Defending SWAC champion Alcorn State continued its recent dominance of Southern with a 48-7 victory Saturday in Baton Rouge, La.
The rain-soaked victory was the fifth in a row for the SWAC East Division leading Braves (5-2, 4-1 SWAC) against Southern (4-4, 4-2 SWAC) and puts a third straight SWAC West Division championship for the Jaguars in serious jeopardy. Grambling is unbeaten in the conference (6)-0 and leads the division. Prairie View A&M has one conference loss and has the tie-breaker over Southern after beating the Jaguars earlier this season.
Alcorn won despite playing without senior quarterback John Gibbs Jr. for most of the games. Gibbs, the SWAC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, suffered a leg injury after two offensive plays, and sophomore Lonorris Footman replaced him. The Braves didn’t miss Gibbs as Footman ran for 274 yards and four touchdowns and threw a pair of touchdown passes. He completed three of seven passes for 71 yards.
Alcorn struck quickly. After holding Southern to three-and-out, Braves receiver Marquis Warford took a handoff from Gibbs and scooted 78 yards for a score. Gibbs ran the ball on the first play of next possession and injured his leg when he was tackled. Footman took over and the route was on as the Braves extended their lead to 21-0 before the first quarter ended.
Southern trailed 21-7 at the half after running back Lenard Tillery, who had 132 yards rushing, scored in the second quarter. Tillery’s 43-yard run on Southern’s first possession of the third quarter breathed life into the Jaguars as they reached Alcorn’s 10-yard line. However, the Jaguars turned the ball over on downs when the Braves stopped Tillery on a fourth-and-two play. That led to Alcorn scoring four touchdowns in a seven-minute span and doomed Southern to is most lopsided home defeat since a 56-7 loss to Texas Southern five years ago. Southern aided Alcorn’s scoring spurt by losing a pair of fumbles on center snaps as the Jaguars lost their second consecutive home game.
Alabama State 35, Alabama A&M 20 – Quarterback Daniel Duhart accounted for all of the Hornets’ touchdowns as they won the 74th Magic City Classic at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala. Duhart threw two touchdowns and ran for three as Alabama State (4-4, 4-3 SWAC) made it three victories in the last four times they have faced their in-state SWAC rivals in the Magic City Classic and fourth in the last six. Duhart had two one-yard rushing touchdowns, and he also scored on a 15-yard run.
Duhart got off to a fast start, hooking on a 45-yard completion to DeMario Bell on the first play from scrimmage and scoring on a 15-yard run on the second play. He scored on a one-yard run had a 60-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Barnes and an 18-yard scoring toss to Joshua Davis to give the Hornets 28-14 lead at the half. Alabama State led 14-0 in the first quarter, but Alabama A&M (2-5, 2-3) tied the score at 14-all on a pair of touchdown runs by Brandon Eldemire. Duhart’s third rushing touchdown came on a one-yard run and matched the three touchdowns that he scored in the Magic City Classic last year. Duhart passed for 228 yards, and running back Khalid Thomas had 100 yards rushing for the Hornets.
Miles 37, Stillman 7 – The Golden Bears had a dominating performance en route to a road victory that sets up a showdown with Tuskegee for the SIAC Western Division title. Miles (5-4, 4-0 SIAC) overwhelmed Stillman on both sides of the ball. The Golden Bears gained 545 yards total offense, and their defense forced three turnovers and had five quarterback sacks. They will face Tuskegee Saturday on the Golden Tigers’ homecoming with the winner taking the West title and moving on to the SIAC Championship game. It will be the fourth consecutive year that the teams have met in the season finale with the division championship at stake. Miles Quarterback David Whipple completed 18 of 32 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns and rushed 119 yards and another score to lead the Bears offensive onslaught.
Tuskegee 19, Central State 7 – The Golden Tigers’ defense made up for a lackluster offensive showing in a home win on Senior Day that set the stage for a winner-take-all showdown with Miles for the SIAC Western Division championship. Tuskegee and Miles are the only teams to represent the West in the conference championship game since it was established 2011.Tuskegee (8-1, 7-0 SIAC) trailed 7-6 at the half. Linebacker Jewell Ratliff returned interception 20 yards for a touchdown on the third play of the third quarter to put Tuskegee ahead 12-7.
Those points were all the Golden Tigers needed the rest of the game as they held Central State (4-5, 4-3 SIAC) to just 133 total yards. The Golden Tigers added an insurance touchdown late in the third period on a 45-yard touchdown from quarterback Kevin Lacey to Leo Gilbert. Central State dominated the fourth quarter with a 23-play drive that covered 69 yards. The drive used up 10:35 on the clock, but the Marauders came away empty-handed as the Golden Tigers held on four plays from the three yard line with 5:46 to play in the game.
Prairie View A&M 54, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 29 – The Panthers rallied from a 14-point for a home victory to keep pace in the SWAC Western Division race. Prairie View (5-2, 5-1 SWAC) scored 26 unanswered points in the half and remains second to Grambling State in the West race. Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-7, 0-6 SWAC) took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter when quarterback Brandon Duncan threw a five-yard touchdown pass to John Hawkins, and Daunte McDonald ran for a 1-yard score.
Prairie View tied the score before halftime. Wide receiver Christian Rousseau completed an eight-yard touchdown pass to John Allen on fourth-and-four, and quarterback Trey Green threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Demarquo Lastrappe. Green had three touchdown passes while throwing for 261 yards, and scored a pair of touchdowns on the ground. Brandon Duncan threw for 308 yards and two touchdowns for Arkansas-Pine Bluff
College of Faith at Texas Southern: The Tigers’ home game was cancelled for safety reasons due to flooding in the Houston area.
Bethune-Cookman 49, Delaware State 21
Howard 55, Savannah State 9
North Carolina A&T 28, Florida A&M 10
North Carolina Central 24, Norfolk State 16
South Carolina State 34, Hampton 20
Jackson State 23, Miss. Valley State 16
Bowie State 57, Lincoln (Pa.) 3
Johnson C. Snith 22, Saint Augustine’s 3
Livingstone 42, Fayetteville State 35, OT
Virginia State 32, Chowan 28
Virginia Union 43, Elizabeth City State 31
West Chester 41, Cheyney 20
Albany State 35, Benedict 9
Fort Valley State 35, Morehouse 3
Lane 21, Kentucky State 14
Ave Maria 30, Edward Waters 27
Langston 48, Lyon College 14
McKendree 65, Lincoln (Mo.) 0
UNC-Pembroke 45, West Va. State 21
Okla. Panhandle State 62, Texas College 7
Tennessee State 26, Austin Peay 6