PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas – For the third time this year, the Alcorn State University football program went on the road for Homecoming and walked away with a victory as the Braves ousted Prairie View A&M 27-13 Saturday at Panther Stadium.
The Braves (7-2, 5-1 SWAC) defense did not allow a touchdown. The lone PVAMU (3-5, 2-2 SWAC) touchdown came on a kickoff return. Alcorn sacked Jalen Morton five times, and junior Brelion Hollis wrapped-up a career-high 12 tackles.
The Braves also got their hands on two interceptions from senior Leishaun Ealey and sophomore Qwynnterrio Cole.
Alcorn held a 512-235 advantage in total yards, including a 249-61 disparity in rushing. Junior Deshawn Waller led the ground game with 120 yards and a touchdown. Junior Noah Johnson rushed for 81 yards to go along with his 263 passing yards and two touchdowns.
Johnson’s touchdown passes were caught by senior Dayall Harris and junior Chris Blair. Harris finished with 81 receiving yards, while Blair hauled in 63.
Morton ended with 174 passing yards for PVAMU on 16-for-33 passing and two interceptions. Dawonya Tucker, who entered the game as the league’s leading rusher, was limited to 60 yards on 15 attempts.
The Braves fumbled the opening kickoff of the game and the Panthers recovered at the 11-yard line. A good defensive stand by Alcorn, including run-stopping tackles by Cole and junior Solomon Muhammad, resulted in a 22-yard field goal attempt that was no-good.
After the Braves went three-and-out offensively, the PVAMU marched down the field on its second drive and got on the board with a 22-yard field goal by Zach Elder to take a 3-0 lead at the 8:04 mark. The big plays on the series were catches of 29-yards and 20-yards, respectively, by Tristen Wallace. The Panthers had 1st-and-goal at the Alcorn 5 when the Braves made a red zone stop.
Alcorn got-going offensively on its second drive. A 29-yard screen pass to Blair to the left moved the ball into Panthers territory. Johnson then found Blair again as he hauled in a 30-yard touchdown pass between to defenders and hung on as he was tackled into the end zone. It gave the Braves a 7-3 lead with 5:35 remaining.
On the ensuing kickoff, Bernard Goodwater ran back an 81-yard touchdown to put the Panthers back on top 10-7 with 5:22 to go. It was a short kick, and Goodwater found a large hole to the left as he was off to the races.
The Braves offense was on the move again late in the first. After a 10-yard first down run by senior P.J. Simmons, Johnson took off for a 44-yard rush as he faked the hand-off and kept it himself to the left and was tackled at the PVAMU 19. However, Alcorn was backed up by a holding penalty and settled for a 39-yard field goal which was good by junior Corey McCullough to even it 10-10 with 1:16 left.
PVAMU started at its own 4 early in the second quarter when it put together a long drive and got all the way to the Alcorn 17. Though, on a first down play, Morton was intercepted in the right corner of the end zone by Cole as he leaped up and kept a foot in bounds for the turnover.
After the interception, Johnson threw a slant to Harris over the middle that went for 22 yards. Third down runs of 11 yards by Johnson and 19 yards by Waller moved the ball to the PVAMU 24. The Braves took the lead 13-10 after a 20-yard field goal McCullough at the 3:50 mark.
Alcorn added on before the end of the half. On 2nd-and-20, Johnson was nearly sacked in the backfield but stayed up and found Harris wide-open for a 44-yard touchdown catch. It extended the lead to 20-10 heading into the intermission.
Midway through the third quarter, the Braves got good field position near midfield after an interception by Ealey. A quick pitch to junior Nigel Wood went for 16 yards, and a 16-yard reception by senior Raidarious Anderson made it first down at the PVAMU 16. Alcorn settled for a 29-yard field goal attempt, but it was missed wide-left with 6:06 remaining.
In the fourth quarter, the Panthers chipped into the deficit 20-13 with 5:46 left after a long, 14-play drive. PVAMU had 1st-and-goal at the Alcorn 8 when the Braves made a red zone stop. The Panthers scored on a 31-yard field goal by Elder. The drive took 7:04 off the clock.
The Braves were faced with a 3rd-and-8 on the following series when they kept the drive and clock moving with an 11-yard screen pass to Waller. Alcorn stayed on the ground and ran it for another first down with Waller with 3:30 to go at the PVAMU 47. Johnson followed with a QB-keeper for a first down to the PVAMU 27 with 2:45 left.
The clock ended up not making a difference though as Waller took a hand-off and ran it for 26 yards and a touchdown to give Alcorn a 27-13 edge and put the game away with 1:34 remaining.
The Braves will take a break from conference play next weekend when they travel to New Mexico State for a 3 p.m. (CT) start.
Courtesy: Alcorn State Athletics