UAPB makes history with overtime win for SWAC Crown
BIRMINGHAM, AL– The atmosphere was electric as the brawl for it all in the 2012 SWAC Championship game where the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Golden Lions battled the Tigers of Jackson State University in front of 32,000 fans.
Jackson State got on the scoreboard first at the 9:16 minute mark when Clayton Moore found Rico Richardson on a 40-yard touchdown pass. Jackson State would push their lead to 14-0 when Rakeem Sims scored on a 37-yard jaunt at the 4:48 minute mark of the first quarter.
The Golden Lions would answer back at the 14:57 mark of the second quarter when Ben Anderson scored on quarterback keeper to make the score 14-7.
The Tigers would score once again on a one yard run by Clay-ton Moore to make the score 21-7. With four seconds left in the first half, outside linebacker Xavier Lofton sacked JSU quarterback Clayton Moore causing a fumble, at which point Lofton’s counterpart, senior middle line-backer Bill Ross, scooped up the fumble and rumbled 73-yards for a touchdown making the score at halftime 21-14.
That score would hold up until two minutes left in the ball game, when Anderson would find Willie Young breaking across the middle of the field on a post route for a 95-yard touchdown to tie the score at 21 all.
Time would expire with the score knotted 21 a piece. The Golden Lions and the Tigers would need overtime to settle this battle for the SWAC crown.
Jackson State would have the first possession in the overtime period after being stopped on three straight plays, the Tigers opted to attempt a field to take the lead but the kick was blocked by senior defensive lineman Sean Robison giving ball back to the Golden Lions with an opportunity to make history.
With their shot at the end zone and potentially the first SWAC championship looming in the balance, Justin Billings would the ensuing hand-off around the left end for was thought to be the game winning touchdown. But after an official’s review, Billings would be ruled out at the five yard line. Two plays later, place kicker Tyler Strickland would get a chance at redemption. Earlier in the ballgame Strickland missed a 25 yard attempt, but proved to the hero of the ballgame by knocking down the game winning 26-yard field goal to cement this historic season for Head Coach Monte Coleman and his Golden Lions football team.
The 2012 Golden Lions went down in history today by being the first team in school history to have a 10 win season and the first team in school history to win the SWAC Championship for football.
When asked about the magnitude of what he and his team had just accomplished Coleman had this to say, “This is what you practice for, all the long hours, all of the hard work, when you’re able to reach this level of success it’s a blessing. UAPB is now on the map.”