Lorman, Miss. – Clinching its fourth straight SWAC East Division crown, the Alcorn State University football program blanked Mississippi Valley State 59-0 Saturday on Senior Day at Jack Spinks-Marino Casem Stadium.
The Braves (7-3, 5-1 SWAC) become the first team in the history of the league to play in four consecutive SWAC Championship games. Alcorn outgained MVSU (2-8, 1-5 SWAC) 746-215 in total yards. The 746 for the Braves was 10 shy of the school record of 756 set in 1994 against Grambling State. The Braves also outrushed the Delta Devils 424-to-negative 11.
Sophomore quarterback Noah Johnson threw for 297 yards and three touchdowns, and rushed for 122 yards and two touchdowns. All three of his touchdown passes were caught by senior Norlando Veals who ended with a career-high 253 receiving yards.
Senior running back De'Lance Turner registered 171 yards on the ground with two touchdowns. Junior P.J. Simmons, the reigning SWAC Newcomer of the Week winner, posted 97 rushing yards and a touchdown. Defensively, the Braves intercepted three passes and forced a fumble. Interceptions were made by senior Jalen Thomas, junior Leishaun Ealey and sophomore Allen Bruce.
Senior Michael Brooks wrapped up a team-high seven tackles. MVSU was led by Dewayne Betts who threw for 158 yards off the bench. Delorean Parker stood out defensively with 11 tackles and 2.0 tackles for a loss. Alcorn scored on its second possession of the game. After an 11-yard rush by Turner, Johnson scrambled up the middle for 37 yards and a touchdown.
It was a quick 28-second drive to put the Braves up 7-0. Alcorn had good field position after a short 22-yard punt by the Delta Devils on the previous possession.
On Alcorn's next possession, the Braves faced on 3rd and 15 deep in their own territory when Johnson aired it out and Veals made a leaping grab for a gain of 52 yards. Another first down catch by Veals of 11 yards moved the ball to the MVSU 16. The Braves capped the drive with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Veals in the right corner to make it a 14-0 game near the end of the first quarter.
Alcorn's defense backed the Delta Devils up the entire second quarter. It was highlighted by a big sack by junior Trae Ferrell, and strong coverage by Bruce on a pair of deep passes. The strong defense paid dividends for the Braves as the offense started with good field position at the MVSU 45 late in the second quarter. Alcorn cashed in with a 36-yard touchdown by Turner through the left to increase the edge to 21-0 with 2:44 left.