JACKSON, Miss. – Prairie View A&M casted aside 44 years of misery on Saturday night with a 31-point second half to knock off Jackson State 48-30 at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium for their first win of 2014. The win also marked the team’s first in Jackson, Miss. since 1970.
At first glance it appeared Jackson State would run away with the contest as the Tigers jumped ahead 14-0 midway through the first quarter. Down by two touchdowns, freshman running back Arthur Lockett returned the kickoff 56 yards to the JSU 34 and was rewarded for his efforts as quarterback Trey Green connected with Rayshaun Givens for a 34-yard scoring strike and a 14-7 deficit after Chris Barrick’s PAT. Jackson State’s Ryan Deising nailed a 50-yard field goal on the ensuing possession to move ahead 17-7 and a fumble on the ensuing drive gave the ball back to JSU for a 20-7 margin on Deising’s 25-yarder less than three minutes into the second quarter.
After two solid kickoff returns by the Panthers in the first quarter, JSU altered its kickoff strategy and kicked into the meat of the Panthers’ return team from that point. Green opened the drive with a 26-yard rush but had to leave the game one play later with a minor injury. Jerry Lovelocke came on in relief and completed two straight passes to move into the redzone which led to a 12-yard run by freshman Jovante Ham for a 20-14 deficit after the PAT with 10:27 left.
It appeared JSU would settle for a long field goal on its next drive but a pass interference call on 3rd-and-9 at the PVAMU 31 extended the drive. On the very next play, the Tigers hit paydirt as La Montiez Ivy found Dan Williams for a 16-yard strike and a 27-14 lead after the PAT.
Green and Johnta’ Hebert led the Panthers down to the JSU 30 before the drive stalled. The Panthers used a 47-yard field goal from Barrick to trail 27-17 at the 2:22 mark. Both defenses took over from that point as JSU punted on the ensuing possession followed by a JSU interception to close out the half ahead 27-17.
A face mask on the opening kickoff led to solid field position by the Panthers as they used the legs of Hebert and Ham to drive down the field like an 18-wheeler. The Panthers closed to within a field goal (27-24) after Lovelocke found tight end Olatunde’ Idowu for an 8-yard strike coupled with the PAT from Barrick.
JSU punted on its first drive of the second half and the Panther offense people expected to see from day one finally began to click as the tandem of Hebert, Ham and Lockett combined for 36 rushing yards to move to the JSU 3. A holding penalty moved PVAMU back to the 13 and they had to settle for a 31-yard field goal from Barrick as the contest was tied at 27-all.
JSU answered with a 43-yard field goal from Deising to move ahead 30-27 at the close of the third quarter. However, the Panthers kept churning as Lovelocke’s arms and Ham’s legs kept the drive alive as Lovelocke connected with Givins for a 17-yard strike at the 9:43 mark for a 34-30 lead after the PAT.
On the ensuing drive, the Panther defense kept up its solid play as Jerome Howard forced a fumble with a sack of Ivy that led to a fumble recovery by Meshak Williamson. Two players later, Hebert rushed in from 14 yards out for a 41-30 lead with 8:36 remaining.
Senior linebacker Danny Brownell picked off Ivy at the PVAMU 9 and the ground game kept on delivering as Hebert broke free for a 42-yard touchdown rush and icing on the cake after Barrick’s PAT for the final score of the night.
Prairie View A&M finished with 508 total yards with 303 coming via the ground and 205 via the air.
Hebert led the way with 150 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries while Ham followed with 88 yards and a touchdown on 14 attempts.
Lovelocke passed for 133 yards and two touchdowns on 14-of-20 passing while Givins caught four passes for 74 yards with two touchdowns.
The Panther defense finished with six sacks as Jerome Howard led the way with 12 tackles and a 1.5 sacks.