Nowhere to run: Jackson State limits Alcorn’s ground game to win division game, 7-3

Published 1:02 am Sunday, November 19, 2017

By Ernest Bowker

The Vicksburg Post

JACKSON — Alcorn State’s powerful running game never got revved up Saturday, and the Braves blew a tire on the road to the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship game.

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Archrival Jackson State held Alcorn to 140 rushing yards — more than 100 below its average — and used a 69-yard touchdown run by Terrell Kennedy late in the first half to beat the Braves 7-3 at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Alcorn (7-3, 5-2 SWAC) had already clinched the SWAC East Division title and will still get to play in the conference championship game Dec. 2 against either Grambling or Southern University. It will head to Houston with a couple of broken streaks and a need to get back on track.

Saturday’s loss marked the first time Alcorn has failed to score a touchdown since a 56-0 loss to Arkansas State on Sept. 22, 2012, and snapped an 11-game winning streak within the division.

Alcorn had 746 total yards last week in a 59-0 rout against Mississippi Valley State.

“We were prepared defensively. I think that we just didn’t execute on offense. They didn’t do anything special or spectacular, we just didn’t execute on offense. That was it,” said Alcorn quarterback Noah Johnson, who was 15-of-25 passing for 199 yards on Saturday, and added 70 rushing yards on 17 carries.

Jackson State (3-8, 3-4) snapped a two-game losing streak against Alcorn and finished its season on a positive note. After losing their first seven games, the Tigers won three of four down the stretch. In those four games, they allowed a total of 28 points and only two touchdowns.

“Our defense started to play well about three weeks ago. We began to play dominant defense with a lot of young players. We were without three starters. We had true freshmen and walk-ons playing today,” JSU coach Tony Hughes said, adding of the significance of the victory, “It’s up there at the top. Nobody