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Tigers Score 38-28 Win Over Samford
Friday, November 9, 2007

Tigers Outduel Samford, 38-28 On National TV

Tennessee State University had to utilize all their resources to gain a 38-28 Ohio Valley Conference win over Samford University in an ESPNU telecast game from Birmingham, Alabama. With the win, TSU evens their overall record at 5-5.

The Tigers’ win hinged on several key performances by Big Blue players. RB Javarris Williams rushed for 105 yards, QB Calvin McNairl rushed for two touchdowns and passed for another, DE Shaun Richardson scored on an intercepted pass and PK Eric Benson booted a 33 yard FG to give TSU a diversity of scoring in the win.

Samford scored first, on their third possession, moving the ball 77 yards on five plays for a TD at 6:43. Tennessee State retaliated with a six play, 29 yard drive for a TD at the 3:38 mark on a Calvin McNairl 2-yard run.

At the end of the first quarter Samford drove to the Tigers 1-yard line and scored as the second quarter begins for a 14-7 lead at 14:57. After a botched onside kick by the Bulldogs at the Samford 38 yd line and an unsportsmanlike penalty, TSU moves for a TD and a 14-14 tie at the 12:44 mark after a McNairl 1-yard run.

Following a failed Samford 40 yd FG, the Tigers drove 67 yards in four plays to move ahead 21-14 at 5:08 on a 10 yd TD pass from McNairl to Brandon Jackson. On the next Samford possession a trick flea-flicker pass was intercepted by Larry Williford at the Samford 35 (4:38).

Later in the quarter, Samford QB Jeff Adcock’s attempted screen pass was intercepted by Shawn Richardson, who returned the pick for a TD, his second defensive TD of the season, putting the Tigers ahead 28-14 with 1:11 remaining.

At the end of the quarter, Samford drove 69 yards in 8 plays, to score a TD on an acrobatic catch by Jeff Lowery to close the score to 28-21 with 0:12 remaining. The half ended 28-21, TSU.

The only scoring in the third quarter came from TSU’s Eric Benson’s 33 yard FG at 5:49, culminating a 15-play 84 yd drive originating from the TSU 1-yd line. TSU took a 31-21 lead into the fourth quarter.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Samford drove for a TD at 5:10, to close the score to 31-28 after a 16-play, 57 yard drive, The Tigers fought back with a TD on a 4-yard run by Terrence Wright with 1:46 remaining for the final margin of victory 38-28. With no timeouts remaining, Samford made a last effort to score, but the drive ended on the TSU 6-yard line after a game-ending tackle by LB Mark Drew.

Tennessee State will play their last game of the 2007 on Saturday, November 17th when they host Tennessee-Martin at LP Field in Nashville. That will be the last game in quest of the Sgt. (Alvin) York Trophy. TSU leads 2-0 in the series competition among the four Tennessee OVC schools.