Alcorn annihilates Mississippi Valley

Published 12:07 am Sunday, September 20, 2015

LORMAN — Alcorn really showed Mississippi Valley State why it’s the defending Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Saturday in its 55-14 win.

The Braves (2-1, 2-0 SWAC) ran an efficient offense and defense and more than doubled the total yards gained — 494 to 191 — while having the ball 10 minutes less than the Delta Devils.

The defense held Valley to 2-of-15 on third down conversions.

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“I really thought we played well on both sides of the ball,” said Alcorn coach Jay Hopson. “Offensively we had some good early drives. We have a few things we have to correct like every game but as a whole, a pretty good day.”

Alcorn came out early on offense and blew the crowd away. At the end of the first quarter, the Braves already had 173 total yards on 15 plays.

On their first drive, John Gibbs Jr. threw a 62-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Payne, which was followed by a 24-yard fumble return by Damon Watkins. Gibbs later recorded two rushing touchdowns, an 8- and a 72-yarder, for a 28-0 lead to help put the game away early. Alcorn led 35-7 at halftime.

Gibbs led the team in rushing with seven carries for 121 yards. He was just as efficient in the air, going 9-for-15 for 115 yards. Backup quarterback Lenorris Footman added another 72 passing yards.

“We have complete trust and faith in Lenorris running our offense. Lenorris is an outstanding football player,” Hopson said. “John’s been our starter for four years and has been our leader. Lenorris is a guy who gets hit and makes plays. We’re fortunate to have Lenorris.”

The Braves were able to keep plays alive for long drives, going 4-for-8 on third down. One scoring drive lasted about six minutes and went 96 yards, with Gibbs finishing it off with the 8-yard touchdown run.

“Offensively if you’re going to have success that’s what you’re going to have to do. I thought we moved the chains well, especially in the first half,” Hopson said.

Valley had a frustrating time moving the ball against Alcorn’s defense and most of its yards gained were in the air. Of the Devils’ 191 total yards, 136 came from passing.

“Offensively I don’t think we did well at all. We put some points on the board and it wasn’t pretty. They did a good job and beat us up front. They’re stronger than us up front and beat us in the pit,” said Rick Comegy, Valley’s head coach.

Booker Chambers broke the scoring drought for the Delta Devils (0-3, 0-2) on a 6-yard run with four minutes left in the second quarter. Jerrell More received a 23-yarder from Ruban Thurston for Valley’s second score in the fourth quarter.

Comegy said they couldn’t sit around and lick their wounds and have to move forward to playing Alabama State next week.

“We can’t let this game stop us from the next eight ball games we have to play. We play Alabama State coming up, we got to see if we can get one of these games and we’ll be right in the mix of things.”