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Alcorn State proved in its 48-31 home SWAC win against Southern University Saturday that sometime it doesn’t matter how you start a football game, it’s how you finish it what counts. The Braves overcame a slow start as they overwhelmed the Jaguars with a powerful running game to win the conference opener for both teams.

Senior running back De’Lance Turner rushed for 272 yards, the second-highest single total in school history, on 21 carries as the Braves (2-2, 1-0 SWAC) amassed 402 yards on the ground. Quarterback Lenorris Footman added 70 yards to the running game, and running back P. J. Simmons ran for 60. With their rushing attack clicking, the Braves scored 31 unanswered points after falling behind 24-10 early in the second quarter.

The Braves’ running game trumped Southern’s attack that had sputtered in the Jaguars’ previous two games, both losses, in the absence of quarterback Austin Howard. With Howard sidelined due to a knee injury, the Jaguars (1-3, 0-1 SWAC), gained a total of 17 first downs and passed for 143 yards while losing to Southern Miss and UT-San Antonio. Howard completed 24 of 45 attempts for 274 yards with two touchdowns against Alcorn, and the Jaguars had 438 total yards. But it wasn’t enough to keep them from losing their first conference opener in five years.

Devon Benn, who ran for 119 yards, staked the Jaguars to a 17-3 lead with a pair of second-quarter touchdowns. Benn’s first score came on a 23-yard pass from Howard at the 14:21 mark; two minutes later, he scored on a one-yard run. Alcorn countered with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Footman to Turner, but Howard matched that score with a 48—yard touchdown pass to Dennis Craig for a 24-10 Southern lead. But Alcorn’s offense had found its rhythm and the Braves started lighting up the scoreboard.

Simmons scored on a 28-yard run and Corey McCullough added 36-yard field to cut Aslcorn’s deficit to 24-20 at the half. The Braves took command in the third quarter with a three-touchdown flurry. Turner scored on a 52-yard run; Simmons added an 11-yard scoring run Marquis Warford caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Footman. Southern’s only points of the second half came on Aaron Tiller’s 19 yard fumble return for a touchdown with 4:49 left in the third quarter. Turner rounded out the scoring with a 49-yard touchdown run with 1:56 left in the game.

Key Results:

 North Carolina Central 33, South Carolina State 28 – The defending MEAC champion Eagles opened the conference portion of their schedule with a come-from-behind home victory with backup freshman quarterback Chauncey Caldwell playing a major role. South Carolina State’s defense knocked starting quarterback Micah Zanders out of the game early in the second quarter, and he didn’t return. Caldwell rushed for a game-high 91 yards threw two touchdown passes for the Eagles (2—1, -10 MEAC).

He connected with Josh McCoy on a 38-yard touchdown pass with 5:24 left in the game for the winning points. The Bulldogs (1-2, 0-1 MEAC) scored touchdowns on three consecutive drives for a 21-7 second quarter lead. Quarterback Duwann Ford threw touchdown passes of 20 and 26 yards to Kendall Cobb and Quan Caldwell, respectively, and he scored himself on a seven-yard run to give Bulldogs and two-touchdown lead.

Ford passed for 221 yards. The Eagles, who won their 16th straight conference game, unleashed a fierce defensive effort in the second half to pull out the victory after trailing 21-14 at the break. They limited the Bulldogs to just 90 total yards in the final two periods and had 12 tackles for loss, including three sacks, in the game.

Howard 26, Bethune-Cookman 24 – The Bison ended their six-game losing streak to the Wildcats with a come-from-behind home victory in the MEAC opener for both teams. Quarterback Caylin Newton’s five-yard touchdown run with 39 seconds left in the game lifted Howard (2-2, 1-0 MEAC) to its first home win against Bethune-Cookman (1-3, 0-1 MEAC) since 1996. The Wildcats had taken a 24-20 lead on a field goal at the end of the third quarter. Newton, the brother of NFL quarterback Cam Newton, threw for 157 yards while completing 12 of 25 attempts, and he rushed for 154 yards on 22 carries.

Virginia State 33, Winston-Salem State 27, OT — The unbeaten Trojans handed the visiting Rams a rare CIAA loss despite repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot with mistakes in the kicking game. Virginia State (3-0, 1-0 CIAA) had two field goals and two extra points blocked, including the extra point following the go-ahead touchdown in overtime. However, the Trojans pulled out the victory thanks to a dominating offensive performance. They rolled up 587 total yards and held the ball for 47 minutes.

The loss for Winston-Salem (2-2, 0-1 CIAA) was just their sixth in the last 10 years to a CIAA opponent .Running back Trenton Cannon led the Trojans’ ground attack with 144 yards on 22 carries. Cannon scored two touchdowns. His three-yard touchdown run with 40 seconds left in the fourth quarter, coupled with quarterback Cordelral Cook’s two-point conversion run sent the game into overtime. The Trojans got the ball first in the extra period, and Thomas Koufie scored on a 17-yard run. But Winston-Salem blocked the extra point kick. Running back Kerrion Moore fumbled the ball on the Rams’ possession, and Brandon Lynch recovered it to end the game.

Other Scores


Florida A&M 20, Savannah State 14

Monmouth 30, Hampton 23, OT

North Carolina A&T 49, Morgan State 17

Norfolk State 17, Delaware State 7


Alabama A&M 30, Texas Southern 13

Arkansas-Pine Bluff 34, Jackson State 27

Grambling State 38, Miss. Valley State 6

Prairie View A&M 34, Alabama State 0


Bowie State 76, Shaw 7

Chowan 25, Livingstone 12

Elizabeth City State 20, Johnson C. Smith 17

Saint Augustine’s 81, Lincoln 9

Virginia Union 47, Fayetteville State 40


Clark Atlanta 31, Lane 7

Findlay 61, Tuskegee 0

Fort Valley State 31, Benedict 21, 2 OT

Kentucky State 34, Central State 22

Miles 27, Morehouse 24

West Georgia 48, Albany State 16


Bloomsburg 48, Cheyney 19

Langston 36, Bacone 6

Shepherd 56, West Virginia State 41

Truman State 41, Lincoln (Mo.) 14

University of Cumberlands 51, Edward Waters 9

UT-Martin 31, Tennessee State 16

Wayland Baptist 24, Texas College 23


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