SWAC Football Update
By Uba Okereke
Late Touchdown Helps Alabama A&M beat Texas Southern
Alabama A&M defeated Texas Southern 24-21 last Thursday night in primetime on ESPNU. The Bulldogs were looking to keep pace with unbeaten Alabama State in the SWAC East standings.
Texas Southern jumped out to a 14-0 lead early in the first quarter with touchdown runs by Martin Gilbert and Marcus Wright.
The Tigers led 14-10 late in the second quarter until Terrance Pride caught a 43 yard pass from Deaunte Mason to give AAMU a 17-14 lead going into halftime.
The second half started as a defensive battle between teams, each stopping the other on third down and forcing turnovers. Alabama A&M still led by three as the quarter wound down.
Texas Southern regained the lead on a 19 yard touchdown run by Gilbert following a short punt by the Bulldogs. The Tigers led 21-17 with 4:44 left in the game.
The Bulldogs answered on the ensuing drive with a go-ahead 70-yard touchdown pass by Mason, giving AAMU a 24-21 lead with a little over four minutes remaining.
Defensive back Riko Porch intercepted Riko Smalls’ pass on fourth-and-20 to secure the win for the Bulldogs.
Alabama A&M (5-2, 4-1) has won five straight games and looks ahead to the matchup in the Magic City Classic versus arch-rival Alabama State in couple of weeks.
Mason finished with 289 yards pass on eight completions and two touchdowns.
Gilbert ran for 188 yards and two touchdowns for Texas Southern (2-4, 1-4).
Alabama State Remains Unbeaten in SWAC play
Alabama State defeated Prairie View A&M 20-7 last Saturday afternoon in a potential meeting of HBCU teams for the 2011 SWAC championship.
The Hornets (6-1, 6-0 SWAC) took advantage on an early PV turnover and opened the scoring on a Greg Jenkins 10-yard touchdown run, giving Alabama State a 7-0 lead.
Jenkins threw a touchdown pass to Nick Andrews and made it 14-0 in the second quarter. Bobby Wenzig made a 37-yard field goal to give ASU a 17-0 halftime lead.
Prairie View’s only points of the game came on an 11-yard touchdown run by Jermaine Waddy.
Wenzig made another field goal in the fourth quarter to give the Hornets a 20-7 lead, putting the game out of reach for Prairie View.
Alabama State’s defense came up big against the Panthers with two goal-line stands in the second quarter and forced three turnovers.
Prairie View generated nearly 500 yards of offense but failed to score on its red-zone trips in Hornets territory.
Andrews caught nine passes for 118 yards in the game and became the all-time leading receiver in Alabama State history with 178 receptions.
Jenkins completed 21 of 31 for 315 yards with one interception.
Fred Anderson ran for 101 yards on 20 carries for the Panthers (4-3, 4-2 SWAC)
Jackson State edges winless Mississippi Valley
Jackson State beat Mississippi Valley State 17-16 last Saturday afternoon to keep pace in the Black College Football rankings.
The high-octane Tiger offense only managed a Jabril Smith 27-yard field goal in the second quarter. MVSU led 6-3 at halftime.
The Tigers offense came to life in the second half with two third quarter touchdowns including a 75-yard pass from Casey Therriault. The two scores gave Jackson State the lead for good.
Carlos Sanchez brought the Delta Devils within one (17-16) with a made field goal but got no closer.
MVSU (0-7, 0-6 SWAC) ran the ball for 229 yards but committed 14 penalties and only converted four of 15 third downs.
Therriault had 254 yards passing and 71 yards rushing for the Tigers (6-1, 4-1 SWAC).
Blocked PAT Helps UAPB Win Over Southern
Arkansas-Pine Bluff beat Southern 22-21 last Saturday night in the wildest of finishes.
Southern led 9-0 in the third quarter before the Golden Lions scored on a five yard touchdown run by Stephen Jones to cut the deficit to two (9-7).
UAPB (4-3, 3-2 SWAC) took a 14-9 lead later in the quarter with another touchdown run, this time by Dennis Jenkins.
Dray Joseph gave the Jaguars a 15-14 lead in the fourth quarter with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Lee Doss.
On the ensuing drive, the Golden Lions scored on a second touchdown run by Jones to lead 22-15 with 1:20 remaining in the game.
Southern drove the ball hurriedly 76 yards and scored a touchdown as time expired but Matthew Hill’s PAT attempt was blocked by UAPB defensive back Jarvis Webb.
Jenkins rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries, and Justin Billings added 101 yards on 16 attempts for Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Jared Green had 141 yards on seven receptions and a touchdown for Southern (2-5, 2-3 SWAC).