For the first time this season, the Southern offense managed to notch a score on its first possession, driving the ball 75 yards on eight plays using 3:23 off the clock in Saturday’s game against Alabama A&M at A.W. Mumford Stadium.
Southern quarterback Dray Joseph found sophomore receiver Willie Quinn on a seam route for a 33-yard scoring strike to culminate the drive.
Quinn broke a tackle at the 10-yard line before scampering into the end zone for the score.
Joseph was perfect on all seven of his pass attempts on the drive, totaling 67 yards.
The key play on the drive came when Joseph found senior receiver Lee Doss for a 12-yard reception on a third-and-4, keeping the drive alive.
Five plays later, Joseph found Quinn for the score.
Sophomore running back Warren Bates notched his first carry and first reception as a Jaguar.
Bates, a sophomore running back who transferred from Louisiana Tech during the summer, missed the first four games of the season with a wrist injury he sustained in the preseason and dressed but didn’t play in Southern’s last contest against Jackson State.
Bates was on the receiving end of a Joseph pass for a 5-yard completion to open the game and hauled in three passes for 13 yards in the first half.
Senior placekicker Matthew Hill replaced sophomore Gregg Pittman, who had served as the team’s placekicker through the first five games, as the team’s kicker both on kickoffs and field-goal attempts.
Pittman was on the sideline in street clothes.
For the third consecutive game, the Jaguars entered the locker room after 30 minutes of action with the lead.
Through the Jaguars’ first three contests of the season, Southern had been outscored 86-26 heading into intermission.
However, Southern has enjoyed leads of 3-0, 7-3, and 14-10 in its last three games entering the half.
After being intercepted just two times over the first five contests, Joseph committed two interceptions in the first two quarters.
Joseph’s two interceptions proved costly for the Jaguars.
With the Jaguars up 14-0 and moving the ball successfully to begin the game, Joseph overthrew a Southern wide out at their own 37-yard line. The interception was returned inside the Jaguars’ 20-yard line before Alabama A&M eventually punctuated the short drive with a touchdown run by Barrington Scott off the left side of the line, cutting Southern’s lead to 14-7.
Joseph’s second interception came on a fourth-down play on the Bulldogs’ 31-yard line. The Bulldogs eventually converted the turnover into a score when Alabama A&M kicker Cesar Ramon connected on a 32-yard field goal, cutting the lead to 14-10.