Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s defense fell one play short.
On fourth down with less than a minute remaining, Chris Mitchell threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Fred Ragsdale, giving Alabama State a 12-10 victory Saturday night over the Golden Lions in Pine Bluff.
“These guys, these guys just refused to quit fighting,” Hornets coach Reggie Barlow said. “We were down and in a tough spot but we never quit.”
UAPB (1-2, 1-2 Southwestern Athletic Conference) led 10-6 in the fourth quarter, but a short punt by John Heflin gave Alabama State the ball at the Golden Lions’ 49-yard line. The Hornets (3-0, 2-0) then went on an 11-play drive, scoring the winning touchdown with 41 seconds to play.
UAPB is in the Football Championship Subdivision, which was formerly called Division I-AA. Central Arkansas, the state’s other FCS team, beat Tennessee-Martin 48-34.
In Division II on Saturday night, Henderson State lost 9-7 to Delta State, which is No. 7 in the AFCA Division II poll. Also, Arkansas Tech beat West Georgia 52-34, Ouachita Baptist beat Arkansas-Monticello 31-10, and Southern Arkansas beat West Alabama 31-17.
In a Division II game Thursday night, Harding lost to No. 3 North Alabama 58-17.
Arkansas Baptist lost to Blinn College 58-0 Saturday night in a junior college game.
UAPB trailed 6-0 entering the fourth quarter before a 26-yard field goal by Heflin cut the lead in half. The Golden Lions then got a break when Alabama State had a bad snap on a punt. Quarterback Johnathan Moore ran for a 7-yard touchdown with 9:10 remaining for a 10-6 lead.
Moore was just 8-of-25 for 83 yards, and UAPB’s Martell Mallet was held to 36 yards rushing.
Alabama State’s Jay Peck rushed for 129 yards, and Mitchell threw for 175 yards and two touchdowns.
Central Arkansas 48, Tennessee Martin 34
At Conway, Nathan Brown completed his first 14 passes, and Brent Grimes rushed for four touchdowns to lead the Bears.
Central Arkansas (1-2) led 27-6 at halftime after a pair of TD passes by Brown and two 1-yard touchdown runs by Grimes. Brown finished 20-of-23 for 250 yards.
Grimes rushed for 86 yards on the game and added scoring runs of 4 and 2 yards in the second half. Tennessee-Martin (0-3) rallied to 41-27, but Jarrod Dale scored on a 96-yard interception return for the Bears to put the game away.
Don Chapman ran for 104 yards and a touchdown for the visiting Skyhawks.
Delta State 9, Henderson State 7
At Cleveland, Miss., Jamarcus Wiggins blocked two short field goals in the final minutes to preserve Delta State’s victory.
Henderson State’s Justin Putnam had field goals of 23 and 29 yards blocked by Wiggins in the fourth quarter.
The Statesmen (2-0, 1-0 Gulf South Conference) scored first on Jeremy Ricks’ 29-yard touchdown reception from Brett Hyatt. They led 9-0 before Mario Crump scored on a 2-yard run for Henderson State (1-2, 0-1).
Arkansas Tech 52, West Georgia 34
At Carrollton, Ga., Cole Barthel threw for 310 yards and a school-record six touchdowns in the Wonder Boys’ win.
Barthel went 29-of-42 passing and also ran for a score. Arkansas Tech (3-0, 1-0 GSC) has now won seven straight games dating to last season. West Georgia (1-2, 0-1) trailed 25-24 in the third quarter before the Wonder Boys pulled away.
Keats Baldwin and Ryan Poole combined to throw for 293 yards and three touchdowns for West Georgia.
Ouachita Baptist 31, Arkansas-Monticello 10
At Arkadelphia, Willie Hopson ran for 177 yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers.
Ouachita Baptist (3-0, 1-0 GSC) is off to its best start since 1979.
Arkansas-Monticello led 10-0 after the first quarter but trailed 14-10 at halftime. Then Hopson scored on runs of 2 and 10 yards in the second half.
John L. Williams ran for 141 yards and a touchdown for the Boll Weevils (0-3, 0-1).
Southern Arkansas 31, West Alabama 17
At Magnolia, Josh SanFilippo threw two touchdown passes to lead the Muleriders (2-1, 1-0 GSC).
SanFilippo also ran for a score in the second half.
Cole Mason rushed for 82 yards and scored two touchdowns for West Alabama (1-2, 0-1).
North Alabama 58, Harding 17
At Searcy on Thursday, A.J. Milwee threw for 333 yards and three touchdowns, and North Alabama gained 606 yards of total offense.
Brandenn Picket ran for 106 yards and a touchdown for the Lions (2-0, 1-0 GSC).
Harding (1-2, 0-1) was playing its first game under interim head coach Ronnie Huckeba. Randy Tribble, the previous coach, resigned last week.
Blinn College 58, Arkansas Baptist 0
At Rockwall, Texas, Blinn had no trouble with Arkansas Baptist (0-3), which just started up its football program this year.
Blinn (3-0) is No. 3 in the NJCAA poll.
– Associated Press
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