Alcorn State claimed a dramatic 33-26 home victory against Grambling State Saturday in a potential preview of the SWAC Championship Game.
Quarterback Noah Johnson flipped a two-yard touchdown pass to Chris Blair with 12 seconds remaining in the contest to give the East Division leading Braves (6-2, 4-1 SWAC) the victory. Two plays earlier, Johnson shocked the defending SWAC champion G-Men (3-4, 2-2 SWAC) when he connected with Dayall Harris on a 33-yard pass completion on a third-and-20 play from Grambling’s 36.
Alcorn controlled the game with its rushing attack. The Braves outgained Grambling on the ground 148-84. De’Shawn Waller led the Braves with 74 rushing yards. Defensive end Terry Whittington was a one-man wrecking crew on defense for Alcorn. Whittington had 15 tackles, 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble.
Grambling quarterback Geremy Hickbottom threw for 279 yards and he rushed for 54 yards and a touchdown.
The G-Men jumped out to a 13-0 first-quarter lead on Johntavious Robinson’s three-yard touchdown run and a pair of field goals by Marc Orozco. Grambling stormed back and went ahead 23-13 as Waller scored on a 12-yard touchdown, Corey McCullough kicked a 26-yard touchdown; Blair snagged a nine-yard touchdown pass from Johnson, Javen Morrison returned an interception 34 yards for a touchdown. Orozco nailed a 52-yard field goal in the third quarter, and Hickbottom’s 24-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter put Grambling on a top again, 26-23.
”That was a tough win,’’ said Alcorn coach Fred McNair. “To come back after giving up a 10-point lead is phenomenal. I’m proud of the guys and everything they do. They fight hard every day and should be proud of themselves as well.’’
The loss drops Grambling into third place in the SWAC West behind first place Southern and runnerup Prairie View A&M
North Carolina A&T 35, Bethune-Cookman 10 – The Aggies dominated play with a balanced offensive attack and a suffocating defense in their MEAC victory in Daytona Beach, Fla. North Carolina A&T (6-2, 3-1MEAC) amassed 410 yards total offense, the and the Aggiess’ defense held Bethune-Cookman to just 196 total yards.
Quarterbacks Lamar Raynard and Kylil Carter passed for 189 and 104 yards, respectively. Raynard threw a pair of touchdown passes, and Carter threw one. Running back Jah-Maine Martin ran for 118 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Wide receiver Elijah Bell had five catches for 105 yards and a touchdown. The Aggies only allowed 69 rushing yards, and they limited the Wildcats (4-4, 2-2 MEAC) to 127 passing yards. Bethune-Cookman quarterback Akevious Williams left the game with an injury in the third quarter after completing 14 of 21 attempts for 108 yards,
Bowie State 27, Virginia Union 13 – The Bulldogs got a record-setting performance from senior quarterback Amir Hall as they defeated the Panthers in Richmond, Va., and took over first place in the CIAA North Division. Bowie State, Virginia Union and Virginia State each have one conference loss, but the Bulldogs own beat both schools and owns the tie-breaker. Hall threw for 370 yards and two touchdowns. His two touchdown passes gives him 90 for his career and moves him into first place on the CIAA all-time list, ahead of Earl “Air’’ Harvey.
Harvey threw 89 touchdown passes during his career at North Carolina Central. Bowie State (6-2, 3-1 CIAA) led 13-3 at the half as Hall connected with Brandon Williams on a 56-yard touchdown pass and Gene Carson kicked a pair of field goals. Virginia Union (5-2, 3-1 CIAA) closed to within three points of the lead on quarterback Darius Taylor’s six-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Hall tossed a 40-yard touchdown pass to Maurice Williams in the fourth quarter and Abrams scored on a nine-yard run to put the game away. Running back Tabyus Taylor ran for 131 yards and Darius Taylor rushed for 100 yards as the Panthers ran the ball for 249 yards. But their ground game couldn’t keep up with Bowie State’s aerial attack.
Morehouse 14, Benedict 10 – Special teams saved the day for the Maroon Tigers as they handed the Tigers their first SIAC loss of the season and spoiled their Homecoming in the process. Benedict (5-2, 3-1 SIAC) botched a snap on a punt in the first quarter. Ben Goins picked up the ball returned it 10 yards for a touchdown to give Morehouse (6-1, 3-1 SIAC) a 7-0 lead.
