Tennessee State University celebrates its 82nd Homecoming Game on Saturday, Sept. 29 when the Tigers host the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions. The game is slated for a 5 p.m. kickoff at LP Field.
This is the final non-conference game of the season for the Tigers as TSU went on the road and took down the #1 ranked HBCU in the country, defeating Bethune-Cookman, 21-14, last Saturday afternoon.
The TSU offense has gotten off to slow starts this season, but that wasn't this case vs. the Wildcats as Michael German connected with tight end A.C. Leonard for an 80-yard completion on the second play of the game. Trabis Ward would score from four yards out on the next play to put the Tigers up 7-0 only one minute, 15 seconds into the game.
German finished the game completing nine of 17 passes for 154 yards and an interception.
On TSU's first full drive of the 2nd quarter, Trabis Ward would find the end zone for the second time in the game, this time from six yards out to give the Tigers a two touchdown edge. The Tigers converted a 4th and 4 on the B-CU 33-yard line to extend the drive when German completed a 24 yard catch-and-run to Travis James.
Ward had 27 rushes, one away from tying his career-high set in the season opener, for 154 yards and two scores. He now has seven touchdowns on the season and has scored at least once in every game this season.
The Tennessee State victory snapped an eight-game winning streak by Bethune-Cookman against FCS opponents dating back to October of last season. It's also the first home loss for the Wildcats since September 10, 2011.
TSU starts a season 4-0 for the first time since 2008. The last time the Tigers started the season 5-0 was in 2001 when they started 6-0.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff improved to 3-1 on the season as they proved that they can be legitimate contenders for a SWAC Championship defeating Alabama State 24-21 on September 20, in front of 18,000 people and a national broadcast audience.
The Golden Lions got on the scoreboard first when Justin Billings scored on a one yard run, to cap off a nine play, 80 yard drive with 8:09 left in the first quarter. Alabama State would answer back when Isaiah Crowell scored from four yards out to tie the ballgame at seven. Not to be outdone, UAPB quarterback, Ben Anderson found Ladrius Eckwood on a 27 yard touchdown toss to give the Golden Lions a 14-7 going into the half
The Hornets came out of the locker room for the second half and took the opening drive 82 yards on ten plays to tie the ballgame at 14-14. But once again, the Golden Lions proved to be clicking on all cylinders when place kicker Tyler Strickland nailed a 50 yard field goal to give the Golden Lions a 17-14 lead at the 5:24 mark of the third quarter.
Billings would find pay dirt one more time as he galloped 39 yards for his second touchdown of the contest. Billings lead all rushers with 127 yards on 12 carries. Alabama State would score one more time on 17 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Greg Jenkins to Justin Robinson to push the score to 24-21. The Hornets came close to tying the ballgame but came up short on a missed field goal attempt late in the fourth quarter.
Defensively, the Golden Lions were lead by Alabama native Bill Ross, who tallied 10 stops and one sack on the evening. Brandon Roberts of Alabama State had 15 stops, respectively.
This is the first ever meeting in football between the two schools.