Football Recaps: November 18
Jackson State 7, Alcorn State 3
Jackson, Miss. – Terrell Kennedy’s 69-yard touchdown run was the difference maker in Jackson State’s 7-3 win over the Alcorn State Braves Saturday evening at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium. This win over the Braves should leave a sweet taste left in JSU fans mouths following a bitterly disappointing season. Jackson State finished season with a 3-8, 3-4 SWAC record.
Kennedy’s touchdown was the only of the day and proved to give a stout Tigers defense just enough cushion to close out the game for the win. JSU’s biggest defensive play of the game came on Alcorn’s final drive of the game. ASU signal caller Noah Johnson looked to lead the Braves into JSU territory when he hooked up with Jalen Walker for a 20-yard strike to the JSU 37-yard line. But JSU senior linebacker Andre Lloyd forced a Walker fumble and senior linebacker Shawn Bishop recovered the ball on the JSU 35-yard line. The Tigers went on to ice the game with a pair of kneel down plays.
Kennedy recorded a game high 73 rushing yards and a TD on only four carries. QB Jordan Williams did just enough in the passing game as he passed for 130 yards. He completed 14 of his 26 pass attempts. Benjy Parrish was Williams’ favorite target on the day, catching 7 passes for 80 yards.
Lloyd finished with a game-high 10 tackles as well as forcing the game preserving fumble. Darrius Woods added nine tackles.
Noah Johnson led the Braves (7-4, 5-2 SWAC) with 70 rushing yards and 199 passing yards.
--Jackson State Sports Information
Alabama A&M 21, Kentucky State 13
Huntsville, Ala. – The Bulldogs sent their seniors off on a winning note Saturday with a 21-13 win over Kentucky State.
The Bulldogs held a pregame ceremony to recognize the 19 seniors who wore the Maroon and White for the final time.
For Alabama A&M (4-7 overall), the defense, as it has been all year, was the story. The Bulldogs, the SWAC’s number 2 defense, held the Thorobreds (3-8) to just 135 yards in total offense.
Kenneth Davis, in his final game in a Bulldogs uniform, recorded 13 tackles along with a sack and 1 ½ tackles for loss.
Senior punter Nick Carden, like Davis, a preseason All-SWAC selection, had six punts for a 45.5-yard average.
With A&M trailing 7-0 late in the second quarter, Jordan Bentley scored on a one-yard dive and Carden’s point-after tied the score.
The Bulldogs then used a pair of 90-plus yard, clock-eating drives to take the lead and ensure the win.
With 1:50 to go in the third quarter and A&M down 13-7, Roderick Randolph caught a 10-yard pass from Dylan Smith and barreled through three defenders for the touchdown. Carden’s PAT put the Bulldogs up 14-13. The score capped a 14-play, 91-yard drive that took 6:56 off the clock.
The Bulldogs offense did a near-replay of that drive early in the fourth-quarter.
Smith engineered a 96-yard, 12-play march over 6:08 that culminated with Isaiah Bailey catching an 11-yard fade pass in the end zone with 7:19 left in the game. Carden again was good on the PAT for the final 21-13 score.
Smith came off the bench and was 6-of-8 passing for 85 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
--Alabama A&M Sports Information
Alabama State 16, Mississippi Valley State 10
Itta Bena, Miss. – Three Hunter Hanson field goals and a late interception by Ronnie Scott helped Alabama hold on to defeat Mississippi Valley State 16-10 Saturday afternoon at Rice-Totten Stadium.
“The game was played exactly how I was afraid of how it would be,” Alabama State interim head coach Donald Hill-Eley said. “They played so high against Grambling State, coming in here lulls you to sleep. It’s a tough place to play.”
The win by Alabama State (4-6, 4-3 SWAC), coupled with an Alcorn State loss to Jackson State later in the day, allowed the Hornets to tie the Braves with the best record in the SWAC East Division. However, due to their head-to-head matchup earlier in the season, the Braves will represent the division in the SWAC championship game due to one-game difference in overall conference record.
With adverse weather conditions throughout the game, the Hornets struggled to move the ball offensively in the first quarter as they went against winds that were gusting into the mid-20s. They took advantage a Mississippi Valley State special teams miscue as punter Ruben Piraquive had his knee touch when fielding a snap to set Alabama State up at the 15-yard line. Five plays later, Darryl Pearson, Jr. ran the ball in from three yards for a 7-0 lead with 3:59 to play in the opening quarter.
“We were able to move the ball,” Eley said. “You move the ball into plus territory and we need a play here or three, and we start moving backwards. That is the stuff we can’t do, we have to find a way to make those plays. We left a lot of points and a lot of plays out there on that field.”
The lead was extended to 10-0 in the second quarter, when Hanson drilled the first of three field goals through the uprights. His first field goal was a new career long of 48 yards with 10:32 to play in the first half.
Mississippi Valley State trimmed the lead to 10-3 on a field goal with 5:15 remaining, but it was Hanson again with one minutes to go in the half with a 40-yard field goal to extend the lead to 13-3 heading to the locker room.
The freshman kicked his final field goal with 7:37 to play it the third, this one a 39-yard field goal to push the lead to 16-3. However, Mississippi Valley State (2-9, 1-6 SWAC) trimmed the lead to 16-10 with 11:19 to play on Quinn McElfresh touchdown reception.
“Much needed,” Eley said of Hanson. “We figured we had the win on the extremely long one and ended up getting a low snap that threw us off all together. But he did his job and got us some points.”
That was as close as Mississippi Valley State would get as the Hornet defense would not allow the Delta Devils any closer than their 19-yard line. On fourth down, Scott stepped in front of a pass intended for McElfresh for the interception to help seal the game.
--Alabama State Strategic Communications
Texas Southern 24, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 10
Little Rock, Ark. – Brad Woodward rushed 27 times for 128 yards and a touchdown, Elijah Odom added 92 yards on the ground with a score and also found Mario Smalls for a 25-yard touchdown and the Texas Southern defense held the Golden Lions to 189 total yards of offense to pick up a road conference victory.
After trailing 3-0, the Tigers (2-8, 2-4 SWAC) rallied back to take a 14-3 lead behind a 1-yard touchdown run from Woodward and a 12-yard scamper by Odom.
UAPB’s Dante McDonald and kicker Jamie Gillan cut the lead to 14-10 on a two-yard touchdown run and an extra point kick with 5:26 left in the second quarter.
Texas Southern responded back with a 23-yard field goal by Aaron Cuevas and a Smalls grab late in the fourth quarter to seal it.
Tryvarious Cole finished with 139 all-purpose yards for Arkansas-Pine Bluff, who concluded their season with a 2-9 overall record including 1-6 in the SWAC.