Prairie View A&M was its own worst enemy as they committed five turnovers in a 42-30 loss to Alabama A&M University on Saturday night at Lewis Crews Stadium.
Alabama A&M struck first as the Bulldogs needed only one play to score as quarterback Deaunte Mason threw a 36-yard strike with 8:30 remaining in the first quarter. The Panthers responded with a quickness on the ensuing drive as they went to the run and came up successful as Fred Anderson capped off a six-play, 77-yard drive with a 6-yard run. Chris Barrick’s PAT was good as the Panthers knotted the game at 7-all.
Mason struck again early in the second stanza as he connected with Bobby Goldsby on a 13-yard pass at the 11:34 mark. Chance Wilson’s PAT was good as Alabama A&M jumped on top 14-7. After a short AAMU punt midway in the second quarter, Prairie View A&M took advantage of the generous field position as quarterback De’Auntre Smiley rushed in from 14 yards out. The PAT from Barrick was good as the Panthers knotted the game at 14 apiece.
The Panther defense forced an AAMU punt on the next drive but the Panther offense gave the Bulldogs a gift as they fumbled on the first play of the drive. Alabama A&M took advantage of the gift and scored in five plays as Mason’s 9-yard scamper upped their lead to a touchdown margin over the Panthers.
Once again, the Panthers fought back as they put forth a successful one-minute drill that spanned 65 yards in only five plays as wideout Deandre Cooper caught a 9-yard slant pattern from Smiley to climb within 21-20. Barrick’s PAT was successful as the Panthers entered the half tied at 21-all.
PV took its first lead of the game with 8:06 left in the third quarter as Barrick nailed a 28-yard field goal. The drive began on a positive note as Spencer Nelson had a huge punt return coupled with a big fourth down conversion from Smiley.
Following the field goal, AAMU answered with a nine-play, 77-yard drive to jump ahead 28-27 with 41 seconds left in third stanza. As the fourth quarter began, the Panthers moved the chains and reclaimed a 30-28 lead as Barrick connected on a 30-yard field goal with 12:09 left.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Alabama A&M reclaimed a 35-30 advantage as they drove 63 yards in six plays. The play that broke PV’s back occurred on a 3rd-and-5 as Mason found Goldsby for a 40-yard strike. The Bulldogs scored the go-ahead score on Mason’s 4-yard pass to Goldsby with 5:45 left on the clock.
On PV’s next drive, an Alabama A&M defender tipped Smiley’s pass and the ball landed in hands of a fellow Bulldog for a huge interception which gave AAMU the ball at PV’s 19. Three plays later, the Panthers fell behind by 12 as Mason scored on a 7-yard run. Down by 12, the Panthers attempted to narrow their deficit but turned the ball over on downs while attempting to move down the field.
Prairie View A&M finished with 419 total offensive yards ( 121 P, 298 R) to 421 yards from Alabama A&M.
The Panthers remain on the road next weekend with a trip to Fargo, N.D. to face North Dakota State at 3 p.m.