Hornets come up short against the Panthers


Khalil Stewart, Sports and Intramurals Editor

Despite the Hornets putting up nearly 400 yards of total offense, they could not overcome their turnover woes. The Alabama State University Hornets fell to the Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical University Panthers 24-15. The conference opener for the Hornets took place Sept. 24 at The New ASU Stadium in Montgomery, Alabama.
Hornet head coach Eddie Robinson Jr. spoke on the loss, “We had too many turnovers.” He continued, “This is a team we matched up well with today, but they executed better.”
After having an opportunity to make it a one possession game with six minutes left, the Hornets squandered an opportunity with their third turnover of the game on a fumble lost by freshman quarterback Dematrius Davis. Panthers quarterback Trazon Connely took advantage of the field position as he connected with sophomore receiver Chris Herron with a touchdown, securing the 24-15 victory.
The Hornet special teams struggled with freshman kicker Nathanial Elchner missing two of his three field goals. The first one came after a strong first offensive drive that saw Davis connected with junior wide receiver Jeremiah Hixon on three-straight possessions, putting them in field goal range. The second kick, from 39-yards out, was missed as the first half expired.
The Panthers had immediate success in their first possession as Panther sophomore running back Jaden Stewart broke through the Hornet defense for a 17-yard gain. Connely juked Hornet junior lineman Stefon Young-Rollie for an 18-yard touchdown run, giving them a 7-0 advantage.
The Hornets responded with a score of their own, courtesy of a drive where Davis tossed a 17-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver La’Vontae Shenault, making the score 7-6. Special teams woes continued for the Hornets after a missed extra point by Elchner.
In the second quarter, the Hornets converted four straight first downs. Just when momentum looked to be going in the Hornets favor, a poor snap led to a fumble recovery for the Panthers. Three plays later, the Panthers extended their lead, after Connely scrambled for a two-yard touchdown, putting the score at 14-6 going into halftime.
Both teams traded field goals in the third quarter leading to the Panthers having a 17-9 lead going into the final quarter of play.
In the fourth quarter, Panther sophomore running back, Ahmad Antoine broke through the Hornet defense for a 27-yard rush, which flipped field position in favor of the Panthers. Junior safety Demaurez Bellamy stopped Panther quarterback Trazon Connley short of the first down, forcing a field goal try. Hornet junior safety Irshaad Davis blocked the field goal attempt and returned it to the Prairie View 16-yard line.
However, the Panthers picked off Davis in the end zone and the drive started on the 1-yard line. Hornet senior cornerback Cail Jackson picked off Connely and returned it for 19 yards, placing the ball at the Prairie View three-yard line.
Freshman running back Ja’Won Howell punched the ball in the end zone for a touchdown, cutting the Panther’s lead to two and putting the score at 17-15. The Hornet defense carried the momentum as they shut down the Panther’s following drive forcing a punt.
Next for the Hornets, they will travel to Houston, Texas, to face off against the Texas Southern University Tigers Oct. 1.