Alcorn prepares for Valley

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 4, 1999

Alcorn State finally returns to Southwestern Athletic Conference Eastern Division play as the Braves host Mississippi Valley Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

The Braves defeated Alabama State 38-27 in the second game of the season.

Alcorn is 3-4 overall and 2-4 against all SWAC&160;opponents.

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Mississippi Valley is 2-7 overall and 0-3 in the SWAC&160;Eastern Division.

&uot;The Valley game marks the start of a new season,&uot;&160;said Alcorn coach Johnny Thomas. &uot;We have forgotten what we have done over the past seven ballgames. We can throw the records out of the window. Valley is coming off of two big wins against Texas Southern and Prairie View.&uot;

Valley is coached by La’Traia Jones, who is in his first year at the Itta Bena school.

&uot;They have a tremendous amount of momentum now and they have a well-coached team and a good offensive scheme,&uot;&160;Thomas said. &uot;It is definitely going to bring the best out of the competitors and that is what you live for. This is just like a playoff game for us and we have to win. It’s just that simple.&uot;

Alcorn had an open date last week.

&uot;That enabled us to soul-search ourselves,&uot; Thomas said. &uot;We were able to work on some basic fundamentals of football. It enabled the players to voice any concerns about the direction the team is going in. At this point we are on the same page to win the championship.&uot;

Alcorn is led by senior running back Rodney Thomas, who has rushed for 519 yards this season.

Junior Marco Walker, who has an 18-game streak of catching a pass, has 29 receptions for 402 yards.

Cornerback Ken Washington of Natchez is fourth on the team in tackles with 32.