Courtesy: Prairie View A&M Sports Information
Sophomore quarterback De’Auntre Smiley made a triumphant return to the gridiron after more than a month away as he threw four touchdowns on 16-of-20 passing as the Prairie View A&M Panthers won their second straight game in a 52-37 homecoming win over Alcorn State before 12,000 spectators at Blackshear Field.
Prairie View A&M scored late in the first quarter as sophomore running back Fred Anderson broke free for a 64-yard scamper on the first play of the drive. One play later, Spencer Nelson rushed into the endzone for a 26-yard scamper en route to an early 7-0 lead after Chris Barrick’s PAT. On the ensuing kickoff, PV received a dose of good fortune as freshman corner Stephen Meighan recovered a pooch kick at the PV 26 and raced towards the ASU 10. The Panthers had to settle for a field goal on the ensuing drive as Barrick nailed a 23-yard field goal for an early 10-0 advantage.
Alcorn State turned to its defense to jump on the board as Devon Francois stripped Smiley of the ball at the ASU 15 and raced 85 yards for the Braves’ first touchdown of the night early in the second quarter. PV answered on its next drive as Smiley connected with Jacoby Anderson on a beautiful 37-yard strike for a 17-7 PV advantage following Barrick’s PAT. ASU wouldn’t go away though as they answered with a 14-play, 70-yard scoring drive that was capped off by Ernesto Santillian’s 24-yard field goal with 1:19 remaining in the half.
Ahead 17-10, PV went into its one-minute offense on the next drive and moved all the way to the ASU 46 before a bit of divine intervention occurred late in the half. On third-and-6, Smiley threw a pass to the endzone which bounced off the hands of one PV receiver right into the hands of sophomore wideout Greg Thurmond for a huge momentum swing as PV went into the half ahead 24-10.
The Panthers stopped ASU on a huge fourth down conversion on their first drive of the second half. Three plays later, the lead grew to 31-10 as Fred Anderson rushed in from 15 yards out. After being forced to punt by the PV defense, ASU’s woes continued to grow as Smiley connected with Deandre Cooper for a 50-yard reception en route to a 38-10 lead following Barrick’s PAT.
Alcorn State refused to go away as they added 27 points in both the third and fourth quarters but PV had an answer for each score as Jacoby Anderson caught his second touchdown of the afternoon in the fourth quarter from wideout Spencer Nelson followed by sophomore tight end Olatunde Idowu’s 5-yard pass from Smiley.
Prairie View A&M racked up a season-high 535 (233 R, 302 P) yards of total offense on Saturday compared to ASU’s 369 yards. Smiley passed for 251 yards and four touchdowns on 16-of-20 passing while Fred Anderson rushed for 103 yards on nine carries. Cooper led all PV wideouts with 95 yards on six receptions followed by 63 yards from Nelson on five carries.
Defensively, linebacker Jerome Howard and defensive end Jarvis Wilson led the way as Howard racked up 11 tackles and a tackle for loss followed by eight tackles and a half-sack from Wilson.
The Panthers travel to Shreveport, La. next weekend to face Southern in the third annual Shreveport Classic at 4 p.m. in Independence Stadium.