Alcorn State downs Miles College in season opener, 50-21

Published 12:07 am Sunday, September 3, 2017

Alcorn State University football coach Fred McNair doesn’t care how the job gets done, as long as it’s done.

The Braves climbed its way to an opening-game victory over Miles College Saturday, 50-21, with scores coming on the ground, through the air, on kicks and on special teams.

“That’s a part of the game plan. Every week we strive to do that as far as passing, running, special teams and playing great defense. We just try to do it to perfection every week,” McNair said.

Email newsletter signup

With effort coming from all directions, McNair noted he still sees one area that needs major improvement.

Alcorn committed 17 penalties for 166 yards.

“We just have to delete some of these penalties. We played a great ball game without those,” McNair said. “If we execute the way we should without penalties, the outcome would be even better. Though, we are definitely happy about the win.”

Senior quarterback Lenorris Footman did the bulk of work offensively for Alcorn during the first half, rushing for two touchdowns and passing for another. Footman was responsible for all but four of Alcorn’s 328 yards during the first two quarters, passing for 241 and rushing for 83. He found the end zone on runs of 14 and 6 yards.

“He’s come out as a leader. As he goes, this offense goes,” McNair said. “We talked about it as a coaching staff, and the things he can do with the football are electrifying.”

Just four seconds before halftime, Footman pitched a 20-yard score to senior running back De’Lance Turner.

After the four-minute drive just before the half, the Braves led, 24-7.

“That’s a 17-point swing we are talking about there,” McNair said. “Before halftime you get a chance to score, and after the half we receive the ball for another chance to score again. I think De’Lance did a great job on receiving the ball. Being able to catch the ball out the backfield and what he can do with it after the catch just shows off his athleticism. We just keep building on it, and keep making it work.“

Miles College quickly regrouped to start the second half, intercepting Footman for a 42-yard touchdown.

On the first play from scrimmage after the kickoff, however, the Braves responded as Turner ran 88 yards to the end zone down the right side. He finished the game rushing for 128 yards on just eight carries.

Footman ended with two interceptions, going 21-for-28 with 241 yards.

“On that interception, I wish he would have just held the ball. We would have gotten a lot more yards if he would have just ran it,” McNair said. “But, it was big to come back and respond. That’s what we always try to do.”

As Alcorn pulled away in the third quarter, Marquis Warford scored on a 72-yard punt return and P.J. Simmons added another long scoring run from 64 yards out.

Corey McCullough also made field goals from 45, 27 and 26 yards in the win.

Though the defense didn’t score, Alcorn’s Damien Anderson, Trae Ferrell and Matthew Stewart each recovered fumbles.

“On behalf of Braves football, we try and put a brand on what we do,” McNair said. “What can I say, (Miles Vollege) Coach (Reginald) Ruffin brought a pretty good team here. I feel like they played a hard-fought ball game.”

Alcorn (1-0) is set to travel to Miami next week to take on Florida International University at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Alcorn St. 50, Miles 21

Miles 7 0 7 7 —21

Alcorn St. 14 10 16 10 —50

First Quarter

ALCN_Footman 14 run (McCullough kick), 8:42.

ALCN_Footman 6 run (McCullough kick), 2:15.

MILES_Hardy 83 run (Christiansen kick), 2:00.

Second Quarter

ALCN_FG McCullough 45, 7:48.

ALCN_Turner 20 pass from Footman (McCullough kick), 0:04.

Third Quarter

MILES_Floyd 42 interception return (Christiansen kick), 14:40.

ALCN_Turner 88 run (McCullough kick), 14:10.

ALCN_FG McCullough 27, 3:55.

ALCN_Warford 72 punt return (kick blocked), 2:55.

Fourth Quarter

MILES_Tyree 47 pass from Cordier (Christiansen kick), 14:48.

ALCN_Simmons 64 run (McCullough kick), 13:43.

ALCN_FG McCullough 26, 6:53.


First downs 10 25

Rushes-yards 40-167 35-303

Passing 76 279

Comp-Att-Int 5-11-0 24-35-2

Return Yards 173 145

Punts-Avg. 7-33.4 2-52.0

Fumbles-Lost 3-3 0-0

Penalty-Yards 5-41 17-166

Time of Possession 25:22 34:38


RUSHING_Miles, J. Hardy 15-111, L. Cordier 16-29, C. Mays 4-13, S. Marshall 2-8, G. Jackson 3-6. Alcorn St., D. Turner 8-128, P. Simmons 11-95, L. Footman 12-92, N. Johnson 3-2, M. Warford 1-(minus 14).

PASSING_Miles, L. Cordier 5-11-0-76. Alcorn St., L. Footman 21-28-2-241, N. Johnson 3-7-0-38.

RECEIVING_Miles, L. Tyree 1-47, J. Walker 2-21, J. Hardy 2-8. Alcorn St., N. Veals 6-81, M. Warford 7-69, C. Hughes 3-49, D. Turner 4-38, R. Anderson 1-21, J. Boles 1-13, K. Everett 1-11, T. Johnson 1-(minus 3).