After Benedict tied the score at seven apiece on an 11-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Dominique Harris to Danye Washington, linebacker Lynd Parrish blocked a punt and Bertram Johnson returned it five yards for another Morehouse touchdown. Rigoberto Tinoco kicked a 26-yard field for Benedict midway through the third quarter to close out the scoring. Morehouse and Benedict are tied for second place in the SIAC East behind Albany State.
Howard 35, Delaware State 26
North Carolina Central 36, Norfolk State 6
South Carolina State 30, Delaware State 19
Mississippi Valley State 48, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 47
North Alabama 24, Jackson State 7
Southern 21, Texas Southern 7
Chowan 44, Elizabeth City State 20
Fayetteville State 31, Saint Augustine’s 28
Shaw 42, Johnson C. Smith 9
Virginia State 54, Lincoln (Pa.) 7
Winston-Salem State 34, Livingstone 19
Albany State 36, Clark Atlanta 3
Lane 15, Miles 14
Lenoir-Rhyne 30, Fort Valley State 22
Robert Morris 49, Central State 45
Tuskegee 37, Kentucky State 0
Ave Maria 41, Edward Waters 14
Carson-Newman 63, Virginia-Lynchburg 10
Langston 48, Lyon College 21
Lincoln (Mo.) 23, William Jewell 14
West Liberty 36, West Virginia State 24
Tennessee State 41, Tennessee Tech 14
Wayland Baptist 32, Texas College 28
- Central State QB Trent Mays completed 22 of 40 passes for 364 yards and three TDS.
- Tennessee State QB Micheal Hughes completed 22 of 27 passes for 318 yards
- Livingstone QB Alexis Archie completed 20 of 47 passes for 291 yards and three TDs.
- Central State WR Kevin Greenhow had 11 receptions for 276 yards and three TDs.
- Arkansas-Pine Bluff QB Skyler Perry completed 18 of 33 attempts for 257 yards and three TDs.
- Tuskegee QB Ahmad Deramus completed 12 of 18 passes for 235 yards and four TDs.
- Virginia State QB Corderal Cook completed 17 of 19 passes for 214 yards and four TDs.
- Mississippi Valley State QB Dejerric Bryant rushed for 173 yards and three TDs on 23 carries.
- Arkansas-Pine Bluff RB Taeylor Porter rushed for 173 yards and two TDs on 37 carries.
- Chowan RB Tyrell Freeman rushed for 157 yards and two TDs on 26 carries.
- Howard RB Dedrick Parsons rushed for 148 yards and two TDs on 16 carries.
- Fort Valley State WR Lorenzo Smothers had three receptions for 140 yards and one TD.
- Tennessee State WR DeVon Johnson had five receptions for 138 yards and one TD.
- Virginia State WR Jemourri LaPierre had five receptions for 119 yards and three TDs.
- Shaw RB Coleman Blackston rushed for 114 yard and one TD on nine carries.
- Morgan State RB Joshua Chase rushed for 115 yards and one TD on 20 carries.
- Central State RB Tarraris Saffold rushed for 111 yards and two TDs on 23 carries.
- North Carolina Central RB Isaiah Totten rushed for 108 yards and one TD on 12 carries.
- Chowan WR Paul Gooden had seven receptions for 101 yards and one TD.
- Chowan QB Bryce Witt had 337 yards total offense – included 285 passing – and accounted for three TDs.
- South Carolina State QB Tyrece Nick accounted for 263 yards total offense – 133 passing and 130 rushing – and one TD.
- Chowan DE Rafiq Abdul-Wahid had 3.5 sacks.\
Roscoe Nance is a veteran freelance sports journalist who has covered Black College Football throughout his 43-year career. He retired from USA TODAY after writing for the Nation’s Newspaper for 21 years, during which time he covered college sports, soccer, tennis and the NBA. He has also written for The Columbus (Ga.) Enquirer and The (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion-Ledger.
The Tuskegee (Institute) University graduate, who hails from Union Springs, Ala., was inducted into the SWAC Hall of Fame in 2014 for his coverage of the conference during his time writing for The Clarion-Ledger. He currently co-hosts the online sports talk show Express Yourself With T-Ramone And Sco with Atlanta sports journalist Tim Turner, and he is Chairman of the Black College Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee.