Butler’s ups and downs, high scores aplenty highlight football weekend

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Welcome to the debut of Four Downs. Each week we’ll spotlight four quick nuggets, notes, facts or stats from the weekend that was in Mississippi high school football, college football, and the NFL.

Former Vicksburg High School star Malcolm Butler had a mixed debut with the Tennessee Titans in their NFL season opener against the Miami Dolphins. The cornerback had five total tackles, including one for loss, and intercepted a pass in the end zone to end a scoring threat.
Butler, however, also got burned by Kenny Stills for a 75-yard touchdown in the third quarter that put the Dolphins ahead 24-10. They went on to win 27-20.
Butler signed with the Titans as a free agent in the offseason after spending his first four NFL seasons with the New England Patriots.
Sunday’s game featured two weather delays that led to it ending 7 hours and 8 minutes after the 1:02 p.m. EST kickoff. It was the longest game in the NFL by start-finish time since the 1970 merger. The previous record was a 5 hour, 16 minute overtime game between the Bears and Ravens in 2013.

2 Warren Central’s 27-10 loss to Neville was notable for several reasons. It dropped the Vikings’ record to 1-2, meaning they will enter the Region 2-6A schedule below .500 for the first time since 2012.
The 17-point loss was also their first by more than seven points since a 28-10 defeat against Starkville on Oct. 30, 2015.
In addition, Warren Central has never won a game played outside the state of Mississippi. It is 0-2 all-time, with Friday’s loss in Monroe, Louisiana added to a 48-7 defeat against West Monroe in 1998.
Warren Central is 4-3 overall against out-of-state opponents in its 53-year history.

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Alcorn State set a Jack Spinks Stadium record by scoring 78 points in its shutout win over Division III Louisiana College on Saturday. It was also the second-highest point total in Alcorn history, behind only a 101-0 win over Paul Quinn College in 1967.
It’s the second time in four years that Alcorn has scored 70 points or more. It beat Prairie View A&M 77-48 on the road in 2014. Prior to that, the 101-point game against Paul Quinn was the last time it had done it. Eight of Alcorn’s 10 70-point games have been shutout victories.

In the entire 2017 college football season, there were seven games in the Football Bowl Subdivision in which teams scored 70 points or more. In 2016, there were 11, and in 2015 the number was 13.
Through two weeks of the 2018 season, there have already been six. Three of those, including Ole Miss’ 76-41 win over Southern Illinois, were on Saturday.
Since 2015, Ole Miss is tied with Memphis and Middle Tennessee for most 70-point games, with three apiece.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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