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Alcorn’s Darius Smith dodges Mississippi Valley State’s Garrick Jones during their game Saturday afternoon at Alcorn State University. (Eric Shelton \ The Natchez Democrat)

Alcorn beats MVSU

Published 12:01am Sunday, September 18, 2011

LORMAN — It was a tale of two halves for the Alcorn State offense Saturday night, but the defense stayed solid throughout and powered the Braves to their first victory of the season.

The Braves’ 39-14 win over Mississippi Valley State was a welcome site for first-year head coach Melvin Spears. The Braves dropped their first two SWAC games of the season prior to beating the Delta Devils Saturday night.

“(The win is) huge. Anytime you are 0-2, and you’ve been anemic for 17 years in winning a championship, and you haven’t won a whole bunch of games around here (it’s important). We just needed a win,” Spears said.

The Alcorn defense held the Delta Devils to just 14 points on 331 yards of total offense. The Braves’ defense was also opportunistic and forced three Mississippi Valley State turnovers.

“Defensively we’ve been doing a pretty good job,” Spears said. “Anytime you’re starting nine new individuals it’s going to take a little time to gel. Tonight it was just a stellar effort from our defensive guys.”

Darius Smith got the start at quarterback Saturday night for the Braves to give Brandon Bridge some rest. Spears said Bridge was nicked up after last week’s loss to Arkansas Pine Bluff, and his plan was to rest him until he was needed.

“He was still a little sore, and we tried to hold him off as long as week could, but when things got tough we had to go to him to get a little momentum and play the more seasoned guy,” Spears said. “But I thought Darius (Smith) did a good job.”

Smith finished his night with 144 yards passing with one touchdown and one interception. Bridge came into the game in the second half with Alcorn up 10-7 and led the Braves to a touchdown on their first possession of the second half. Bridge finished his night with 148 yards passing with two touchdowns. He also added a touchdown run.

“I think what made the difference in the second half was their whole scheme, because the whole second half they probably game-planned on how to stop Darius, but when I came out there the first drive we went down and scored because their whole line was like, ‘Hey we had No. 11 in there and now No. 7 is in there so how are we going to defend him?’ And when (Smith) went back in there they had to go back.”

Terrance Lewis had a big night receiving for the Braves. He caught three passes for 103 yards, including a 55-yard touchdown reception from Smith.

“I was actually mad, because I muffed a punt (before the touchdown reception), so I knew I had to come back and make a play, because I didn’t want coach to be on me,” Lewis said. “My confidence was sky high (after the touchdown), because when you mess up you get down on yourself, and when I came back and made that big play it came right back up.”

Rodney Whitmore Jr. caught two passes for 79 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown strike from Bridge. Simon Collier added four receptions for 71 yards for the Braves.

Alcorn State opened the scoring in the first quarter on an eight-play, 63-yard drive that was capped off by a 1-yard run by Arnold Walker. Arturo Tamayo added the extra point and Alcorn led 7-0 after almost 11 minutes of play.

The Braves got great field position on their next possession after forcing Mississippi Valley State into a three-and-out inside their own 20-yard-line. Mississippi Valley State’s punt only travelled 20 yards, and Alcorn took over from the Mississippi Valley State 32-yard-line.

The Braves were unable to take advantage of the great field position and settled for a 40-yard field goal by Tamayo to take a 10-0 lead at the beginning of the second quarter.

Mississippi Valley State answered the Tamayo field goal with an 11-play, 78-yard drive capped off by an 8-yard touchdown pass from Garrick Jones to Paul Cox. The key play in the drive was a 34-yard screen pass on fourth down and 3 from Jones to Kenneth Dabney that went for 34 yards.

Mississippi Valley State would threaten again on its next possession after Trey Bateaste took a first down carry 74 yards down to the Alcorn State 9-yard-line. Alcorn’s defense would stiffen, and on third and goal from the 9-yard-line Delta Devils’ running back Brandon Stansell was intercepted on an option pass in the end zone by Alcorn’s Jacques Caldwell.

