History wasn’t on Prairie View A&M’s side Saturday night when the Panthers played Stephen F. Austin in Nagadoches, Texas, where they had never won in six previous tries.
This time around, however, the Panthers made history, posting a wild 56-48 non-conference victory. The win was the first for the SWAC this season against a non-conference FCS opponent.
SFA (2-3) scored twice, in the first four minutes of the game and took a 14-0 lead. Gush Johnson and Joshawa West each scored on one-yard runs, and Prairie View (3-2) seemed headed toward falling to 0-6-1 all time against the Lumberjacks.
“The way we started off, I never would have saw us finishing like that but we showed that we are a resilient ball club,” Prairie View head coach Heishma Northern said. “We didn’t play the smartest football game, but we damn sure played hard.’’
No Panther played harder than quarterback Jerry Lovelocke, who breathed life into the Prairie View’s offense. Lovelocke accounted for seven touchdowns – three rushing and four passing – and he threw for 380 yards, completing 32 of 47 attempts. Prairie View rolled up 582 total yards; running back Courtney Brown led the Panthers’ running game with 89 yards on eight carries.
Lovelocke led Prairie View to 28 unanswered points and the Panthers led 35-31 at the half.
The teams combined for 1,409 yards and SFA set multiple records. The Lumberjacks set a Southland Conference record with 827 yards total offense, and three receivers – Aaron Thomas (242 yards) DJ Ward (170 yards) and Tyler Boyd (100 yards) had 100 or more receiving yards. Thomas’ receiving yardage set at Southland Conference record, as did quarterback Brady Attaway 662 passing yards.
Even though Prairie View’s defense was porous throughout the game, it made big plays time and again while forcing five turnovers. The Panthers also held SFA on downs on a fourth-and-goal play at their 14 in the fourth quarter. They held SFA to short field goals twice after the Lumberjacks had driven deep into their territory. SFA had to settle for a 28-yard field goal in the second quarter after Mike Brooks returned a punt 39 yards to Prairie View’s 10-yard line. SFA drove 62 yards in 11 plays midway through the third quarter. But the Lumberjacks stalled at Prairie View’s 13, and again they only came away with three points, this time on a 30-yard field goal.
Jackson State 19, Southern 14 – The Tigers built a comfortable third-quarter lead and then held on for a victory in showdown between SWAC division leaders at A. W. Mumford Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. Jackson State (3-2, 3-0 SWAC) is first in the Eastern Division; Southern (2-3, 2-1 SWAC) is tied with Prairie View atop the West Division standings. Jackson State stopped Southern on downs inside Jackson State’s 10-yard line with a minute remaining in the game to preserve the victory. Jackson State scored on its first three possessions of the third quarter to take command of the game. Quarterback Clayton Moore and running back Rakeem Simms each scored on two-yard runs, and Ryan Deising booted a 39-yard field goal to boost the Tigers to a 19-7 lead. Southern fought its way back into the game in the fourth quarter as quarterback Dray Joseph engineered a 70-yard scoring drive, which ended with Joseph’s 19-yard touchdown pass to Lee Doss. Joseph threw for 246 of Southern’s 348 total yards. Southern took an early 7-0 lead on Lenard Tillery’s 70-yard touchdown run. The Jaguars nursed a 7-6 lead going into the third quarter as Deising made a pair of field goals for Jackson State. A costly fumble ignited the16-point third-quarter outburst that Jackson State to take the lead. The Tigers kept Southern’s defense off balance and controlled the tempo with Moore’s passing and a strong running game. Moore completed 15 of 24 passes for 165 yards. Running back Tommy Gooden led Jackson State’s rushing attack with 87 yards on 21 carries, and Simms added 50 yards on 15 carries as the Tigers ran for 190 yards. Jackson State ended the game with 355 total yards.
Alabama State 49, Alcorn State 30 – Junior running back Isaiah Crowell continued to run roughshod over opponents as the Hornets posted home victory in crucial SWAC East Division game. Alabama State and Alcorn each has one conference loss and trail Jackson State, which is unbeaten in conference play, in the race for the race for the East Division championship. Crowell rushed for 133 yards on 19 carries for his fifth consecutive game this season with 100 or more yards, and he scored four touchdowns. He had 99 yards and three touchdowns in the first half as the Hornets (3-2, 3-1 (SWAC) surged to a 28-7 lead after two quarters. The Hornets led 28-0 before Alcorn (3-2, 2-1SWAC) scored with 14 seconds remaining in the half. Both teams produced impressive offensive statistics. Each gained 402 total yards, but Alcorn committed four turnovers.
North Carolina A&T 27, Howard 19 – The unbeaten Aggies scored all of their points in the first half Thursday night and then held on for a home MEAC victory. The win in their conference opener gives the Aggies their first 3-0 start in 12 years and extends their winning streak to seven consecutive games dating to last season. However, Howard rushed for 138 yards to become the first team in eight games to crack the century mark against the Bison’s defense. North Carolina A&T built a 27-7 first-half but played sluggishly on offense in the final two periods. The Aggies only gained 75 yards while running 24 plays. Their second-half lethargy opened the door for the Bison to make a run at the lead. However, the Aggies defense prevented a Howard comeback. North Carolina A&T held the Bison to 18 yards on five possessions and forced a turnover after in the second half. Howard had a pair of opportunities to cut into the lead after the Bison trimmed North Carolina A&T’s lead to 27-19. D’Vonte Grant blocked a 32-yard field goal with 4:03 remaining in the game. The Bison turned the ball over on downs on their final possession.
Alabama A&M 12, Texas Southern 10
Alderson-Broaddus 17, Virginia-Lynchburg 14
Chowan 29, Shaw 23
Delaware State 24, Savannah State 22
Stroudsburg 40, Cheyney 6
Fairmont State 56, West Va. State 3
Fayetteville State 31, Elizabeth City State 27
Fort Valley State 35, Benedict 30
Lamar 27, Grambling State 16
Livingstone 35, Lincoln (Pa.) 7
Miles 22, Albany State 14
Morehouse 28, Edward Waters 26
Norfolk State 27, Morgan State 21
Northwestern State (La.) 37, Langston 0
Pittsburg State (Kan.) 59, Lincoln (Mo.) 38
Saint Augustine’s 29, Bowie State 7
Stillman 26, Kentucky State 21
South Carolina State 30, Hampton 6
Tennessee State 73, Central State 6
Texas College 36, Wayland Baptist 29
Tuskegee 42, Lane 14
Virginia State 19, Johnson C. Smith 17
West Alabama 71, Concordia-Selma 14
Winston-Salem State 55, Virginia Union 15