The excitement has ratcheted up another notch in the HBCU football season as another weekend of intense action has come and gone.
A matchup to determine a division champion may have been set up for next week. The SWAC continues to run through reigning champion Jackson State and a contender for conference newcomer made his presence known.
Here are the 7 takeaways from Saturday.
Jackson State dominates against Mississippi Valley State
The Jackson State Tigers improved their perfect record to 4-0 in dominant fashion defeating the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils 49-7.
In three conference outings, Jackson State is averaging 58 points per game and winning by an average margin of 46.7 points.
The Tigers recorded a season-high 638 yards of total offense. It is the second game in a row they have had 600 offensive yards.
After Mississippi Valley State scored on its opening possession, Jackson State held the Delta Devils’ offense in check only converting on 2 of 14 third down attempts.
Shedeur Sanders had yet another big performance for the Tigers, setting a new season-high with 438 passing yards completing 40 of 51 pass attempts, and accounting for four touchdowns.
Dallas Daniels led all receivers with 10 catches and 142 yards followed by Kevin Coleman who had two catches for 76 yards. Santee Marshall contributed 118 rushing yards on six attempts, including a season-long 91 yard run.
North Carolina A&T secures first win of the season
The North Carolina A&T Aggies now have their first win of the year after defeating the reigning MEAC champion South Carolina State Bulldogs 41-27.
This win gives North Carolina A&T their seventh consecutive victory over SC State. It is the longest active win streak against any team.
With South Carolina State leading 13-7 with 7:03 remaining in the second quarter, the Aggies blew the game open scoring 24 unanswered points.
Aggies running back Bhayshul Tuten was the star of the game with 140 rushing yards on 12 attempts and two TDs. This was his third straight 100-yard rushing game. He also added his first receiving score of the year
Backup running back Wesley Graves also had a big day for NC A&T with 72 rushing yards on 16 attempts and his first career touchdown.
FAMU overcomes slow start to pick up first conference win
Coming off a bye week, the Florida A&M Rattlers returned to the field securing their first conference win of the season with a 38-25 win over the Alabama A&M Bulldogs.
After trailing 19-7 in the second quarter, Florida A&M picked up the pace. The offense scored 31 unanswered points.
Jeremy Moussa had his best performance of the season thus far recording 343 yards completing 23 of 41 pass attempts and throwing three touchdowns.
Jah’Marae Sheread, who had just five catches for 42 yards entering this game, went off for seven catches for 138 yards. Meanwhile, Xavier Smith posted eight catches for 96 yards and three touchdowns.
Despite their loss, Alabama A&M had a very good day on the ground rushing for 202 yards led by quarterback Xavier Lankford who had 81 yards.
CIAA East nearly completes clean sweep
Saturday was a great day for the CIAA’s East division as they took home five wins in six matchups, including four road victories.
Virginia Union remained the conference’s lone unbeaten team defeating the reigning CIAA South champion Fayetteville State Broncos 31-28.
Improving their record to a perfect 4-0, the Panthers are off to their best start since 2007.
The Lincoln (PA) Lions secured their second win of the season defeating Johnson C. Smith 29-28 on a game-winning field goal as time expired.
By virtue of their win, the Lions improved to 2-2 on the season. This is the first time they have won two games in a season and the first time they have had a record at .500 since 2015.
The Bowie State Bulldogs got back in the win column after two straight losses defeating the St. Augustine’s Falcons 36-20.
The Virginia State Trojans took home the most lopsided win of the weekend defeating the Livingstone Blue Bears 37-7.
Finally, the Chowan Hawks won their second-straight game turning away the Winston-Salem State Rams 21-7.
The Shaw Bears were the lone team in the CIAA South to come out victorious defeating the Elizabeth City State Vikings 35-16.
Benedict, Fort Valley State remain undefeated
The two remaining undefeated teams in the SIAC kept their unblemished records intact this Saturday with the Fort Valley State Wildcats beating the Bluefield State Big Blue 44-27 and the Benedict Tigers defeating the Kentucky State Thorobreds 40-14.
This was each team’s conference season debut with the Wildcats improving to 4-0 overall while the Tigers improved to 3-0.
Fort Valley State was led by running back Emmanuel Wilson, who amassed 144 rushing yards on 21 attempts and three touchdowns. Wildcats defensive end Tim Alderman also had a big performance with five tackles, 3 tackles for loss and 2 sacks.
Meanwhile, for the Tigers, it was quarterback Eric Phoenix who led his team to victory with 188 passing yards and four TDs. Running back Zaire Scotland chipped in 91 rushing yards on 12 attempts and a touchdown.
These two teams will now face each other this upcoming Saturday in Fort Valley State’s homecoming game to see who will be the SIAC’s last remaining undefeated team.
Alcorn State defeats UAPB with second-half surge
For the second year in a row, the Alcorn State Braves overcame a double-digit deficit to defeat the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions 38-21.
The Braves trailed 21-10 with 9:35 remaining in the third quarter before going on to score two touchdowns to permanently take the lead.
Running back Jarveon Howard had arguably the performance of the weekend rushing for 295 yards on 24 attempts and four touchdowns.
Howard is staking his claim for the SWAC Newcomer of the Year award as he now leads the conference in rushing yards per game (144.0) and rushing six touchdowns.
Miles defeats Central State for first win of the season
The reigning SIAC West champion Miles Golden Bears finally got in the win column in their conference debut following a 34-14 win over the Central State Marauders.
The Golden Bears defense played a huge role in the team’s victory recording eight sacks and three takeaways. The defense also limited the Marauders to minus-2 rushing yards on 26 attempts.
Defensive end Roc Dowdell was a standout performer for Miles finishing with six tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, and a forced fumble. Linebacker Jamichael Rogers chipped in 2 tackles for loss and 2 sacks while defensive back Jarius Grayson had five tackles and three pass breakups.
On offense, running back Zarious Keyes led the way with 141 rushing yards on 32 attempts and two touchdowns