Harper rallies Alcorn State past Prairie View 45-41

Harper rallies Alcorn State past Prairie View 45-41
An Alcorn State helmet rests on the ground at practice

LORMAN, Miss. (AP) - Felix Harper connected with Tim McNair Jr. for a 3-yard touchdown with 40 seconds left in the game and Alcorn State opened its Southwest Athletic Conference play with a thrilling 45-41 victory over Prairie View A&M on Saturday.

Alcorn State (2-2, 1-0) jumped out to a 17-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. Harper opened the scoring with a 30-yard toss to LeCharles Pringle. Trey Turner followed with a 3-yard TD run after the Braves picked off Jalen Morton's first pass of the game. Corey McCullough capped the scoring with a 33-yard field goal after another Morton interception.

But Morton and the Panthers (1-3, 1-1) answered with 19 straight points to grab the lead. Morton hit Tony Mullins for a 66-yard score and then hooked up with Kelejawan Chriss from 21 yards out. Prairie View took the lead after Ahmad Antoine blocked a McCullough punt, giving the Panthers the ball at the Alcorn State 1-yard line. Dawonya Tucker took it in from there, but the Panthers missed their second PAT and the lead stood at 19-17. The Braves took a 24-19 lead into halftime after Harper scored on a 5-yard run following another Prairie View turnover.

Morton put the Panthers up 34-24 with two TD passes to Jordan Jones, covering 16 and 18 yards. Alcorn State closed within three points heading into the final quarter after Niko Duffey's 7-yard TD run.

Alcorn State retook the lead on Duffey's 6-yard run 20 seconds into the final quarter, but Tucker answered with a 12-yard scoring run to give Prairie View a 41-38 lead with 12:27 left to play. After the teams traded punts, Harper directed a 14-play, 65-yard drive that ended with his game-winning toss to McNair Jr.

Harper finished 25-of-37 passing for 280 yards and two TDs. Duffey ran for 86 yards on 22 carries and Pringle hauled in eight passes for 144 yards and a score.

Morton completed 23 of 35 passes for 321 yards and four TDs, but he was intercepted three times. Tucker ran for 128 yards and two scores on 22 carries.

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