ITTA BENA – The Alabama A&M football team dominated the Delta Devils of Mississippi Valley State University 35-0 Saturday afternoon in their sixth victory of the year.
Once again senior quarterback Deaunte Mason led the Maroon and White going 21 of 32 for 235 yards and two touchdowns. Mason also accounted for two more rushing TD’s on four carries for 13 yards which mostly came inside the five-yard line. Starting running back Kaderius Lacey carried the ball six times for 39 yards and a score while redshirt freshman Brendon Johnson gained 34 yards on seven carries. Mason’s two passing touchdowns were caught by Montarius Smith (five receptions for 91 yards) and Bobby Goldsby (four receptions for 30 yards).
Mississippi Valley never threatened the Bulldogs as 31 different players accounted for at least one tackle. Seven of those posted sacks while 13 finished with tackles-for-loss. Senior defensive end Preston Nelson led A&M with six tackles, a sack for four yards, a tackle-for-loss for five yards and a pass breakup. True freshman Tremaine Shepherd recorded his first interception of his collegiate career while senior Dee Lett totaled his first sacks of the season. As a team the Bulldogs posted nine sacks which is a season high for the number one ranked scoring defense in the conference.
It took the A&M offense a minute to come together as they played their first game under 70 degree weather. With the unexpected chill in the air Alabama A&M needed three drives before they scored on a Lacey five yard rush. It was the first time Lacey scored before Mason in their last four contests. From there A&M found their groove and scored twice in the second quarter, a one yard rush by Mason and a pass and catch from Mason to Smith for a 31 yard TD to put them up 21-0 at halftime.
“Their defense is good. They are very effective and do a lot of good things,” said head coach Anthony Jones. “Even though we were up 21-0 we wanted to score before half-time. The game was still in questions so we wanted to try build on our lead.”
A&M continued their dominance in the second half scoring on another Deaunte Mason rush, then a pass and catch from Mason to Goldsby to finish off the Delta Devils and their number one defense in the league 35-0.
“We have to continue to get better if we want to remain undefeated next week,” Jones mentioned. We have to stay healthy and correct the mistakes that we make.”
The leader on the field, Deaunte Mason, has accounted for 19 touchdowns, 48 points, 96 of 141 for 1,195 yards passing, a 165.2 passing efficiency and 214 yards rushing. He has not thrown an interception in 141 pass attempts and ranks first in passing efficiency and total offense in the SWAC and 6th nationally in efficiency.
“One of the reasons why we are 6-0 is Mason. He spends a lot of time studying. When we get in a bad situation he makes it right for us,” Jones continued. “As long as he continues to do that the players will believe in him, the coaches will trust him and he believes in himself he has a chance to be successful.”
The Bulldogs have hit the middle of their schedule and remain undefeated at 6-0. A mark not seen since 1966.
This also is the first opponent the defense has shutout this season and the first time since 2005 for AAMU when they defeated Allen University 42-0.
Up next is homecoming on “The Hill” as Jones and company will welcome the Braves of Alcorn State University on Saturday, Oct. 13th at 1 p.m.in Louis Crews Stadium.