Shannon Patrick’s 17-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Brown on the final play of the game gave the University of Arkansas At Pine Bluff football team a dramatic 37-31 win over Tennessee State at Hale Stadium.
UAPB improves to 3-1 overall for the first time since 2012 and have won three in a row also for the first time in seven years in defeating Tennessee State (1-3) for the first time in five series meetings.
After Tennessee State tied tie game at 31-all with 50 seconds remaining, Patrick drove the Golden Lions 75 yards in seven plays. Patrick completed passes of 16, seven, and 35 yards to Harry Ballard III to move the football to the TSU 17. After a pair of incompletions and a final timeout with by UAPB with four second remaining, Patrick connected with Brown on the scoring pass down the seam on the left hash mark on the final play for the walkoff win.
“It’s just a testament to them doing everything right,” said UAPB head coach Cedric Thomas, who’s team as surpassed the season win totals of 2016 (one), 2017 (two), and 2018 (two) and have won three games in a row for the first time since 2012. “Last year, I told them we wouldn’t have won this football game. We didn’t do things right. We didn’t do things right in the community. We didn’t do it right in the classroom, and on the football field…The young men are going to church, they are believing what we are saying. They are being respectful in the community and they are going to class. It’s a direct reflection of what’s happening on the football field.”
In a game that saw three touchdowns scored in the final 3:51, the Golden Lions extended to a 31-24 lead with a 10-play, 85-yard drive. Patrick’s 40-yard completion to Brown on third and seven moved UAPB into Tiger territory, with the drive ending with a Ballard three-scoring run to extend the lead to 31-24 prior to TSU’s game-tying drive before the exciting finish.
Patrick completed 14 of 21 passes for 253 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Ballard posted his third straight 100-yard receiving game with seven catches for 112 yards. Porter rushed 18 times for 107 yards and two touchdowns, and caught two passes for 33 yards and a touchdown. Keshawn Williams rushed 13 times for 84 yards and one touchdown, caught two passes for 22 yards, and had 76 yards on three kickoff returns.
UAPB scored first on a 74-yard, eight play drive ending with Porter’s three-yard scoring run and a 7-0 lead with 9:23 to play in the first quarter.
After TSU tied the game late in the first quarter, UAPB scored a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter. Porter’s 20-yard scoring pass from Patrick, followed by Porter’s 12-yard scoring run prior late in the first half extended the lead to 19-7.
With UAPB leading 19-10 entering the third quarter, Tennessee State scored back-to-back touchdowns to take its first lead at 24-19 with just under four minutes to play in the period.
Williams 35-yard kickoff return sparked the Golden Lions to regain the lead on the ensuing possession. The six-play, 60-yard drive led to Williams’ 22-yard scoring run and a 25-24 lead UAPB would take into the fourth quarter, setting up the exciting finish.
UAPB opens a four-game, five-week homestand with a SWAC Western Division game hosting Southern next Saturday at 6 p.m. It’s the Blackout game as all of Golden Lion Nation is encouraged to wear black to Simmons Bank Field.