As the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff Football Team continues to grow into a winning program, it suffered another disappointing setback on Saturday afternoon in southeast Texas.
PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas – As the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff Football Team continues to grow into a winning program, it suffered a disappointing setback on Saturday afternoon in southeast Texas.
The Golden Lions (5-5, 2-4 Southwestern Athletic Conference) lost 37-20 to host Prairie View A&M (4-5, 3-3) at Panther Stadium. It was UAPB’s third consecutive loss this season and the program’s seventh straight loss to Prairie View.
Both teams struggled for the first part of a scoreless first quarter, but the Golden Lions moved the ball to the Prairie View 11-yard line when redshirt junior wide receiver Harry Ballard III fumbled.
The Panthers recovered and went on to score the next 23 points.
““Anytime you turn over the football, it’s demoralizing,” UAPB head coach Cedric Thomas said. “It caught up with us.”
It was the only turnover of the game – for either time – but it proved to be a costly one.
Luckily for the Golden Lions, there’s a silver lining. They have a chance to earn their first winning season since 2012 (when they were SWAC Champions) if they defeat Texas Southern on Senior Day, November 23.
“Our eight seniors have played an important role in building the foundation for the program,” Thomas said. “We’ll return 75 players next season.”
Against Prairie View, Thomas said UAPB had an emphasis on stopping the running game. He said they were able to do that for a portion of the game, but the Panthers outgained them 211-119, including a 100-yard, three touchdown performance by Panthers senior Dawonya Tucker, the second-leading rusher in the SWAC.
UAPB senior running back Taeyler Porter led the Golden Lions with 65 rushing yards. Thomas said the Panthers’ defensive line, led by sophomore Jason Dumas, proved to be a formidable opponent. He also noted that third downs (3 of 14) were problematic for UAPB.
Golden Lions quarterbacks Skyler Perry (sophomore) and Shannon Patrick (redshirt junior) have split time throughout the season.
Perry started against Prairie View, completing 7 of 17 passes for 83 yards. He bruised his hand and couldn’t grip the football, so Thomas went with Patrick in the second half.
Patrick completed 15 of 23 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns, eclipsing 2,000 yards on the season. He also rushed for a one-yard touchdown. The Golden Lions outgained the Panthers, 320-250, through the air.
Thomas said if healthy, Perry, will start the season finale against Texas Southern.
Ballard, who transferred to UAPB from the University of Missouri, led the Golden Lions with 108 receiving yard and a touchdown. Sophomore receiver DeJuan Miller caught seven passes for 91 yards and a touchdown.
Redshirt senior free safety Blake Conner and junior linebacker Kolby Watts led the Golden Lions defensively with 10 tackles apiece, and redshirt junior linebacker A.C. Gilliam added nine. Senior defensive end Jalen Steward had eight tackles, including 3.5 tackles for a loss.