NASHVILLE – Tennessee State used a 28-0 run in the second half to defeat Arkansas-Pine Bluff 40-13 to improve to 5-0 on the season in front of a record crowd of 31,765 during the 82nd homecoming at LP Field.
UAPB (3-2, 2-1 SWAC) wasted no time striking first on offense as quarterback Benjamin Anderson connected with Ladarius Eckwood on a 42-yard pass on their first offensive play of the game. The Golden Lions settled for a 29-yard field goal from Tyler Strickland to take an early 3-0 lead.
Anderson and Eckwood would hook up again on the next UAPB drive, this time on a 55-yard touchdown to extend their lead to 10-0 with 6:03 left in the first quarter.
Eckwood finished with a game-high five catches for 117 yards and a score. Anderson threw for 182 yards on 11-of-24 passing with a touchdown and a pair of interceptions.
Tennessee State (5-0, 1-0 OVC) turned the momentum in its favor momentarily as Andrew Taylor got to Anderson on a blitz and deflect his pass up in the air. Defensive End Antonio Harper snatched the ball out of the air for his first career interception and gave the Tigers great field position at the UAPB five-yard line. TSU could not capitalize on the turnover as Jer-ryan Harris forced a Trabis Ward fumble on the very next play.
The Tigers finally got on the scoreboard early in the second quarter behind a 15-yard touchdown run from Telvin Hooks, the first of his career. UAPB’s lead was cut to 10-6 after a blocked PAT.
Jamin Godfrey connected on a pair of 40-plus yard field goals in the final five minutes of the half. The junior from Englewood, Tenn., made a 46 yarder with 4:09 left and closed the half with a 42-yard field goal as time expired to give the Tigers a 12-10 edge heading into the locker room.
The Golden Lions started the second half just like they did the first half, with a field goal. This one from 30 yards out to regain the lead 13-12 with 9:57 left in the third quarter.
The Tigers responded on their next drive and take the lead for good. Quarterback Michael German found Travis James on a 50-yard pass on the drive to set up the second Hooks touchdown of the game, this time from two yards out, to give TSU a 19-13 advantage.
Hooks had a career best 108 yards on 14 carries along with the first two touchdowns of his career. James led the Tigers with four catches for 95 yards.
The second touchdown by Hooks was the first of four TSU touchdowns over the next nine minutes, 42 seconds.
A 34-yard sprint by Hooks set up a one yard touchdown for Ward to make it 26-13 in favor of TSU at the end of the third quarter.
Early in the fourth quarter, quarterback Michael German threw a 16-yard touchdown to Devin Wilson. German followed that up with a 41-yard touchdown to A.C. Leonard a minute-and-a-half later to put the TSU’s 40th point of the game with 12:23 remaining.
German finished 18-of-35 for 262 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Tennessee State returns to Hale Stadium next week for OVC action as the Tigers host Eastern Kentucky (4-1). Kick off is at 1 p.m.
NOTES: Tennessee State starts the season 5-0 for the first since the 2001 season when the Tigers started 6-0 … Trabis Ward jumped two spots on the all-time TSU rushing yards list as he passed Alfred Reese (1970-72) for seventh and Lee Derricks (1953-55) for sixth all-time. He is now 91 yards away from passing Eugene Bowens (1963-1966) for fifth all-time … Michael German passed Bryson Rosser (2001-05) for ninth on the TSU all-time passing yards list. German now has 3,036 yards in his career … The 13 points given up by TSU is the fewest in a homecoming game since 2006 when they gave up seven points to Samford …This is the seventh game in a row that TSU has not allowed a 100 yard rusher …The Tigers have won their last eight games in which they have held their opponent under 20 points … The previous TSU LP Field record for attendance with 28,830 vs. Southern during the 2008 season … This is the final game of the regular season for TSU at LP Field.