Southern rolls to 34-24 win over Prairie View A&M

Southern rolls to 34-24 win over Prairie View A&M
SWAC Championship trophy on display at Southern's game against Prairie View A&M. (Source: Chris Hagan/WAFB)
SWAC Championship trophy on display at Southern's game against Prairie View A&M. (Source: Chris Hagan/WAFB)

Southern opened up SWAC play with a 34-24 win on the road against a very tough Prairie View A&M team.

It was quite the process for the Jaguars to pull off the victory. They learned from their mistakes in previous weeks and started fast out the gate.

On the very first drive, running back Lenard Tillery picked up where he left off in his three-touchdown performance against the Panthers one year ago. He scored on a 36-yard touchdown run to give the Jags a 7-0 lead. Tillery finished with 135 yards on 24 carries.

Late in the first quarter, the defense provided a spark and the young secondary showed it traveled ready to play. Freshman defensive back Brian Anderson intercepted quarterback Jerry Lovelocke, which led to a Greg Pittman field goal to make it 10-0.

The Panthers were not going away quietly at home, though. Lovelocke found wide receiver Nick Pitre on a screen for a 4-yard touchdown to make it a 10-7 ballgame.

However, true freshman quarterback Austin Howard, who played the whole game, led his team down the field and replied to Prairie View's score with a 4 -yard touchdown run to put the lead at 17-7. Howard finished the game 8 of 15 for 108 yards passing with one touchdown and ran the ball six times for 14 yards and another touchdown.

After a Panthers' field goal made it a one-possession game again, Willie Quinn made his presences felt. The wide receiver did not have a huge day catching the ball, but his 98-yard kick return for a touchdown was quite impressive. Southern had a commanding 24-10 lead late in the first half.

However, there was still enough time for Prairie View to score before halftime, but defensive back Rhaheim Ledbetter slammed the door shut with an interception in the red zone to stop the Panthers in their tracks.

Southern took control and started the second half the very same way. The Jaguars drove the field and found pay dirt with a Howard pass to tight end Dillon Beard for a 24-yard touchdown to make it 31-10.

The Jags looked like they were going to run away with this one, but they took their foot off the gas. Quarterback Johnta' Herbert didn't complete a pass in the game and only threw it once, but his feet carried the Panthers into the end zone on a 61-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 34-17.

Running back Arthur Lockett made it a 10-point game with a 31-yard touchdown run late in the game. The Jags finished with 303 total yards, with 195 of those on the ground.

Southern's defensive players were all over the field absolutely exhausted, but on 4th down and less than a minute to go, they got the stop they needed. A gang of white jerseys swarmed to Lovelocke and sacked him.

Southern survived 34-24 and with the win, the Jaguars are 2-2 and, of course, hope to improve on that record next week at Alcorn State.

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