• Brian L. Barefield

Prairie View’s Next Opponent Is Seeking Revenge

Photo Credit/PVAMU Athletics

Over 400 calendar days had passed since the Prairie View A&M Panthers football team had taken the field against any opponent before lining up against in-state rival, Texas Southern. The Panthers (1-0) were able to defeat the Tigers (0-1) 20-19 with a late touchdown and a forced fumble in the Labor Day Classic that was held in the spring instead of it usual time frame of last weekend in August due to COVID-19 Health and Safety protocols.

“It was challenging for individuals to be off from playing football for over 400 days, but I thought our guys stepped up and played a well-coached football team,” said Prairie View head coach Eric Dooley. “Our kids fought through and played for 60 minutes and were fortunate enough to come out on the victory side.”

Even though the Panthers were outgained in total yardage on the offensive side of the ball by the Tigers, coach Dooley’s defense stepped up and caused four turnovers including a fumble recovery to end any chance of victory for TSU.

That defensive effort was led by Spring 2021 Preseason All-SWAC Football Second Team Defense selection Storey Jackson. The senior from Olathe, Kansas had 17 total tackles (11 solo) in the win, and it was Jackson who recovered the aforementioned fumble at the end of the game.

“That’s the type of player he is,” said coach Dooley when asked about Jackson’s performance on Saturday. “He demonstrated his work ethic. He is a guy that has put a lot of time in both on the field and off the field. The whole defense played well and that was expected. We have a lot of guys who played a lot of football for us last year. So, I was pleased, but not satisfied with the way they came out and played and they did a great job.”

Photo Credit/PVAMU Athletics

The Panthers will need a repeat performance of that defensive effort as they prepare to take on another long-time rival, Grambling State University in the State Fair Classic this Saturday. Grambling (0-1) is coming off of a close loss to Jackson State 33-28 in their season opener at home and will be looking for revenge against the Panthers after they were embarrassed in 2019 by former running back Dawonya Tucker who had 263 yards rushing which broke the school’s single-game rushing record in a 42-36 victory.

“It is going to be a good matchup,” coach Dooley said in his weekly press conference with the media about the game against Grambling. “They are a team that is rich in tradition and is used to winning. It’s unfortunate that they didn’t win their game last week, but that has nothing to do with what type of team and what type of coaching staff that we are going to face. When you face a Grambling football team you have to play for 60 minutes.”

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