Courtesy: Alabama State Sports Information
PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas – Daniel Duhart completed 22 of 31 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns to rally Alabama State to a 35-21 in a weather-delayed win at Blackshear Field.
Duhart entered the game late in the first quarter in place of an injured Greg Jenkins and led Alabama State from a 14-point first quarter deficit with 20 second-quarter points. Duhart threw touchdown passes to T.C. McWilliams (13 yards) and Justin Robinson (12 yards) as Alabama State took at 20-14 halftime lead.
“We got off to a slow start,” head coach Reggie Barlow said. “We talked about it all week that it would be a different game for us. It’s hard to travel out here, it’s a different atmosphere, and for whatever reason you have to keep fighting. (Prairie View) came out and threw the first punch, and did some good things, and our guys stayed in the moment and stayed focused and we came back and fought back and were able to get the win.”
Alabama State (6-3, 6-2) forced three turnovers in the final 2:36 of the first half to take its first lead. A fumble recovery by Marcus Berg at the PV 19-yard line led to the Duhart-to-Robinson scoring pass with 1:36 to play in the half to tie the game at 14-all.
On the next Panthers’ drive, Maurice Tate’s interception at the PV 20 led to Bobby Wenzig’s 42-yard field goal to give the Hornets their first lead at 17-14 with 42 seconds to play in the half.
Kejuan Riley’s interception and 58-yard return to the Panthers’ seven-yard line with three seconds to play left enough time for Wenzig’s 24-yard field goal on the final play of the second quarter for the halftime lead.
The game was delayed for one hour and 50 minutes due to lighting and storms in the area of the Prairie View campus. The game was at halftime with both teams in the locker room when the delay began, as fans were evacuated to the William Nicks Building.
After Prairie View (3-6. 3-4) regained the lead 21-20 late in the third quarter, the fourth quarter was all Hornets. After Alabama State thwarted the second of two Prairie View fake punt attempts, the Hornets drove 45 yards in four plays. Malcolm Cyrus’ 12-yard touchdown run and the two-point conversion pass from Duhart to Robinson gave Alabama State the lead for good, 28-21 with 9:05 remaining.
On the ensuing possession, a fumbled PV punt attempt was recovered by Deontrelle Simon at the Panthers’ five-yard line, setting up Rodney Cross’ scoring run on the next play for the final margin.
“We were proud of him and the way he played,” Barlow said of Duhart’s play in his most extensive action of the season. “We knew he could do that. His teammates call him ‘Kobe’. When your guys call you Kobe, that tells you what type of character and what type of person this kid is and the type of commitment he has to the team. He did a good job for us.”
Duhart led the Hornets to scores on six of his first 10 possessions in the game.
Cyrus had a career-high 82 yards rushing on 11 carries, and T.C. McWilliams caught six passes for 65 yards. Riley made a season-high nine tackles and his third interception of the season, extending his school record to 20 career picks.It was one of six turnovers forced by the Hornets (four fumbles, two INTs).
Alabama State remains tied for first in the SWAC East Standings and plays at Southern next Saturday at 6 p.m.