Southern University opened the 2021 spring season Friday night with a 24-21 victory on the road over Alabama State.
The Jaguars are now 2-0 on the season due to Alcorn State opting out of the season, thus forfeiting the contest.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Southern (1-0) got the scoreboard first with a defensive touchdown. Chase Foster intercepted Alabama State’s Ryan Nettles and returned it 14 yards for the touchdown.
That defensive touchdown was the lone score in the first half until the Hornets scored shortly before halftime.
Alabama State quarterback Ryan Nettles connected with Jeremiah Hixon for a 32-yard touchdown. At halftime, the game was tied 7-7.
Southern took the lead by scoring on the opening drive of the third quarter.
The Jaguars put together a 7-play, 45-yard touchdown drive which was capped by a 8-yard touchdown run by Ladarius Skelton.
The Hornets responded by producing two touchdown drives in the final 10 minutes of the quarter. Nettles threw a 14-yard touchdown to Michael Jefferson and then Jacory Merritt scored on a one-yard touchdown run.
Southern tied the game early in the fourth when Skelton found tight end Gregory Perkins for a 59-yard touchdown. A few minutes later after forcing an Alabama State punt, Southern’s Cesar Barajas kicked a 41-yard field goal.
The Jaguars would hold on to that three-point lead as the Hornets’ final drive came up short. Alabama State went 47 yards on 13 plays but Hunter Hanson’s game-tying field goal of 44 yards went wide left.
BIG NUMBER: 6
Alabama State bested Southern in several categories on Friday. The Hornets dominated the time of possession (36:16) and first downs (22). Alabama State though didn’t have any answer for Southern’s pass rush which recorded six sacks in the contest. Defensive end Jordan Lewis led the way for the Jaguars as he sacked Nettles four times.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME: Ladarius Skelton & Jordan Lewis.
Skelton completed 10-of-22 passes for 135 yards with one touchdown and no interception. Skelton also led the Jaguars in rushing with 10 carries for 72 yards and one touchdown. Lewis meanwhile led the team in tackles (11), solo tackles (8), tackles for a loss (5) and sacks (4).
UP NEXT: Southern (2-0, 2-0 SWAC) will host Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Saturday. Kickoff at A.W. Mumford Stadium is set for 1:30 p.m.