Southern’s home field advantage hasn’t been much of an advantage for the Jaguars against SWAC rival Jackson State in recent years as the Tigers hadn’t lost at A.W. Mumford Stadium since 2005.
It was a different story Saturday night, however, thanks to quarterback Austin Howard’s career-best passing performance. Howard threw for 395 yards while leading the Jaguars to a 50-31 victory. Howard surpassed his previous career high passing effort in the first half with 336 yards, completed 21 of 32 passes and had a 43-yard touchdown pass to Willie Quinn. Howard also scored on runs of four and 10 yards.
Southern (2-1, 2-0 SWAC) gained 675 total yards while scoring 50 points for the second consecutive game. It was the Jaguars’ first back-to-back 50 point effort since 2003.
Running back Lenard Tillery was the big gun in Southern’s ground game with 135 yards on 21 carries. He scored on runs of four and 11 yards.
Southern dominated the game from the outset and was ahead 29-7 at the half after gaining 405 total yards. Jackson State quarterback LaMontiez Ivy was spectacular in a losing effort. Ivy completed 29 of 53 passes for 357 yards and three touchdowns. But the Tigers were unable to keep pace with Southern’s offensive juggernaut, in large part of an ineffective running game. Jackson State (0-3, 0-1 SWAC) only rushed for 73 yards and averaged 2.8 yards a carry on 26 attempts. The Tigers are 0-3 for the first time since 2009.
Prairie View A&M 53, Ala. A&M 49 – Quarterback Trey Green threw for 345 yards and four touchdowns as the Panthers held off the Bulldogs for a home SWAC victory. Prairie View (2-1, 2-0 SWAC) led 26-14 at the half. However, Alabama A&M (0-2, 0-1 SWAC) rallied to go ahead 43-40 on Harvey Harris’ two-yard touchdown run with 4:57 left in the game. Prairie View regained command as running back Courtney Brown scored back-to-back touchdowns on runs of 21 and 16 yards in a span of less than a minute. Brown ran for 113 yards and three touchdowns in the game. Alabama A&M quarterback De’Angelo Ballard dueled Green to a statistical standoff with 439 yards total offense, 352 passing and 87 rushing. Ballard threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more.
Hampton 37, Howard 19 – The Pirates celebrated the 1,000th game in program history with a victory in the Nation’s Capital Classic at RFK Stadium in Washington, D. C., Friday in the MEAC opener for both schools. The win was the 550th in school history for Hampton (2-1, 1-0 MEAC) and ended the Pirates’ four-game losing streak in the series with Howard (0-3). Quarterback David Watford continued his hot start to the season, completing 22 of 36 passes for 279 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 58 yards and two scores. The Pirates gained 460 yards total offense, including a season-high 181 on the ground. Chris Dukes led the Pirates with 70 rushing yards on 13 carries. Twarn Mixson was Watford’s favorite target with six catches for 119 yards and touchdown. Hampton led 13-0 at the end of the first quarter. Howard had 333 total yards, but five turnovers help stymie the Bison’s offense.
Tuskegee 28, Winston-Salem State 13 – The Golden Tigers survived a fourth-quarter scare by the winless Rams and remained unbeaten with a home victory. Tuskegee (3-0) led 21-7 midway through the fourth quarter. However, Winston-Salem got within striking distance of tie on a pair of field goals; The Rams had an opportunity to tie the score when they held the Golden Tigers to three-and-out, forcing them to punt with 2 minutes, 10 seconds remaining in the game. Return man Reggie Wilkins, in an ill-advised move, attempted to field the ball at Winston-Salem’s one-yard line and bobbled it. Travis Hawkins appeared to recover the ball in the end zone for a touchdown, but the officials ruled that Hawkins was down at the one. Running back Jerome Lewis scored on first down to ice the game.
It was Lewis’ second touchdown of the game. He scored on a one-yard run on the Golden Tigers’ first possession of the second half, giving them a 21-7 lead. Winston-Salem dominated the in the early stages and led 7-0 after putting together an 11-play, 77-yard drive that took 6:21 off the clock. Running back Tyree Mason put the finishing touch on the drive with an eight-yard touchdown run. The Golden Tigers responded with 21 unanswered points to take control of the contest. Running back Dennis Norfleet threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Javarrius Cheatham and quarterback Kevin Lacey and wide receiver Marquel Gardner connected on an 18-yard scoring play as the Golden Tigers took a 14-7 halftime time lead. Winston-Salem is 0-3 for the first time since 2009 when the Rams finished the season 1-10.
South Carolina State 36, Florida A&M 0 – The Bulldogs opened their MEAC schedule with a recording setting home victory Thursday night in a game televised nationally on ESPNU. South Carolina State (2-1, 1-0 MEAC) amassed a school record 625 yards total offense, including 454 on the ground. Running back Jalen Simmons ran for 190 yards on 16 carries, and Dondre Lewis-Freeman added 105 on 16 rushing attempts.
North Carolina A&T 14, Elon 7
Akron 52, Savannah State 9
Bethune-Cookman 7, Lane 3
Florida International 39, N.C. Central 14
Marshall 45, Norfolk State 7
Morgan State 61, Virginia-Lynchburg 0
Alcorn State 55, Miss. Valley State 10
Grambling State 34, Ala. State 10
Texas Southern 24, Ark.-Pine Bluff 20