Alcorn gets blown out

Published 12:22 am Sunday, November 13, 2011

Prairie View A&M’s Marcus Davis reaches to tackle Alcorn State’s Terrance Lewis during their game Saturday afternoon at Alcorn. The Braves lost 40-14, falling to 2-7 on the season, 1-7 in SWAC play. (Eric Shelton \ The Natchez Democrat)

LORMAN — Alcorn State had no problem moving the ball against Prairie View A&M Saturday afternoon. It was scoring that proved elusive.

And the Braves didn’t help themselves with four turnovers and 14 penalties for minus-120 yards as the Panthers (5-5, 5-3) pulled away in the third quarter en route to a 40-14 blowout loss for Alcorn.

Alcorn scored just once in two trips to the Panthers’ red zone, and Braves head coach Melvin Spears said inconsistency and lack of focus was the culprit.

“First-and-15, second-and-15 (killed us),” Spears said. “We’d have a great play here, then we’d come back and have some mishap. It really boils down to our focus. We have to continue to hone in on the finer things of the game. There’s no substitute for great discipline.”

After failing to score on its opening possession, Alcorn punted to Prairie View, and the Panthers’ Moses Ellis returned the punt 48 yards to the Alcorn 22. Two plays later, Prairie View got on the board with a 22-yard touchdown carry by Le’Darryae Groover. Chris Barrick missed the PAT, giving the Panthers a 6-0 lead.

But the Braves’ Terrance Lewis took the ensuing kickoff back 92 yards for Alcorn’s first touchdown of the day with 8:58 left in the first. Arturo Tamayo kicked the extra point, and Alcorn led 7-6.

It was the last time Alcorn would lead, however, as the Braves didn’t score again until the fourth quarter. Alcorn had a chance to add another touchdown midway though the second, but the Braves fumbled on the Prairie View 11, and the Panthers’ Chris Townsend returned the ball to the Prairie View 40.

The Panthers scored their second touchdown with 12:29 left in the second quarter on a 22-yard pass from Panthers quarterback Jerry Lovelocke to Greg Thurmond. Barrick made the PAT, giving the Panthers a 13-7 lead at the half.

Prairie View A&M University’s Le’Darryae Groover tries to avoid Alcorn’s Jermaine Turner during their game Saturday afternoon at Alcorn. (Eric Shelton \ The Natchez Democrat)

Prairie View scored three touchdowns in the third quarter to take a 33-7 lead after three. The first one came on a 13-yard run by Fred Anderson with 12:34 left. Olatundé Idowu added another touchdown in a 10-yard reception with 5:08 left.

Alcorn quarterback Darius Smith had an ill-advised throw late in the third quarter that set up a 65-yard interception return by Prairie View’s Chris King with 25 seconds left in the quarter.

Alcorn finally got back on the board with 14:06 left in the fourth when Smith hit Simon Collier on an 11-yard touchdown throw. Prairie View’s Courtney Brown scored the final touchdown of the game on a 10-yard run with 7:37 left.

Alcorn is now 2-7 overall, 1-7 in SWAC play. The Braves will travel to Jackson next weekend for the Capital City Classic against Jackson State (8-2, 6-2), and Spears said the records can be thrown out the window.

“The record really doesn’t matter,” Spears said. “We have to come out and play Brave football, but we have to play error-free football. We have to understand our fundamentals, we have to understand strategically what we’re doing with respect to our process and just come out and play hard.”