The rematch Saturday saw the two teams total 72 points in a contest that signified the Hornets as the SWAC’s best team. Trailing 22-16 midway through the third quarter, Alabama State scored 27 of the game’s last 30 points to run away from the defending champions 43-29.
While the Hornets really didn’t need a ton of help scoring, the Texas Southern special teams — for the second straight week — had another lackluster performance.
A bad snap over the head of punter Francois Ejiofor’s into the end zone led to a Jazeric Peterson touchdown. Following a failed Tigers’ offensive possession, Ejiofor uncorked a one-yard punt set up a score by Quendarius McKibben to extend the Hornets lead to 37-22. Ballgame.
Long-time Huntsville Times sports writer Reggie Benson said Alabama A&M needed to avoid complacency in taking on Mississippi Valley State. Benson lamented how the Bulldogs sometimes had a tendency to play to the level of its competition. There was no need to worry about the Bulldogs playing down to the winless Delta Devils.
After the first quarter, Alabama A&M had a three touchdown lead. There would be no need for a miracle late-game comeback. Quarterback DeAunte Mason was brilliant for most of game passing for more than 200 yards and three touchdowns while the defense held the Mississippi Valley rushing attack to 16 yards on 30 attempts. The win keeps the Bulldogs right in the middle of SWAC Eastern Division race.
There was report in one of the Jackson papers that Rick Comegy’s future at Jackson State might be in doubt once the season concludes regardless of the Tigers’ record. I wonder if back-to-back blowouts — against Texas Southern (58-13) and on homecoming versus Arkansas-Pine Bluff (48-10) — will convince the powers that be on Lynch Street to keep the current head coach around for another year or two? On a personal note, I hope all those who are attending Jackson State’s homecoming this weekend have a couple of brews in honor of yours truly.
If the regular season ended today, Prairie View would be playing for a conference championship after their last-second 23-20 win against Southern. Thanks to a tremendous defensive play by Dwayne Chappell forcing a fumble of Southern quarterback Dray Joseph with 5:23 left in the game leading to a bruising drive that set up a Chris Barrick chip shot field goal to seal the win. If not for a horrible fourth quarter against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, the Panthers would have joined Alabama State as the only schools without a conference loss.
Quote of the Week:
“We got off to a bad start,” said Delta Devils head coach Karl Morgan after his team’s 19th straight conference game. “We turned the ball over on our first two possessions and you can’t do that and expect to win on the road. We were worried about making progress and falling back. We fell back today, but I’m still encouraged.”
Player of the Week:
Prairie View kicker Christopher Barrick who booted a 19-yard field goal with 10 seconds remaining to give the Panthers a 23-20 victory over Southern
Week 5 Report Card:
Jackson State: A
The Tigers have outscored their last two opponents 106-23.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff: F
The Golden Lions were still a little woozy after blowing a 20-point lead to Alabama A&M
Alabama State: A
The leaders of the pack have gotten off to their best start since 2005.
Texas Southern: D
The special teams unit has cost them two wins.
Another fourth quarter collapse costs the Jaguars again.
Prairie View: B
After losing two of their first three games.