Alcorn would threaten again on its next possession, but after advancing to the Mississippi Valley 30-yard-line, Collier fumbled after a 19-yard completion and Mississippi Valley’s Kadeem Clark recovered at the 7-yard-line to end the Alcorn threat. The Braves would turn the ball over again on their next possession when Smith was intercepted by Mississippi Valley’s Marquis Floyd. Floyd returned the interception 47 yards before Alcorn offensive lineman Keyun Swinney made a touchdown-saving tackle.

The Braves defense would hold after the turnover and Alcorn took a three-point lead into the half.

Alcorn extended its lead early in the second half on Bridge’s 1-yard touchdown run to cap off a 45-yard drive. The Braves defense again set the offense up with good field position after forcing Mississippi Valley to punt from inside its own 20-yard-line.

Mississippi Valley State would cut the score to 17-14 with 4:02 left in the third quarter after scoring on a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Marvin Pittman. The Delta Devils’ score was set up by the fumbled punt return by Lewis that gave Mississippi Valley State the ball on Alcorn’s 19-yard-line.

Turnovers were an issue all evening for the Braves, as two turnovers ended drives in Mississippi Valley State territory and a third set up a touchdown.

Lewis would get redemption on Alcorn’s next drive with his 55-yard catch from Smith for a touchdown. Tamayo missed the extra point, and Alcorn led 23-14 with two minutes to go in the third quarter.

The Braves’ passing attack would stretch the lead to 29-14 early in the fourth quarter when Bridge found Whitmore Jr. on a 72-yard touchdown strike. The point after was blocked.

Alcorn put the game out of reach with 7:35 remaining when Bridge found Jerry Salas for a 4-yard touchdown pass. Tamayo’s kick made the score 36-14. The Braves defense set up the score when Robert Gainwell sacked Mississippi Valley quarterback Eddie Ivory and forced a fumble that was recovered by Alcorn defensive lineman Brandon Morris on the Delta Devils’ 36-yard-line.

The Alcorn defense struck again on Mississippi Valley State’s next possession when Brandon Thompson intercepted an Ivory pass and returned it 57 yards down to the Delta Devils’ 7-yard line. The Alcorn offense was unable to punch the ball in the end zone, however, and the Braves were forced to settle for a 21-yard field goal by Tamayo to make the score 39-14.

Alcorn State (1-2, 1-2) will travel to Houston to play Texas Southern next week.

  • Anonymous

    Huge waste of taxpayer money

  • Anonymous

    How is this a huge waste of taxpayers money you racist ? Your kind makes me sick you KKK racist !!!

  • Anonymous

    You continue to prove my point…self-inflicted arrogant ignorance is alive and well.

    All of the historically black universities now serve to perpetuate a false lie that there is not equal opportunity in education. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. An education is FREE to anyone who wants it regardless of their race, color, religion, socio-economic background, etc. These HBU’s continue to be funded along racially discriminatory lines…as in…black universities…not places of higher education. Grants, Federal Aid, Pell, etc are spent on the poorest performing schools with laughable entry requirements, dismal graduation rates and highest incidences of failure. Name one HBU that is on solid financial grounds…just one. You can’t.

    Name one HBU where actual tuition payments and/or academic scholarships exceed FREE grants and aid. You can’t.

    But you’ll put up a HUGE arguement against my freedom to speak the truth because the truth doesn’t fit your agenda. Somebody has always got to have a foot on your neck keeping you down. Name one person…any person…that has kept you or anyone that you know from the freedom to seek an education, to seek gainful employment, to achieve…name one…just one. You can’t.

    So from my freely expressed opinion, I’ll get your wrath, name-calling and labeled a racist. It’s a broken record and quite frankly…its getting boring. Crawl out of your rut and grow some personal responsibility…or…can’t you do that either.

