Alabama State was nine seconds away from securing a birth in the Southwestern Athletic Conference title game.
After rallying from a 19-7 fourth quarter deficit to take a 23-19 lead, the Hornets would try to leave it to their defense to win it with a division championship at stake against a team that had made a habit of blowing second-half leads.
However, a combination of uncharacteristic breakdowns along with some great individual efforts by the Southern offense in the final minutes — including a Brian McCain one-yard touchdown — helped the Jaguars stun the Hornets 26-23.
The Hornets were not even picked to win the Eastern Division. Yet, they won six of their first seven games, including a 21-14 win on the road at Jackson State.
But the last three weeks haven’t been good for Reggie Barlow’s group losing to in-state rival Alabama A&M (who also could have positioned themselves for a division title but lost to Jackson State Saturday) and dropping a heartbreaker to a Jaguars team that had lost three of four.
“It was a game that we start off slowly and dug ourselves a hole,” Barlow said. “Southern played well, and played with a lot of confidence. We just didn’t get it done.”
Player of the Week:
Jackson State quarterback Casey Therriault. The senior quarterback threw for 428 yards, four touchdowns to lead Jackson State to a 34-6 win over Alabama A&M.
Week 11 Report Card
Jackson State: A
With nothing to play for, Casey Therriault and the Tigers offense racked up 547 yards and won by four touchdowns.
Alabama A&M: F
Did the Bulldogs know they were in the middle of a SWAC Eastern Division race?
After blowing another second-half lead, the Jaguars rallied late in the fourth quarter to stun the favored Hornets.
Alabama State: D-
The Hornets came out flat and it showed. They fell behind 19-7 before coming from behind only to give up the goods in the final seconds.
Arkansas Pine-Bluff: B
That stingy Golden Lions defense held Mississippi Valley State to 203 yards in a dominated 15-3 win.
Mississippi Valley State: F
The Delta Devils had more penalty yards (127) than passing yards (55) in the loss to Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
The Tigers win another nail-bitter for their fifth straight win.
Texas Southern: D
After scoring 25 points through the first three quarters, the offense was shutout and the defense allowed 14 unanswered points in the final stanza.
Prairie View: A
A 20-point third quarter was enough to bury Alcorn State
Alcorn State: F
Just one more painstaking week left in a disappointing season.