Hornet hopes fading for SWAC title

Alabama State players and coaches knew that loss at Jackson State the second week of the season was costly, but it’s looking a lot more like the only obstacle that can keep the Hornets out of the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship Game.

In the last two weeks, Rick Comegy’s squad has eaked out victories at Southern and at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, the two best chances to derail the Tigers’ championship hopes. Because it’s a division loss, the Tigers would have to lose twice (while Alabama State remains unbeaten in conference play) to earn the trip to Houston.

Jackson State plays at Mississippi Valley State and at home against Grambling the next two weeks. An Oct. 26 matchup against Prairie View A&M in Shreveport is the only realistic opponent that could beat Jackson. After a Nov. 9 game with Alabama A&M, the Tigers close out with Alcorn.

ASU, meanwhile, faces that same high-powered Prairie View A&M team this weekend at Hornet Stadium in a game that is crucial to both teams’ championship dreams. If you’ve got nothing better to do on Saturday at 1 p.m., it should be entertaining. Alabama State ranks No. 1 in the conference in scoring offense and rushing offense, while Prairie View ranks second and third, respectively. The roles are reversed in the total offense statistics, with Prairie View having a slight edge over ASU on the strength of the league’s second-rated passing offense. (ASU is sixth).

“They are a really good team and very explosive on offense,” ASU coach Reggie Barlow said. “Their special teams are good, their guys are playing hard and they have a lot of playmakers. They play two guys at quarterback and they play really fast on offense and they have a lot of weapons. It will be a big game for us and we really have to get ready to play against a tough and exciting team. We will be looking forward to it.”

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About tgayle

Tim Gayle is a sports reporter for the Montgomery Advertiser newspaper and montgomeryadvertiser.com.
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