  • Anonymous

    Hey ! you started it racist ! And your freedom of speech is nothing but hatred on the sly toward black people  . I’ve read most of your posts and you’re full of hatred . What happened  ? Did a brother beat the brakes off of you in a fight or something ? Better yet , did you lose your woman to a black man ? A lot of that is happening . Black people have done nothing to your kind .  If anything it’s us who should be full of hatred toward your kind as payback for the dirt you did to black people . How dare you come on here with your racist , backwoods views !!!!! Like I said earlier . Go crawl back under that slime encrusted rock where slime balls like you come from . And your imbecilic questions isn’t even worth dignifying . It’s not where you come from but where you’re headed . A lot of those young men and women at HBU will go on to achieve great things in life if they stick to their plans . HBU’s will help and guide them . They do a great job preparing students for the real world .  I started at Alcorn and finished at Texas Tech with a degree in engineering . Working and making big money right in MS .  Put money in all the right places . What have you done with your  hatred filled, racist life moron ? Nothing !!!

  • Anonymous

    You continue to prove my point Buckwheat. You can’t carry on an intelligent conversation without blaming everyone else and claiming racism.

    What is this payback that you’re talking about? Who put their foot on your neck…or anyone’s neck…and kept you or anyone from freely achieving whatever you choose to WORK for? No one.

    You keep drinking that Kool-Aid, it only serves to keep your “peoples” on your own self-inflicted plantation of poverty.

  • Anonymous

    You continue to prove my point as well you racist polly want a cracker . You’re as dumb and ignorant as they come . I know you don’t have jack squat .  You’re probably second generation trailer trash anyway . Don’t you have a KKK meeting to go to ?  Scum bag racist !!

  • Anonymous

    And when you hear black people talk about payback they aren’t talking about poor white people like yourself . It’s much bigger than you and your kind . So don’t even flatter yourself . 

  • Anonymous

    When you hear black people talk payback they aren’t referencing poor folks like you . So don’t even flatter yourself . 

  • Anonymous

    Guess what racist ? We’re going to be all over your posts from now on . 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NGY3JNGE6N6PKQAZV2XO4TMHVU Andrea

    So many people are so uninformed about things that they talk about. Yes a lot of students may receive Pell grant to attend college but is the difference when the likes of Ole Miss and MS State receive million of state dollars on top of the federal monies that Thad Cochran has been getting for year. You know the same money that the Republican party called Pork spending. It doesn’t even begin to compare.They all are getting state and federal money but seems likethe HBCU’s are the only ones that gets the blame for it. Do you realize that MS State agricultural unit gets more state money than Alcorn’s entire general budget? Something to think about.

  • Anonymous

    Otay…knock yourself out Buckwheat…you’re boring me

  • Anonymous

    Must not be boring because I see you’re still here captain caveman . I give credit where it’s due . Your buffoonery is simply amazing . You deserve the academy award for stupid . I’m out of here I have better things to do racist idiot . 

  • Anonymous

    Take your racism remarks and put it way up high on a pedestal with the SWAC winning percentage against ANY non-HBU football program… 0 for the century!!!

    Let me know how things are “down on the plantation”…you know…that fairy tale land that is created within your own mind where FEMA cards, food stamps, WIC, welfare, perpetual unemployment, Medicaid and any number of FREE perks simply appear out of thin air.

    Wake up…this is 2011. Let me introduce you to a four letter word….W-O-R-K for what you want. How about another four letter word…E-A-R-N what you get.

    You may rant at me, call me names, hate on me, make all sort of accusations…but the real truth is…the FREE train is about to be derailed. Taxpaying Americans are fed up with the self-appointed racially privaleged.

  • Anonymous

    Andrea…yes you are correct. There are Pell grants at most every college. I agree with that. But to compare Alcorn to Ole Miss or Mississippi State or any other major university is way off base. Yes, MS State should get more state money than Alcorn…absolutely. Ole Miss and MS State’s graduation rate is off the charts compared to Alcorn. Ole Miss and MS State’s entrance requirements are REAL…not lowered to the point that anyone and everyone can get in. Neither Ole Miss or MS State discriminates nor do they “cater” to just one race of people…that in itself is completely racist and in today’s world.

