Saturday, October 2, 2010

Valley's late game heroics not enough in 34-13 loss to Prairie View A&M

GREENVILLE — Through two quarters Saturday, the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils played their best football of the season. They went into halftime trailing the Prairie View A&M Panthers 3-0, while holding the defending SWAC champions to only 142 yards.
Unfortunately, there’s four quarters in a football game.
And Prairie View took advantage of that, scoring 24 third quarter points on their way to a 34-13 victory over MVSU in front of an announced crowd of 2,210 at Greenville-Weston High School.
In order to get their first victory, MVSU (0-5, 0-4 SWAC) will have to come out with a second half spark during the rest of the season, said coach Karl Morgan.
“(We) have to get a better start in the second half......To give up 31 points, 24 in the third quarter is bad, poor. You can’t win that way,” he said.
Prairie View (2-3, 2-2 SWAC) wasted no time after intermission, capping off a 57-second drive with a 17-yard touchdown run by Donald Babers (26 carries, 151 yards, two touchdowns) to take a 10-0 lead.
MVSU, however, didn’t have a reason to panic until the middle of the third quarter after the Panthers put up 14 points in a little over three minutes — thanks to Shaun Stephens, who caught two touchdowns from K.J. Black, taking a 24-0 lead.
A Jerry Lovelocke 27-yard fieldgoal stretched the lead to 27-0 by the end of the third quarter.
The third quarter may have belonged to Prairie View.
But the fourth quarter was all MVSU — specifically Adrian Martin.
The 6-foo-4, 184 pound Stockbridge, Ga. native caught two touchdown passes (19, 52 yards) from Oliver Hughes to tighten the lead, 27-13 with just over nine minutes remaining.
But that was as close as the Delta Devils would get as the Panthers marched away with the victory, capping off the scoring with Babers’ second rushing touchdown of the game — this one from five yards out with two minutes remaining.
MVSU quarterback Oliver Hughes, who struggled throughout the first half, finished with 112 passing yards and two touchdowns to go along with a interception. He went 9-of-22 through the air and gained 37 yards on the ground.
MVSU also had one of their best rushing outings, finishing with 135 yards on the ground. Christopher Watkins led the way with 78 yards on 16 carries. Stephen Roberts added 49 yards on seven attempts.
Martin had two catches for 71 yards and two touchdowns.
The Delta Devils knocked heralded quarterback Black out of the game for some of the second quarter, but he still finished with 230 yards and two touchdowns, going 22-of-37.
As a team, Prairie View outgained the Delta Devils 398 to 247. The Panthers rushed for 168 yards compared to the Devils’ 135.
Despite the loss, Morgan said he was glad the crowd come out to support MVSU — and he hopes to see them at the other two scheduled games at Greenville-Weston High.
“It was a good atmosphere; they had some tailgating going on. I thought it was positive,” said Morgan. “I enjoyed the fact that people came, and hopefully we’ll have more (fans) at the next game — which is against Grambling (Oct. 23).”

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