ALCORN STATE, Miss. – A 27-point second quarter by Alcorn State created a hill too high for Prairie View A&M to climb as the Braves handed them a 50-35 defeat at Spinks-Casem Stadium in Alcorn State, Miss. on a chilly Thursday night.
A long kickoff return on the game’s opening play set up ASU’s first touchdown as the Braves needed only two plays to jump ahead 7-0 early in the first quarter. Two drives later, the Panthers answered with a long drive of their own as senior Deandre Cooper caught a well-placed fade from quarterback Jerry Lovelocke for the score. Chris Barrick’s PAT was good as the Panthers tied it up 7-7.
After a pair of turnovers by both teams from that point, the Panthers finally got it together at the close of the first quarter as they put forth a long drive. Early in the second quarter, the Panthers drove 88 yards to move ahead by a touchdown as sophomore running back Johnta’ Hebert capped the drive off with an 18-yard scamper up the middle followed by Barrick’s PAT.
Senior linebacker Chuck Obi stopped a potential ASU score with a key interception deep inside Brave territory. However, the Panthers failed to gain the first down and were forced to punt. ASU’s Tavoris Doss fielded the punt and raced 25 yards to the PVAMU 23 which set-up the eventual game-tying touchdown and PAT with 10:25 on the clock after only one play.
The Panthers fell victim to the interception bug once again on the ensuing drive as ASU picked the ball off at the PVAMU 35. Six plays later, ASU moved ahead by a 21-14 margin following Arnold Walker’s 3-yard scamper. Prairie View A&M punted on the ensuing drive and allowed ASU to convert two third down conversions on its next drive which led to another Brave score for the 27-14 deficit.
Late in the second quarter, the Panther offense was forced to punt once again after a three-and-out and was faced with a decision to punt or run an offensive play on 4th-and-10 at the PV 32. After a timeout, the Braves converted the fourth down play and jumped ahead 34-14 two plays later as John Gibbs, Jr. rushed in from 15 yards out to close out the half.
Alcorn State went to the ground game in the third quarter and scored a rushing touchdown to move ahead 40-14. Late in the third quarter, the Panthers had success with the deep ball as quarterback De’Auntre Smiley connected on two long passes to Cooper and wideout Jacoby Anderson to move down the field. With 2:23 remaining on the clock, Courtney Brown rushed in for the score as the Panthers trailed 40-21 after Barrick’s PAT.
With 10:44 left in the fourth quarter, the Panthers continued to chip away at the lead as Smiley hooked up with Cooper once again on a long fourth down conversion. Barrick’s PAT was successful as the Panthers trailed 40-28. Unfortunately, ASU put the nail in the coffin on the ensuing drive as they recorded its fourth interception of the night and raced it in for the 46-28 score. The Panthers had one last gasp as Cooper caught a 57-yard pass from Lovelocke with no time remaining.
The Panthers return to action next Saturday as they’ll start a two-game homestand to conclude the season. Abilene Christian comes to Blackshear Field for a 1 p.m. showdown on Nov. 9.
· Alcorn State picked up its first win over Prairie View A&M since 2006.
· The Panthers threw a season-high five interceptions. It marked the most interceptions thrown since a four-interception performance in 2012 at Jackson State
· The Panthers are officially eliminated from the SWAC Western Division Championship race with the loss as Southern claimed the title.
· Senior Deandre Cooper caught three touchdowns and tallied 137 receiving yards on six receptions. Cooper needs only 82 yards to break the single season all-time receicing mark of 1,015 yards by great Otis Taylor.
Courtesy: Prairie View Sports Information