HOUSTON -- For over two decades the Labor Day Classic has been a noteworthy tradition for Texas Southern University and Prairie View A&M University and on September 5 at Reliant Stadium the tradition continued.
The festivities kicked off at 2 p.m. on the Budweiser concert stage. Performances by local artists like Fat Pimp and Just Brittany were well received by the audience who cheered outside before the game, reminiscent to a pep rally.
This is the 24th year for the Labor Day Classic and features Southwestern Athletic Conference rivals Prairie View A&M University and Texas Southern University. This heavily anticipated event had bragging rights on the line for families, marching bands and cheerleaders this past Labor Day Weekend.
"I graduated in 1995 from Texas Southern University and I have been coming to the Labor Day Classic ever since," said James Wright.
The first ever Labor Day Classic was played in the Astrodome during the 1985 showdown and featured current TSU head coach Johnnie Cole throwing two touchdowns en route to TSU capturing a 19-7 victory over the PVAMU Panthers.
Over 25,000 fans were present to witness that victory and the birth of one of Houston’s most successful football rivalries.
The 2010 kickoff took place at 4p.m. and the first quarter set the tone for the entire game. Alumni shirts from both schools flooded each side of the arena displaying maroon on one side and purple on the opposing side.
"I am so excited to be here and I am sure Prairie View will win," said Jocquelyn Murray, who is a proud PVAMU alumna from Pearland.
Going into the second quarter the Panthers were on top leading 7-0.
Excitement filled the arena like helium in a balloon during the second quarter.
"Many people thought Prairie View was going to beat the TSU Tigers, but right before halftime the tables turned quickly," said University of Houston student Austin Bernard.
With 2:24 seconds left in the second quarter, TSU tied the game 7-7.
The TSU Tigers’ band kicked off halftime with a show-stopping performance. The first song they played was "September" by Earth Wind and Fire accompanied by an ocean wave of flags from its precise Color Guard squad.
A mock PVAMU tuba player dressed in the Panther’s signature purple and gold interrupted TSU’s show which was humorously pulled off.
After a short dance routine, TSU’s Ocean of Soul marched off the field to DJ Khaled’s "All I Do Is Win."
The PVAMU Panthers’ band entered the field marching to The Isley Brothers’ "Who’s That Lady?"
"We rehearsed all summer to make sure the performance was close to perfect," said Brandon Wallace, a PVAMU trombone player.
The Panthers’ exhilarating dance routine featured a variety of current and old hits.
Ultimately, their rousing dance moves to Dallas Blocker’s "Rock Ya Body" had the entire audience out of their seats grooving.
The bands fled the field and the football players moved back to their respected sides to break the tied game score of 7-7.
The pressure was on after PVAMU scored a second touchdown bumping the score up from 14-7. TSU was unable to add any points to the scoreboard by the end of the third quarter.
TSU fans were pretty quiet during the fourth quarter especially after PVAMU scored a safety making the score 16-7 with 9:28 seconds left.
TSU was only able to score one additional touchdown, but the Panthers took home the victory with a final score of 16-14.
"PV has beaten us the last few years, but the Tigers are coming back strong in 2011," said Allyson Bird, a sophomore at TSU.