The Texas Southern football team’s 2023 season came to a disappointing end as UAPB pulled off a 35-34 comeback at Shell Energy Stadium on Saturday.
Texas Southern wasted no time in setting the tone during the first half as they marched 75 yards in eight plays as LaDarius Owens scored from three yards out. During the play, Owens continued to make TSU history as he surpassed the 3,000-yard career rushing mark with 33 yards on the drive. After a UAPB punt, TSU kept the pressure on as they scored its second touchdown of the afternoon as Owens scored from two yards out. Gustavo Romero kicked the PAT as TSU led 14-0.
The TSU defense forced another punt and Owens added to his career touchdown totals with a 30-yard touchdown run as Romero’s PAT upped the lead to 21-0 in the first quarter.
UAPB got on the board with 9:35 left in the second quarter on a Johnny Williams touchdown run. The Golden Lions nearly made it a one-possession game as the first half came to an end but Canary Simmons recorded a scoop and score from 96 yards out as TSU led 28-7. Gustavo Romero’s 33-yard field goal as time expired in the half gave the Tigers a 31-7 halftime lead.
UAPB scored late in the third quarter but TSU countered with a 34-yard field goal as time expired from Romero as they claimed a 34-14 lead entering the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter wasn’t kind to TSU as the Tigers punted twice and fumbled inside UAPB territory as they were clinging to a 34-28 lead with 3:57 left. Six plays later, UAPB’s Mekhi Hagens rushed in from five yards out to deliver a potential knockout blow as UAPB moved ahead 35-34 after the PAT with 1:46 left.
TSU’s Trenton Leary opened the final drive with a 55-yard kickoff return but TSU was penalized for holding on the play which moved the ball back to its side of the field. TSU’s season came to an end in tough fashion as they turned the ball over on downs in four plays.
TSU finished with 337 yards of offense as 194 came via the ground and 143 were from the air. Jace Wilson passed for 143 yards on 18-of-32 passing while Owens rushed for 143 yards and three touchdowns. C’ing Blanton caught nine passes for 87 yards while Josiah Hardman finished with 10 tackles.
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