Panthers Squeak by Braves for Win


The Alcorn State University Braves (3-4, 3-5) marched into Panther Stadium in Prairie View, Texas on November 5th to take on Western Division foe, the Prairie View A&M Panthers (6-1, 7-2) with a sense of urgency. The Braves realizing that a return trip to the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Championship game depends heavily on their next three games beginning with this one.

Alcorn showed that urgency by scoring the only points in the first quarter by getting on the score board at the 9:44 mark when running back De’Lance Turner scampered in on an 8 yard run into the end zone and with kicker Haiden McCraney’s extra point the score was 7-0, Braves.

The second quarter didn’t begin well for the Braves when starting quarterback Lenorris Footman suffered an injury to his hand and didn’t return to the contest. Sophomore quarterback Noah Johnson came into the game and at the 5:11 mark hit pay dirt with a 78 yard run and with a McCraney PAT (point after attempt) the score was now 14-0, Braves. The Panthers, who were only 1 game out of first place in the Western Division, got on the score board with 32 seconds left when quarterback Jalen Morton hit running back Sta’fon McCray with a 6 yard pass  for a touchdown and with kicker Armaury Martine’s extra point attempt the score was now 14-7, Braves. Right before halftime with only two seconds remaining on the clock the Panthers scored on a 32 yard field goal when Martine put one right down the middle of the uprights to make the score 14-10, Braves.

Prairie View came out in the third quarter much more determined than in the previous two quarters. At the 13:03 mark Morton scored on a 13 yard run and with a successful Martine PAT the Panthers took the lead for the first time in the game 14-17. The Braves responded 4 minutes and 50 seconds later when Johnson ran in a 9 yard touchdown and with a McCraney extra point the score was now 21-17, Braves. Prairie View seemed to thrive in the quarter because at the 4:05 mark Morton hit wide receiver Darius Floyd on a 44 yard pass play and with Martine’s extra point the score was now 21-24, Panthers.

The fourth quarter was full of excitement as both teams were eyeing a victory. Prairie View drew blood first at the 10:15 mark when Morton scored on a 1 yard run and with a Martine PAT the score was now 31-21, Panthers. The Braves scored again at the 6:46 mark but McCraney’s kick was blocked making the final score 27-31, Panthers.

Even after the loss the Braves are tied for first place in the Eastern Division with the Jackson State University Tigers (3-4, 3-6). The Braves’ next contest will be against the Mississippi Valley State University Delta Devils in Rice-Totten Stadium in Itta Bena, Mississippi at 1:00 pm on November 12th.