PINE BLUFF, Ark. — The Central State Marauders spoiled Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s homecoming celebration with a 40-35 win over the Golden Lions on Saturday afternoon.
Still in search of their first win, the Marauders opened the scoring with an 80-yard drive highlighted by a 39-yard pass from Trent Mays to Martell Clark. CSU capped off the drive when fullback Darius Meadors scored from 1 yard out for his first rushing touchdown of the season.
The Golden Lions answered early in the second quarter as quarterback LeEar Patterson completed back-to-back passes of 36 yards and 34 yards to set up a 1-yard KeShaw Williams touchdown run.
CSU immediately responded on the next offensive possession. Mays connected with Renon Lorenzo for a 36-yard gain. Darian Nelson rushed for 17 yards on the next play. Mays then found Clark for a 13-yard touchdown pass. After a failed extra point attempt, CSU led 13-7 with 11:13 left in the first half.
CSU linebacker Kahari Logan forced a Patterson fumble on the next UAPB possession. Mikey’ion Hunter corralled the loose ball for the Marauders at the Golden Lions’ 27-yard line. The Marauders scored on the next play as Mays ran from 27 yards out to put his team up, 20-7, at the 9:52 mark of the second quarter.
The Golden Lions regained momentum thanks to a litany of big plays to end the half. On the ensuing kickoff, Paris Mack returned the ball 57 yards to set up the UPAB offense at the CSU 37-yard line. Four plays later, the offense found the end zone as Patterson crossed the plain from 2-yards out.
After a quick three-and-out from the CSU offense, UPAB struck again when Patterson found Mack through the air for a 65-yard score to take a 21-20 lead with 6:03 left in the second quarter.
On the next UAPB possession, Patterson found Williams for a 59-yard gain. Patterson capped off the drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Robert Simms to give the Golden Lions a 28-20 lead at the intermission.
The Golden Lions threatened to extend their lead early in the third quarter. UAPB marched down to the CSU 5-yard line but were unable to come up with any points after a detrimental holding call and a missed 31-yard field goal attempt.
Trailing by eight late in the third quarter, freshman running back Jerry Lanier provided a spark with a 37-yard run. Mays later found an open Darius Ford for a 20 yard gain to get CSU into UAPB territory. Mays went to Ford again three plays later for a 31 yard gain down to the 1-yard line. Meadors picked his second touchdown of the afternoon on the next play. CSU failed to convert a two-point attempt and trailed, 28-26, with 14:12 remaining.
The CSU defense forced the Golden Lions into a quick three-and-out to give the ball back to Mays and the Marauder offense. Mays jump-started the drive with a 22-yard pass to Ford. Mays later found an open Meadors for 44 yards. Running back Terraris Saffold finished the drive with a 12-yard touchdown drive to put the Marauders up 33-28 with 10:21 left to play.
CSU seized control with another 83-yard touchdown drive in the late stages of the game. CSU kept the ball on the ground with ten straight running plays. Saffold touched the ball six times for 73 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown to give CSU a 40-28 lead with 1:29 to go.
The Golden Lions added a late touchdown with 11 seconds left but CSU recovered the ensuing onside kick a closed out the game for the first victory of the season.
Mays completed passes to eight different receivers, converting 20 of 36 pass attempts for 334 yards and 1 touchdown. He also picked up 19 yards and 1 score on the ground. Ford finished with a career-best 8 receptions for 117 yards. Saffold led the CSU rushing attack with 87 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Defensively, CSU was led by Isaiah Smith’s 9 tackles. Mikey’ion Hunter recorded 8 tackles, 1 sack and a fumble recovery. With the win, CSU is now 1-6 overall.
Patterson led the Golden Lion offense with 333 passing yards and 2 touchdowns. Tashad Charity led UAPB’s defensive efforts with 6 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss and 1 sack. The loss drops UAPB to 2-5 overall.
The Marauders will return to Wilberforce, Ohio in search of their first conference victory when they host Fort Valley State next Saturday at 1 p.m.
Courtesy: CSU Athletics