DALLAS — Texas Southern’s potential game-tying drive came to a grinding halt in the closing seconds as Southern University escaped with a 28-21 win at the Cotton Bowl.
Southern scored on its opening possession as Jamar Washington scored off a 12-yard touchdown run to cap off a nine-play, 65-yard drive. After a TSU interception on the ensuing drive, the TSU defense made a play of its own as Patrick Howell picked off Southern’s Ladarius Skelton at the TSU 31. Three plays later, running back Dominic Franklin brought TSU within 7-6 after he broke free for a 39-yard touchdown with 5:05 left in the first quarter. Richard Garcia III’s PAT was good as the game was tied at 7-all.
Early in the second quarter, Southern attempted to move ahead by a field goal but the attempt was missed. Late in the half, the Tiger defense made a big play as Byron Edwards forced a SU fumble which was recovered by Kenterious Walker at the TSU 7. The Tigers marched all the way down to the SU but the drive stalled at the end of the half.
Southern opened the third quarter with four-play, 75-yard drive which was capped off by Bubba McDaniel’s 35-yard pass to Washington. TSU’s next drive stalled at the SU 34 after turning the ball over on downs and SU capitalized as McDaniel found Hunter Register for a 31-yard touchdown strike en route a 21-7 lead after the PAT.
The TSU defense breathed new life into the game early in the fourth quarter as Jadrian McGraw recovered a fumble that was forced by Michael Badejo. The offense took advantage of the position and scored in three plays as Devin Williams ran in from 14 yards out to cut the gap to 21-14 after the PAT.
Southern answered on its next drive with a touchdown reception to lead 28-14 and the TSU offense stalled on the next drive at the SU 40. After a big stop by the Tiger defense on SU’s next drive, the Tigers closed to within one touchdown as Williams and Thurman Morbley combined to lead the Tigers on a nine-play, 90-yard drive with 5:57 left.
Southern was forced to punt late in the quarter and the offense had an opportunity to tie the game as Williams led TSU into SU territory. Unfortunately, SU recovered a TSU fumble on the SU 36 to kill the scoring drive. SU punted with two seconds left but Williams’ Hail Mary attempt sailed out the end zone.
TSU finished the game with 516 total offensive yards as Williams passed for 335 yards on 29-of-44 passing. Franklin rushed for 110 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown while Donnie Corley caught six passes for 115 yards. Howell led TSU with eight tackles while Michael Badejo had seven tackles with three tackles for loss.
TSU is back in action next weekend at Mississippi Valley State. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
Courtesy: TSU Athletics