Gold squad edges Purple team in Alcorn State spring game
LORMAN — Quarterback John Gibbs accounted for both touchdowns scored in the Alcorn State Purple and Gold intersquad spring game Saturday afternoon.
He’d probably like one of them back, however.
A touchdown pass by Gibbs for the Gold squad gave his team a 7-0 edge, but an interception return off a pass by Gibbs late in the game cut the lead to 7-6. The Gold would hold on to win, and Alcorn head coach Jay Hopson said the scrimmage capped off what he called a successful spring practice.
“As a coach, the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement,” Hopson said. “We want to get better at everything. I thought that we had a good scrimmage, and I thought it was pretty physical. We still have to work on some little technique things, but on the whole, I’ve been pleased not only with the game but with spring.”
Both the Purple and Gold offenses consistently moved the ball around the field — there just weren’t a lot of points to show for it. The game remained scoreless until 1:20 in the second quarter when Gibbs connected with Jordan Payne on a 42-yard touchdown pass. It was kicker Jean Marquis who ultimately proved to be the difference in the game, as his PAT for the Gold squad gave them a 7-0 edge against the Purple.
The Gold squad moved down the field to begin the third quarter, but the drive stalled out with a failed field goal attempt. The two squads then went back and forth before the Purple team pinned the Gold team inside its own 10 late in the fourth quarter.
A pass attempt by Gibbs was picked off by Purple squad safety Anthony Williams Jr. and returned 7 yards for a touchdown with 4:17 left to play. The Purple team went for two but didn’t convert, making it 7-6.
With the first two quarters being 10 minutes apiece and the second two quarters running 12-minute continuous clocks, Hopson said he wasn’t disappointed with the lack of points from his team.
“We really only played a half of football, in all honesty,” Hopson said. “It looks like a four-quarter game, but (with the clocks) it’s really only a half of football that we played. I was pretty pleased.”
Gibbs was 13-for-20 for 172 yards and a touchdown in the first half, while Purple quarterback Zerick Rollins finished the first half 13-for-27 for 150 yards. Official stats were not kept in the second half.
“I thought John did some really good things early,” Hopson said. “He made the critical mistake there in the end zone. Zerick kind of started off slow but he picked it up in the second half and had a few good plays. They’re definitely still battling, and that’s the fun thing. They’re going to keep competing and carry that on into August.”
With spring practice over, Hopson said he and his staff will hit the road recruiting, while the players will soon begin summer lifting. Alcorn opens its season against Edward Waters College at home Aug. 31.