Mississippi football roundup: JSU clinches division title; Belhaven and MC finish strong

Published 10:11 pm Saturday, November 13, 2021

BATON ROUGE, La. — Shedeur Sanders threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, including the game-winning 50-yarder to Malachi Wideman with 1:31 remaining, to give Jackson State a come-from-behind win over Southern University (4-6, 3-4 SWAC).

With the win, Jackson State (9-1, 7-0) clinched the SWAC East Division championship and a spot in the conference championship game on Dec. 4 against either Prairie View A&M or Alcorn State. It is Jackson State’s eighth division title and first championship game appearance since 2013.

Sanders completed 24 of 31 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions and was sacked three times.

Southern built a 17-7 lead through three quarters before Sanders led the Tigers’ comeback. He threw a 13-yard TD pass to Wideman with 5:42 remaining, and then the long game-winner a few minutes later. Wideman finished with four receptions for 81 yards.

Jerodd Simms ran for 98 yards and a TD for Southern. The Jaguars moved the ball to midfield on their final drive, but Shilo Sanders intercepted a pass from Glendon McDaniel with 19 seconds left to seal it.

Alcorn State 31, Prairie View A&M 29
Alcorn State still needs some help to get back to the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship game, but it did itself a lot of favors on Saturday.

Felix Harper threw two touchdown passes, Jayden Barfield forced and recovered a crucial fumble in the final minute, and Alcorn State held off Prairie View A&M 31-29 on Saturday.

The victory kept alive Alcorn’s chances of winning the SWAC Western Division championship. The Braves (6-4, 5-2 SWAC) must beat East Division leader Jackson State in the regular-season finale next weekend, and have Prairie View (7-2, 6-1) lose at home against Mississippi Valley State on Nov. 27. Prairie View plays a non-conference game at Texas A&M on Nov. 20.

After trailing 9-7 in the second quarter Saturday, Alcorn broke out to a 31-9 lead. Harper began the scoring binge with a 57-yard pass to Lecharles Pringle and capped it off with a 12-yard strike to Tavarious Griffin early in the third quarter.

Prairie View fought back with three touchdowns, two of them TD passes by Jawon Pass. After Pass connected with Trejon Spiller for a 70-yard score, Pass’ two-point conversion pass fell incomplete and Alcorn State led 31-29 in the fourth quarter.

The Panthers got the ball back with 5:18 remaining and drove inside Alcorn’s 20-yard line. On a third down play Barfield forced and recovered a fumble by Jaden Stewart at the 16-yard line with 18 seconds left.

Harper completed 18 of 28 passes for 263 yards, and Pringle had four receptions for 119 yards.

Pass completed 25 of 36 passes for 342 yards and three touchdowns. Spiller had five receptions for 153 yards and two touchdowns.

Mississippi Valley State 44, Alabama State 31
Jakobe Thomas rushed for 88 yards and three touchdowns, Jalani Eastman passed for 315 yards with two big-play TDs, and Mississippi Valley State erupted for nearly 500 yards of total offense in a win over Alabama State.

Coming out of a 17-17 halftime tie, Alabama State (3-6, 2-5 SWAC) grabbed a 24-17 lead when Ezra Gray hauled in a 20-yard pass from Ryan Nettles on the opening drive.

The Delta Devils answered with an 83-yard scoring pass from Eastman to Jarius Clayton and followed that with a 93-yard scoring toss to former Port Gibson star Jacory Rankin for a 31-24 lead after three quarters.

The Hornets, who have lost four straight, tied the game at 31 on a Nettles pass to Wallace Corker, but MVSU’s Thomas scored twice — on runs of 30 and 4 yards — in the last 3:48 to seal the win.

Mississippi Valley State (3-7, 2-5) broke a four game losing streak overall, and an 11-game streak against Alabama State dating back to 2008.

Birmingham-Southern 49, Millsaps 7
Birmingham-Southern amassed 504 rushing yards as a team, and three players scored two touchdowns each on the ground in a rout of Millsaps College (2-8, 2-5 Southern Athletic Association).

Tavion Fleming ran for 205 yards and two touchdowns for Birmingham-Southern (9-1, 6-1, and Jon Lewis had 174 yards and two TDs. Grayson Stacey also had 72 yards and two touchdowns. Fleming also caught a touchdown pass.

Cade Broussard returned an interception 75 yards for Millsaps’ only touchdown. It came with 3:35 left in the first half, and cut Birmingham-Southern’s lead to 28-7.

Belhaven 41, East Texas Baptist 7
Brad Foley rushed for 193 yards and three touchdowns, and added 56 yards and another TD receiving, to lead Belhaven to a rout of East Texas Baptist on Saturday.

Mayowa Asagunla was 14-of-22 passing for 191 yards and two touchdowns for Belhaven. The Blazers rushed for 273 yards as a team, and held East Texas Baptist (5-5, 4-5 American Southwest Conference) to five rushing yards.

Belhaven (7-3, 6-3) finished with the best single-season win percentage in program history.

Mississippi College 28, West Alabama 24
Jaylen Gipson caught a 51-yard touchdown pass from Deante Smith-Moore with 2:06 remaining to give Mississippi College (4-6, 2-5 Gulf South Conference) a win over West Alabama (6-4, 4-3) in its season finale.

Smith-Moore was 3-of-6 passing for 119 yards, and ran for 117 yards and one touchdown. Marcus Williams had 113 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries for the Choctaws.

Demetrius Battle carried the ball 26 times for 139 yards and one touchdown for West Alabama, and quarterback Jack McDaniels threw two touchdown passes. McDaniels connected with Owen Harper on a 10-yard touchdown with 4:16 left to put West Alabama ahead 24-21.

Former Warren Central star Lamar Gray had a team-high eight tackles for West Alabama, and also carried the ball once for 19 yards.

West Georgia 44, Delta State 7
Jace Jordan ran for 115 yards and three touchdowns, Harrison Frost added 259 yards and two touchdowns passing, and West Georgia (8-2, 5-2 Gulf South Conference) routed Delta State (5-6, 3-4) in the Statesmen’s season finale.

Delta State quarterback Patrick Shegog was 21-of-38 passing for 223 yards and one touchdown, a 41-yarder to Dohnte Meyers late in the third quarter. By then, West Georgia had scored 44 straight points to take firm control of the game. Shegog threw three interceptions.

Meyers caught nine passes for 113 yards for Delta State.

Mississippi college football scoreboard
Mississippi State 43, Auburn 34
Ole Miss 29, Texas A&M 19
UTSA 27, Southern Miss 17
Alcorn State 31, Prairie View A&M 29
Mississippi Valley State 44, Alabama State 31
West Georgia 44, Delta State 7
Mississippi College 28, West Alabama 24
Belhaven 41, East Texas Baptist 7
Birmingham-Southern 49, Millsaps 7
Jackson St. 21, Southern U. 17