.

Linebacker Sean Jones accumulated an impressive stat line during the contest as he tallied nine tackles including two sacks and three tackles for loss while also contributing one pass breakup and an interception.

Texas Southern led 21-7 going into halftime with first half scores from wide receiver Darvin Kidsy, quarterback Elijah Odum, and tight end Mario Smalls.

In the second half the Tigers added three more scores as running back Brad Woodard found the end zone on a one yard run. Odum got his second score of the day on a 12-yard touchdown run before TSU place kicker put up the games' final points on a 24-yard successful field goal.

Texas Southern returns home to face the Southern Jaguars on Saturday, November 11 at 5:00 pm at BBVA Compass Stadium.

--Texas Southern Sports Information