Courtesy: PVAMU Sports Inforamation
SHREVEPORT, La. – The night belonged to Prairie View A&M sophomore quarterback De’Auntre Smiley as the lefty threw four touchdowns, rushed for 170 yards and passed for 398 yards in a 49-29 fourth quarter comeback victory over Southern University in the third annual Shreveport Classic at the Independence Bowl.
Prairie View A&M scored on its opening drive as Spencer Nelson caught his first touchdown pass of the year from quarterback Smiley as he raced in 17 yards for the early score. Chris Barrick’s PAT was good as the Panthers claimed an early 7-0 lead.
The Panthers pitched the shutout until the 14:55 mark of the second quarter as Matthew Hill nailed a 23-yard field goal attempt for Southern. Both teams traded punts after the score and the Panthers returned to the scoreboard midway through the quarter as running back Courtney Brown capped off an 11-play, 75-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. Barrick’s PAT was successful as PV now led 14-3.
On the ensuing drive, the Jaguars answered PV’s score with a nine-play, 62-yard drive as Lee Doss caught a 23-yard pass from Dray Joseph to cut its deficit to 14-10 following Hill’s PAT with 2:19 left on the clock. With halftime approaching and the Panthers receiving the ball with 38 ticks left, the team pulled out its second straight week of first half heroics as Smiley found Deandre Cooper in the back of the end zone for a 38-yard Hail Mary with no time remaining. The PAT was good as PV claimed a 21-10 halftime advantage.
The third quarter belonged to Southern exclusively as Joseph threw three touchdown passes to move the Jaguars on top 29-28. The Panthers did counter one of Southern’s scores though as Smiley hooked up with Nelson for a 10-yard strike with 2:57 remaining.
After a rough third stanza, the PV defense held its ground and forced SU to punt on its first possession of the quarter. The Panther offense responded on its next drive and rewarded its unit as Smiley unleashed a beautiful 36-yard spiral which found sophomore wideout Gabe Dunlap in the back of the end zone. Barrick nailed the PAT as PV regained a 35-29 advantage.
Once again, the PV defense thwarted a SU drive with a big sack which forced the Jags to punt. On the ensuing possession, Smiley used his feet to move the Panthers out of a huge 2nd-and-long at their own 15 to a manageable 3rd-and-4 at the PV 35. On the very next play, Smiley found freshman Johnta’ Hebert on a short pass and the freshman from Baton Rouge, La. made his hometown university pay as he broke free for a 57-yard reception which gave PV the ball at the SU 8. Several plays later, the Panthers upped their advantage to 41-29 as Spencer Nelson raced in from five yards out. The PAT was good as PV led 42-29 with 5:48 left on the clock. Late in the game, Smiley put the icing on the cake as he broke free for a 62-yard touchdown run.
For the third straight week, the Panthers surpassed the 500-yard mark on offense as they finished with 645 (398 P, 247 R) total offensive yards while SU amassed 407 yards on offense.
Smiley, the reigning SWAC Offensive Player of the Week, threw four touchdowns, passed for 398 yards and rushed for 170 yards on 14 carries. Nelson caught nine passes for 74 yards and a touchdown while Cooper had a career-high 122 yards on six receptions. Defensively, Chuck Obi led the way with 13 tackles.
Winners of three straight, the Panthers return home to host Alabama State next weekend at Blackshear Stadium for senior day. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.