Early barrage propels Alcorn to victory over Texas Southern

LORMAN, Miss. – A 27-0 halftime lead for the Alcorn State University football program was too much for Texas Southern to overcome Saturday as the Braves won 27-15 in a non-conference match at Jack Spinks-Marino Casem Stadium.

The Braves (2-1) scored on their first two possessions of the game to take control early. They got it started with a 1-yard touchdown run by senior Noah Johnson, and then he connected with junior Raidarious Anderson for an 8-yard touchdown to go up 14-0.

Alcorn scored two more times in the second quarter. The scoring plays were a 1-yard rush by senior P.J. Simmons and a 28-yard pass to junior Chris Blair to lead 27-0 after a blocked extra point.

The Braves outgained TSU (1-2) 477-294 in total yards, including 166-0 in rushing.

Johnson was 22-for-33 in the air for 311 yards and two touchdown passes. He also rushed for a game-high 74 yards and a touchdown.

Simmons, the SWAC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, ended with 69 rushing yards and a touchdown. Anderson turned in a career day receiving with 168 yards and a touchdown.

On the other side of the ball, junior Javen Morrison shined with two interceptions. Senior Myshawn Smith led the team with six tackles. The Braves sacked TSU quarterback Glen Cuiellette five times.

Cuiellette was 24-for-45 throwing with two touchdowns and 292 yards. Both of his touchdown passes were to Bobby Hartzog who hauled in 103 yards.

On the opening series of the game, Johnson completed a 45-yard pass to Anderson to quickly move into TSU territory. Johnson then rushed for 12 yards, and Simmons followed with an 18-yard spurt to move into the redzone. The Braves inched their way to the goal line, and Johnson finished it off with a 1-yard dive on third down.

Alcorn’s second series was more of the same as Johnson completed a 16-yard pass to Anderson and a 19-yard pass to Blair on the first two plays. A 15-yard dash by Simmons moved the Braves into scoring position, and the drive ended with an 8-yard pass to Anderson.

The Braves started with good field position at its own 48-yard line midway through the second quarter. Johnson aired it out to Anderson for a big 48-yard completion which set up first-and-goal. Simmons capped the drive with a 4-yard drive to go up 21-0 at the 5:49 mark.

Alcorn regained possession on an interception by Morrison who returned it for a touchdown, but was brought back to the Alcorn 46-yard line after a penalty. Alcorn’s first play was a 26-yard pass to Anderson, which followed by a 28-yard touchdown to Blair to make it 27-0.

The Tigers tried to get back in it after scoring on their first possession of the second half. The big plays were a 26-yard reception by Roylain Oliver, and a 23-yard touchdown catch by Hartzog.

A defensive battle ensued for much of the second half. Neither team scored until late in the fourth when Cuiellette threw a touchdown pass to Hartzog with 1:07 left in the game.

TSU attempted one last onside kick, but it was recovered by senior Johnathan Hauer who is the reigning SWAC Newcomer of the Week.

Alcorn will open SWAC play next weekend when it travels to Mississippi Valley State for a 6 p.m. road game. The Braves are 44-15-1 all-time against MVSU and are looking to defeat the Delta Devils for the sixth straight year.

Source: Alcorn State Athletics 

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