PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas – The Prairie View A&M Panthers (6-3, 5-3 SWAC) defeated the Jackson State Tigers (6-3, 6-2 SWAC)on Saturday, Nov. 10th by the score of 30-27 securing the programs first winning season since 1976.
In the first half, Jackson State got off to a fast start scoring the first touchdown of the contest after quarterback Jimmy Oliver connected on a 16 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jaymar Johnson at the 9:59 mark of the first half. The extra point attempt by place kicker Eric Perri was blocked by PVAMU linebacker Zach East making the score 6-0.
The Panther’s first score would come from a safety as Tiger’s running back Cody Hull was stuffed in the Jackson State end zone by defensive back Val Ford. Prairie View A&M trailed 6-2 at the end of the first quarter.
Jackson State would manage only one score in the second quarter as Oliver found Johnson for a 36 yard touchdown. The Tiger’s hold on the lead wouldn’t last for long as PVAMU’s quarterback Mark Spivey threw for a career high three touchdowns in the second quarter connecting with wide receivers Anthony Weeden, Joe Townsend and Shaun Stephens respectively.
Jackson State’s number two ranked secondary looked like amateurs as senior Spivey precisely hit JSU’s secondary with touchdown passes of 32, 35, and 20 yards in the first half. Going into intermission the Panther’s rallied to a 10-point lead at 23-13.
At the start of the second half the Tiger’s were successful in reaching the red zone on their first drive, but were forced to attempt a field goal with the help of PVAMU’s number one ranked red zone defense. The 51 yard field goal attempt by Tiger’s kicker Perri sailed wide left and the Panther’s took over on downs.
After various drives ending in punts, Jackson State rebounded to close in on PVAMU’s scoring margin with a touchdown pass from Oliver to receiver Carlos Simpson at the 1:29 mark of the quarter, to close out all scores in the third quarter.
At the 14:36 mark of the fourth quarter Spivey’s cannon once again unloaded for a 64 yard pass which landed in the hands of Townsend as he breezed pass the Tiger’s secondary and cruised into the end zone for his second touchdown of the game. With a 30-20 lead, PVAMU’s defense subsequently clamped down forcing a Jackson State punt and missed field goal.
JSU eventually put together a scoring drive which ended with a four yard touchdown run by Hull. After a successful extra point, Prairie View A&M’s lead dropped to three points at 30-27.
The Panther’s failed to score on their second to last drive attempt. PVAMU relied on punter Pedro Ventura’s strong leg as he booted his best punt of the game out of bounds to the Jackson State nine yard line.
On their last scoring drive Jackson State began with two complete passes. After a nine yard run to the JSU 45-yard line, the Tiger’s slowly began to move to within field goal range. With less than two minutes to play, Tiger quarterback Trae Rutland threw an interception to Panther free safety Chris Adingupu sealing the victory for Prairie View A&M.
“We didn’t want Jackson State to clinch their division on our field,” said Frazier. “Overall we played a great game offensively and defensively. Mark has great accuracy with his deep ball and our offensive line stepped up and gave him time to throw the ball.”
Spivey won the quarterback battle completing 8-of-19 passes for 180 yards and a career high four touchdowns with a long of 64 yards.
Townsend led all receivers with 2 touchdowns. The Jacksonville, Fla. native had a career high 99 receiving yards. Senior linebacker Zach East amassed a career high 19 tackles (seven solo), surpassing his mark previous high of 18 against Grambling State earlier this season.
The Houston, Texas native also recorded a forced fumble and a blocked field goal. Senior defensive end Jon Johnson racked up five tackles, all which were solos, and two sacks. Senior Chris Gibson made several momentum changing plays with three tackles, one forced fumble, and one sack. Panther kicker Brady Faggard was perfect, going 4-4 on extra point attempts.
“We’ve got one of the top defenses in the country,” said Frazier. “Our defensive coaching staff does a great job in putting our players in positions were they can be successful.”
In a losing effort, JSU’s Oliver connected on 21-31 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns. The Tiger’s Eric Haw, who is ranked fifth in the conference, was held to just 27 yards.
For the game Prairie View A&M tallied 241 total offensive yard (43 R, 198 P) while Jackson State amassed 430 yards (79 R, 351 P).
With the win PVAMU remains undefeated at home at 2-0. The Panthers will conclude their season at home as they face Alabama A&M on Saturday, Nov. 17th at 4:00 p.m. at Blackshear Field.