football-foreground-447Alabama State relied on a pair of backup while defeating Prairie View A&M 48-42 in a SWAC overtime shootout in Montgomery, Ala., Saturday.

The Hornets (5-2, 5-1 SWAC) and Panthers (4-3, 3-2 SWAC), the top two offensive teams in the SWAC, lived up to their credentials. They combined to gain more than 1,300 yards total offense in the contest, which produced five ties and seven lead changes.

“Offensively we thought we would be able to score on them,’’ Alabama State coach Reggie Barlow said, “but they are a high-powered offense as well and we knew it would be a challenge. We did some positive things on defense, (but) unfortunately with the speed they were moving the ball and making plays they were able to score.”

Running back Malcolm Cyrus ran for a career-high 241 yards and two touchdowns after replacing Isaiah Crowell, the No. 1 rusher in the SWAC with 814 yards. Crowell sat out most of the second half with an injury. Cyrus scored the winning touchdown on a seven-yard run in overtime after Prairie View missed a 36-yard field on the first possession of the extra period. Cyrus also scored on an 80-yard run in the third quarter.

Crowell gained 51 yards on seven carries before leaving the game. He scored on a 33-yard run in the first quarter that tied the score 7-7. He also had a one-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

Quarterback Quinteris Toppings, No. 3 on the depth chart, also played a key role in the victory that kept the Hornets within striking distance of SWAC East Division leader Jackson State. Toppings threw for 157 yards and a touchdown while completing 11 of 18 passes. Toppings was playing in place of second-stringer Arsenio Favor, who replaced injured starter Daniel Duart but was also injured in the first half himself.

Prairie View quarterback Jerry Lovelock sent the game into overtime with a four-yard touchdown pass Courtney Brown with 20 seconds remaining in regulation. The score ended a 17-play 95-yard drive. Lovelocke was superb in defeat. He completed 42 of 61 passes for 533 yards and four touchdowns as the Panthers rang up 679 yards total offense. But his performance wasn’t enough to offset the Panthers’ inability to contain Alabama State’s running game. The Hornets ran for 321 yards and finished the contest with 614 total yards.

The loss leaves Prairie View a half game behind Southern in the SWAC West Division race. Southern holds the tie-breaker with the Panthers on the strength of the Jaguars’ 62-59 overtime victory on Sept. 14.

Key Results

Central State 25, Miles 21 – The Marauders, the new kid on the SIAC block, played as though they had been around the block a few times as they picked up their first SIAC win of their inaugural season in the conference. The Marauders (1-5, 1-2 SIAC) steamrolled Miles with 430 yards total offense while wearing down the Golden Bears (3-2, 2-1) with their running game. They ran for 252 yards on 47 attempts. Michael Wilson led Marauder ball carriers with 113 yards on 15 carries. Miles led 14-7 early in the second quarter after Alexander Francois returned an interception 57 yards for a touchdown. But Central State responded with 18 unanswered points for a 25-14 lead going into the fourth quarter. Denzel Veal scored on a three-yard run for Miles with 14:40 remaining in the game, but the Marauders held the Golden Bears offense at bay for the remainder of the contest. The loss leaves Miles and game behind Tuskegee in the SIAC Western Division race. The Golden Bears play at Tuskegee in the regular season finale Nov. 9.

Hampton 31, North Carolina A&T 28 – The Pirates celebrated homecoming with their first victory of the season. Freshman quarterback Bryan Bailey passed for three touchdowns in his first start for Hampton (1-5, 1-1 MEAC). The Pirates led 28-12 at the half, bug. North Carolina A&T 3-2, 1-2) which) came up with a pair of big plays to tighten the score. Quarterback Lewis Kindle connected with Tarik Cohen on an 81-yard touchdown pass, and Bryan Houston returned an interception 24 yards for a touchdown to make the score 28-26 with 13:38 remaining the game. Anthony Prevost’s 31-yard field with 2:09 to play doomed North Carolina A&T to its second consecutive loss.

Kentucky State 17, Fort Valley 11 – Defensive back Eric Rawls’ third interception of the game with 18 seconds to play secured the Thorobreds’ home SIAC victory. Rawls picked off Fort Valley quarterback Eugene Smith’s desperation pass after the Wildcats (2-4, 2-2 SIAC) gained possession of the ball at their 12-yard line with 27 seconds remaining. Both teams’ defenses had stellar performance. Kentucky State (4-2, 2-1 SIAC), in addition to Rawls’ three interceptions, held Fort Valley to 196 yards total offense. The Wildcats were even stingier. They limited Kentucky State 185 yards and intercepted two passes. Both teams were plagued with penalties. Each was flagged for 125 yards.

Shaw 44, Fayetteville State 34 – Defensive back Darnell Evans was a one-man wrecking crew as the visiting Bears Fayetteville State its first CIAA loss of the season. Evans intercepted three passes – one of which he returned for a touchdown – and he had 222 kickoff and punt return yards. Evans, who didn’t take an offensive snap in the game, had 293 yards on punt, kickoff and interception returns.  Shaw (3-3, 1-2 CIAA) trailed 31-12 in the third quarter. Quarterback Jemeryn Jenkins threw for 303 yards and two touchdowns for Fayetteville State (3-3, 2-1). However, Jenkins also threw three interceptions. Darnell returned Jenkins’ third interception of the game 27 yards for a touchdown with 40 seconds remaining to end Fayetteville State’s hopes of winning.

Other Scores

Albany State 31, Lane 27

Alcorn 48, Grambling State 0

Bethune-Cookman 27, Howard 6

Clark Atlanta 56, College of Faith 0

Chowan 31, Bowie State 21

Delaware State 14, Norfolk State 7

Florida A&M 27, Savannah State 14

Jackson State 26, Miss. Valley State 17

Langston 41, SW Assemblies of God 17

Kutztown 35, Cheyney 19

Okla. Panhandle 41, Texas College 0

Saint Augustine’s 21, Livingstone 1

South Carolina State 4, North Carolina Central 3

Southern 20, Alabama A&M 17 (OT)

Stillman 35, Benedict 21

Tenn. State 31, Jacksonville Sate 15

Texas Southern 41, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 28

Tuskegeee 54, Morehouse 14

Virginia State 51, Elizabeth City State 28

Virginia Union 28, Lincoln (Pa.) 21

Washburn 58, Lincoln (Mo.) 7

Webber International 49, Edward Waters 9Z7

Wesley 40, Virginia-Lynchburg 0

West Va. Wesleyan 45, West Va. State 30

Winston-Salem State 44, Johnson C. Smith 17

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