    And just what does the Republican Party and/or Thad Cochran have to do with Alcorn? While I agree that you’re entitled to your opinion, I do not see how your post does anything to advance your position on Alcorn other than to throw up the same old tired smokescreen claiming racism.

  • Anonymous

    Bruh, I c you are consistant with **** talking. Do you even kno the graduation rate from Alcorn? Yet alone any other HBCU? (not HBU) With a mimicking sound of ignorance, “Yes MS State should get more money than Alcorn…absolutely”… HTF you figure that?! Any school should get sufficient funds neccessary to increase the opportunity of helping someone graduate. If its all about helping someone graduate or even presenting the opporutunity for someone to do so, I would rather have a “lowered” entrance requirement for someone who is willing and WANTS to go to college than to have a “REAL” one to where people get denied or dont even attempt to get in because of the requirements. Its just like someone who chooses JUCO over a university, HBCU or your favs you speak of, OLE MISS AND MS STATE. Should they be talked about also for taking the “lowered” entrance requirement to get in? Man education is education NO MATTER WHERE YOU GET IT FROM! A degree weighs the same ANYWHERE! Kick rocks with your nonesense.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve called you retarded and ignorant so many times it doesn’t even make sense to do it again , but here goes . You’re a retarded , low life racist bstrd !!! Get your ignorant **s out of here !!!

  • Anonymous

    Obama 2012 !! I bet your racist **s don’t like that do you ? Well he’s going to be re-elected . Take that to the bank . You haven’t seen nothing yet . Round two is the killer . You’ve lost your country . This is the reason your kind is mad . Part two in 2012 , Obama cuts the head off the beast and buries it forever . After that he goes about the real business of getting things straight . Find another country whiteboy because the America you once knew is gone , racist !!

  • Anonymous

    Because racism still exists you moronic imbecile . Are you man enough to meet me on neutral ground and say this type bs in person . Seriously , I’m sick of your dumb bs . It’s easy to talk the talk behind a computer screen . Why don’t you commit suicide you dirt bag  . You are one backwards , backwoods , southern cracka ! You make me sick !! I see what natchez_pimps is talking about regarding you . You really are scum . 

  • vilou09

    It’s NEVER cool to dink the bong water…….. keep it in mind.

  • Anonymous

    Wow !! how many accounts do you have with the ND ? 

  • Anonymous

    You continue to prove my point … white racism is alive and well in Natchez . I see you used one of your many ids to boost your rating . If not then that individual is also a racist for agreeing with your asinine comment . Boy ! you must have gotten the living hell beat out of you by a black man at some point in your life . You deserved it . You were probably racist long before that , very old man . 

  • Anonymous

    Are you serious? You’d seriously make a threat of bodily harm? You’d seriously tell someone to go commit suicide? Call me a cracka?

    The only racism that exists today is reverse racism…black on all of the above…and you’re spewing it complete with hatred, threats and name calling. Congratulation, You proved my whole point.

  • vilou09

    Mr. Pimp:

    This is the only Account I’ve had with the ND online webpage since early 2007.

    Kick rocks.

  • Anonymous

    I see they totally removed every comment by Natchez_Pimps . Totally shut him down . You even called him buckwheat on many times . Went back and forth  with him in the name calling as well . Yet you are still on here ? Answer that ? why oh why are you allowed to continue with your attacks but they shut Natchez_Pimps down ?  Your kind called him all sorts of names and ignorant fools , and dirt bags , racist , clowns and any other names they could come up with . Ganged up on him like vultures on a dead cow . I went and read all the comments and attacks against him . Not a single white was removed . Good job  Natchez Dixies Crap .  Free speech is not allowed here for blacks . If they speak/write they get shut down .  Thank God this is not the only game on the net . I’m deleting this account to this horrible paper . 

  • Anonymous

    I’m out of here also . This comment section for posters needs to be done away with . It only brings out the worst in some of these people . Letting the world see that we still haven’t progressed beyond the 1960′s mentality . What a sad state we’re in .