ARLINGTON, TX – Running back Jacorey Howard scored on a 4-yard run with :39 seconds left, his third TD of the game, to propel Texas Southern to a stunning last-mnute 35-31 win over Southern here Saturday evening.
It was the first win for TSU in this SWAC West Division rivalry since the Tigers beat the Jaguars 29-15 in 2011. It was also the first SWAC win for third-year head coach Clarence McKinney.
TSU had ended a 36-month losing streak overall dating back 36 months last week with a 69-0 win at homecoming over little known North American. The win does not count in the standings. This one does.
“I couldn’t be more proud of this team,” said McKinney after the win. “A total team effort and great win for the program.”
Prior to the late Howard TD, TSU freshman QB Andre Body had set the pace for the Tigers amassing 423 yards of total offense. Body completed 28 of 35 passes for 338 yards and also led the Tigers’ rushing attack with 85 yards on 16 carries. Though he did not connect on a TD pass, Body’s passing and running kept Southern honest and opened the way for the Tigers (1-3, 1-1 SWAC W) to rush for 238 yards and all five of their touchdowns.
Southern, however was more prolific on the ground, totalling 322 rushing yards. Devon Benn led the way with 151 yards while Kobe Dillon had 96. The Jags scored all four of their TDs on the ground also.
Howard scored on an 11-yard run in the first quarter answering a 2-yard score by Dillon.
Texas Southern RB LaDarius Owens scored on a 19-yard run with just 1:10 left in the second quarter to put the Tigers up 14-7. But the Jaguars answered, connecting on a 45-yard field goal by Luke Jackson at the halftime buzzer to pull within 14-10.
The teams took turns taking the lead in the second half after TSU went up 21-10 on a 2-yard Owens run on the first possession of the second half. Southern came back to take a 24-21 lead scoring on Marquis McClain’s 65-yard run followed by a 4-yard scoring run by Benn with 7:16 left in the third period.
TSU drove 80 yards in five plays and reclaimed the lead at 28-24 two minutes later on Howard’s 1-yard run.
Southern went up in the see-saw affair 31-28 at the 8:04 mark of the final period when quarterback Gendon McDonald went in on a 2-yard run. The score came at the end of a 10-play, 82-yard drive.
TSU punted in its next possession and then stopped Southern on 4th-and-1 at the Southern 44 to set up the final drive. Body completed four passes in the 7-play, 44-yard game-winning drive before taking off on a 21-yard run to the Southern 4. Howard scored on the next play.
Southern got the ball back and penetrated to the TSU 31 before McDonald’s final pass was intercepted by TSU’s Joshual Murray to end the game.