The 3 time Eastern Division Champs, the Alcorn State University Braves (5-4, 5-5), walked into the annual ‘Soul Bowl’ at Spinks-Casem Stadium against the Jackson State University Tigers (3-6, 3-8) with bragging rights on the line and they did not disappoint their home crowd.
The Braves got the festivities started at the 8:33 mark on a crisp Autumn November day in the first quarter when running back De’Lance Turner scored on a 3 yard scamper into the end zone and with kicker Haiden McCraney’s extra point attempt being good the score was 7-0, Braves. The Tigers responded one minute and 20 seconds later when quarterback Jarin Morikawa hit wide receiver DeSean McKenzie with a 20 yard touchdown pass and with kicker Christian Jacquemin’s PAT (point after attempt) the score was now tied at 7. Jackson State scored again at the 2:21 mark when wide receiver Shaquille Ward caught an 8 yard pass from Morikawa and with a Jacquemin extra point the score was now 7-14, Tigers.
The Braves, feeling the momentum of the Tigers, scored early in the second quarter at the 12:26 mark when running back Silas Spearman scored on a 5 yard run and with a successful McCraney extra point the score was now tied at 14. The Tigers scored a safety at the 4:37 mark when they recovered a botched punt attempt by the Braves making the score 14-16, Tigers at the half.
Alcorn’s coach, Fred McNair, must have given the Braves an earful because they came out in the third quarter re-energized. The Braves scored at the 2:30 mark when wide receiver LaDarrien Davis blocked a Jackson State punt attempt and linebacker Solomon Muhammad picked up the loose ball and ran it in for 6 and with a McCraney extra point attempt the score was 21-16, Braves.
The fourth quarter continued the Braves’ offensive dominance when quarterback Noah Johnson scored at the 14:40 mark on a 33 yard run to pay dirt and with a McCraney PAT the score was 28-16, Braves. Alcorn scored yet again at the 8:54 mark when wide receiver Tavares Johnson scurried in for a touchdown on a 13 yard run and with a successful McCraney extra point the final score was 35-16, Braves.
Being that Alcorn has already wrapped up the Eastern Division they are now waiting on an opponent from the Western Division which will be the winner of the Bayou Classic, the Southern University Jaguars (8-0, 8-2) or the Grambling State University Tigers (8-0, 8-1). The winner of this match up will meet the Braves for the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) title on December 3, 2016 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas at 3:00 pm.