ITTA BENA, MS (WLBT) - A 665-200 edge in total yards and 462-22 advantage in rushing resulted in a 56-20 victory for the Alcorn State University football program over Mississippi Valley State on Saturday at Rice-Totten Stadium.
Six of Alcorn’s (3-1, 1-0 SWAC) seven touchdowns came on the ground as the team won its third straight game. Senior P.J. Simmons tallied a career-high 210 yards and a touchdown, and freshman Marquise Forman registered a career-high 119 yards and two touchdowns.
Junior quarterback Noah Johnson rushed for 139 yards and three touchdowns, and also threw for 203 yards and a score. His top target was junior Chris Blair who hauled in seven catches for 92 yards.
MVSU (0-3, 0-1 SWAC), which was coming off a bye week, was led by Steven McIntosh who posted 80 receiving yards. Quarterback Chris Fowler was limited to 79 yards on 8-for-24 passing and an interception. Defensively, Patrick Harbin had a game-high 11 tackles.
The Braves sacked Fowler five times and backup Dejerric Bryant once. Senior Sterling Shippy wrapped-up 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for a loss. Alcorn also grabbed two interceptions by senior Brady Smith and junior Daylon Burks.
After the team’s exchanged punts on their opening drives, the Delta Devils scored on their second series to go up 7-0 at the 9:27 mark. The scoring play was a 4-yard quarterback keeper by Fowler. MVSU was assisted by a 15-yard personal foul call on the Braves after an 18-yard rush by Fowler.
Alcorn got it going after an interception by Smith sparked the team. Smith cut in front of the MVSU wide receiver on a slant route. The turnover resulted in points after Simmons broke loose for a 33-yard touchdown run to the right to tie it 7-7 with 7:33 left in the first. The drive was kept alive after a 14-yard reception by junior Raidarious Anderson, the reigning SWAC Offensive Player of the Week winner, on a 3rd-and-11.
The Braves got the ball back after a three-and-out by the defense, including a sack on third down by junior Kwanzi Jackson. The offense marched down the field again after a 13-yard run by Johnson, followed by a big 46-yard carry by Simmons through the middle. Though, the Braves had to settle for a 20-yard field goal which was good by junior Corey McCullough to put Alcorn up 10-7 with 2:31 remaining in the first.
On the very first play of the second quarter, the Braves had the ball when Johnson sprinted right through the center like a race car with no breaks and outran the entire MVSU defense untouched for a 64-yard touchdown. It gave Alcorn a 17-7 edge.
The Braves were on the move again midway through the second quarter. Johnson completed a 13-yard pass to Blair and a 15-yarder to freshman Juan Anthony. The scoring play was a 10-yard scramble to the left by Johnson as he stretched the ball across the goal line to make it a 24-7 game.
Alcorn got the ball back late in the half with good field position after an interception by Burks. It resulted in a 22-yard field goal by McCullough to increase the advantage to 27-7.
MVSU opened the scoring in the second half with a 90-yard punt return by Booker Chambers for a touchdown which cut the deficit to 27-14 with 10:36 to go. There was originally a flag on the field for a suspected illegal block, but it was picked up.
The Braves responded with a seven-play, 76-yard drive to go back up 34-14 at the 7:58 mark in the third. The scoring play was a run-option as Johnson pitched to Forman for a 15-yard touchdown to the left. The drive included a 20-yard rush by Simmons and a 14-yard reception by senior Charles Hughes.
Alcorn marched down the field again on its next drive, capped by a 6-yard screen pass for a touchdown to Pringle as he carried a defender into the endzone. It ended a seven-play, 70-yard drive which included 13-yard runs by Johnson and Forman. The Braves led 41-14 with 3:03 left in the third.
The Braves extended their edge to 47-14 with 9:43 remaining in the fourth. The scoring play was a 6-yard stretch run to the left by Forman, but the extra point was missed. The series included a 24-yard reception by junior Kyontez Everett on third down, and a 13-yard reception by Blair.
Alcorn added-on with a 50-yard touchdown rush through the middle by Forman. It upped the lead to 54-14 with 6:30 left.
MVSU scored on its final possession of the game. It came on a 3-yard lob pass to Quinn McElfresh. The extra point was blocked by junior Theron Bonds and returned all the way back for two-points by sophomore Qwynnterrio Cole.
Junior Javen Morrison, the reigning HBCU National Player of the Week and SWAC Defensive Player of the Week honoree, finished with five tackles and two pass break-ups.
The Braves will play their second straight conference road game next Saturday at 6 p.m. when they head to Southern. Alcorn is 36-27-2 all-time against SU and beat the Jaguars 48-31 last season at home.