The University of Arkansas At Pine Bluff football team posted its first winning season since 2012 with a 45-13 win over Texas Southern on Senior Day at Simmons Bank Field.
The Golden Lions (6-5 overall, 3-4 SWAC) clinched a winning record behind RB Taeyler Porter, who’s season-high 197 rushing yards took him over the 1,000-yard mark in 2019 as he became only the third player in program history with back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
The winning record is the sixth for the program since rejoining the SWAC (8-3 in 1998; 6-5 in 2000; 6-3 in 2004; 8-4 in 2006 (lost SWAC Championship); 10-2 in 2012 (won SWAC Championship). The Golden Lions tripled their win total from 2018, improving from two wins to six under second-year head coach and UAPB alum Cedric Thomas.
Porter was one of nine seniors playing their final game in a Golden Lion uniform, along with WR Kolby McNeal, DB Blake Conner, LB A.C. Gilliam, OL Raynald St. Jour, Jayden Glover, and Bradley Burrell, DE Jalen Steward, and K Austin Krzeminski.
UAPB set the tone with scores on its first four drives and five of its first six to open the game. Receiving the opening kickoff, a 10-play, 77-yard drive ended with a seven-yard scoring pass from Skyler Perry to Tyrin Ralph for a 7-0 lead.
Following a three-and-out by Texas Southern (0-11, 0-7), UAPB drove 74 yards in 11 plays, ending with a Zack Piwniczka 19-yard field goal to extend to 10-0 lead.
On their next drive, the Golden Lions drove 91 yards in nine plays. Porter’s five-yard scoring run made the lead 17-0 less than a minute into the second quarter.
Isaac Peppers’ sack and forced fumble on the ensuing TSU possession was recovered by Monroe Beard III and returned to the Tigers’ 41-yard line. On the next play, Perry connected with Harry Ballard III on a 41-yard touchdown pass for a 24-0 UAPB lead with less than 12 minutes to play until intermission.
After Texas Southern got on the board later in the quarter, Porter again entered his name in the annals of program history. His 38-yard run late in the period pushed him over the 1,000-yard mark as he joined only Charles “Monk” Williams (1,137 in 1966; 1,009 yards in 1967) and Ivory Lee Brown (school-record 1,465 in 1989; 1,364 in 1990) with back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
On the next play, Shannon Patrick’s 21-yard scoring pass to TE Daryl Carter gave the Golden Lions a 31-7 lead at halftime.
Following a scoreless third quarter and TSU touchdown early in the final period, the Golden Lions took advantage of a pair of TSU fumbles and turned them into touchdowns.
Porter’s one-yard run ended a four-play, 22-yard drive for a 38-13 lead with just over eight minutes remaining. One possession later, Taylor Holston connected with DeJuan Miller on a 71-yard scoring play with just over five minutes to play for the final margin.