Alabama State coach Reggie Barlow said one of the most impressive aspects of last weekend’s win over Prairie View A&M was the Hornets’ resilience in battling back from an early 14-0 deficit to grab momentum on the road. Then, when it was lost in a one hour, 50-minute lightning delay at halftime, regaining the momentum a second time to post a crucial win that allowed Alabama State to remain atop the Southwestern Athletic Conference East Division standings.
“All week, we talked to our guys about how this was a set-up game,” Barlow said. “It’s always difficult to travel to Prairie View. Thank God we did fly. But the whole setup – the stadium isn’t your typical stadium, the atmosphere is a little different, you have to walk a long way from the locker room to the field — sometimes, you can get all those external things in your head that allow you to be focused on that and not the game.
“When we got out there, the guys did have energy in the warmups, but once the game kicked off, it just seemed like we didn’t overcome the whole thought process of what was going on (with surroundings) and the next thing you know we’re down 14-0. But the guys got back focused and the second quarter was huge for us.”
The Hornets forced four turnovers, turned them into two touchdowns and a pair of field goals, and took a 20-14 lead into the locker room.
“We got a little momentum going in at halftime and then the lightning paused it for two hours,” Barlow said. “It’s almost like that momentum was taken away from us.”
After a Prairie View touchdown gave the Panthers a 21-20 lead, Alabama State regrouped with a pair of touchdowns off of special teams miscues, while the defense did their job in an increasingly difficult situation as field conditions deteriorated.
“I commend the guys,” Barlow said. “It’s a tough game, to go there and play in that atmosphere. The players did a good job of staying in there and fighting through it. The guys found a way to remove the clutter that would have prevented us from having an opportunity to win.”