Braves demolish latest opponent

Published 12:21 am Sunday, September 27, 2015

LORMAN — Alcorn State head coach Jay Hopson was happy his team came out of Saturday’s contest against Concordia College with a 40-7 victory, but that was about it.

“The good news is we got a win, but that is about it,” Hopson said. “We didn’t come out in the first half and play like we wanted to play.”

Concordia College went toe-to-toe with the defending Southwestern Athletic Conference champions in the first half, limiting Alcorn to just 165 yards of total offense.

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“Offensively, we played poorly in the first half,” Alcorn quarterback John Gibbs said.

Gibbs struggled early, missing the mark on his first six passes of the contest, but his seventh pass gave the Braves life heading into half time.

After nursing a 6-0 lead for all of the second quarter, the Braves found the end zone as time expired in the first half. Gibbs launched a prayer toward the end zone and Marquis Warford ended up hauling in the pass for a 62-yard touchdown.

“That was big to get a touchdown there,” Hopson said.

But on the first play of the second half, things only got sweeter for Alcorn as Darryan Ragsdale took a handoff from Gibbs and scampered 85 yards for a Braves touchdown and increased the lead to 19-0.

“Those two plays were big, no question,” Hopson said.

The Alcorn offense found their groove in the second half, racking up more than 300 total yards and scoring four touchdowns.

“We had a couple mistakes here and there, and it prevented us from getting into the end zone much in the first half, but in the second half, we figured out the kinks and moved the ball at will,” Gibbs said.

Gibbs tossed his second touchdown of the game, this time to Jordan Payne from 69 yards out, with just under nine minutes to play in the third quarter, giving the Braves a comfortable 26-0 lead.

Then, on the first play of the fourth quarter, Arron Baker rumbled into the end zone for Alcorn from a yard out to push the lead to 33-0.

Shortly after, Payne was on the end of another touchdown toss, this time from backup quarterback Lennoris Footman from 43 yards out, and Alcorn cruised the rest of the way.

“Jordan has been a playmaker for us forever and he keeps making plays,” Hopson said. “He’s a winner and he is playing well in all aspects of his game right now.”

Defensively, the Braves turned up the heat in the second half, minus a late touchdown allowed, and overall, Hopson said they played OK.

“I thought we did pretty good in the first half, and then the young guys came in and gave up a touchdown late, which you don’t ever like,” he said. “And we gave up one or two big plays and that is something you can’t do.”

The Braves held Concordia to just 147 yards.