On September 15th, The Alcorn Sate Braves (1-1, 1-1) and the Arkansas- Pine Bluff Golden Lions (1-0, 1-2) participated in a Thursday night Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) feature game which arguably was the most thrilling and exciting contest to ever be played in Spinks-Casem Stadium. The game which had a 6:30 pm start time and aired on ESPN3 to a nationally televised audience did not disappoint its fan base.
In the first quarter the Golden Lions came out with plenty of moxie as they scored first at the 9:00 minute mark when quarterback Brandon Duncan hit wide receiver Willie Young on a 27 yard pass and with an extra point by kicker Jaime Gillan the score was 7-0. After a three and out by the Braves, Alcorn kicker Haiden McCraney’s punt landed on the Golden Lion’s 2 yard line. The Braves realizing that they needed a huge play did just that when at the 4:28 mark they got a safety on Pine Bluff’s Duncan making the score 7-2. Before the end of the first quarter the Golden Lions got on the board at the 2:10 mark when Collins hit tight end Jaelen Collins with an 80 yard pass and with a Gillan extra point the score was now 14-2, Golden Lions.
The second quarter saw the Braves play some awe inspiring football. At the 11:38 mark the Braves scored when quarterback Noah Johnson hit wide receiver Norlando Veals on a 25 yard pass play and with kicker Corey McCullough’s extra point the score was now 14-9, Braves. Later at the 5:30 mark the Braves scored yet again when Johnson hit wide receiver LaDarrien Davis with an 8 yard pass and with a McCullough extra point the score was now 14-16, Braves.
The third quarter only saw one score which the Braves did at the 13:44 mark when Johnson completed a 52 yard pass to wide receiver Jaborian McKenzie and with a McCullough extra point the score was now 23-14, Braves.
The fourth quarter saw the Braves pick up right where they left off in the third quarter when Johnson scored on a 6 yard run at the 12:50 mark and with a McCullough extra point the score was now 30-14, Braves. The Braves seemed as though they had everything in control but the Golden Lions had other ideas. At the 5:55 mark Pine Bluff’s Duncan completed a 44 yard pass to wide receiver John Hawkins and after converting a two point conversion with a 5 yard pass from Duncan to wide receiver Patrick Rollins, the score was now 30-22, Braves. The Golden Lions wasted no time scoring again when at the 58 second mark running back Dante McDonald scampered into the end zone on an 11 yard run and with another successful two point conversion with a successful pass from Duncan to wide receiver Cody Swain the score was now tied at 30. The Golden Lions scored 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to force the game into overtime.
The first overtime saw both teams remain scoreless but the second overtime was a different story. The Golden Lions scored first when running back Terry Montgomery scored on a 10 yard run and with a Gillan extra point the score was 37-30, Golden Lions. The Braves’ very next possession saw Johnson score on a 2 yard scamper to the end zone and with a McCullough extra point the score was tied at 37 to end the second overtime. The third overtime saw the Braves score first when Johnson scored on a 4 yard run but the Braves went for a two point conversion which failed making the score 43-37, Braves. The next play saw the Golden Lions score when Duncan hit Young on a 25 yard pass and with a successful two point conversion from Duncan to wide receiver John Hawkins the final score was 45-43, Golden Lions.
The Braves will have to regroup and formulate a new game plan because the opponents don’t get any easier. Their next game will be against the Grambling State University Tigers (0-0,0-1) on September 24th at 6:00 pm at Eddie Robinson Stadium in Grambling, LA. The game will be broadcast on WPRL 91.7 FM and wprl.org.