Southern has thanks to Alabama A&M and Mississippi Valley | regained control of SWAC West South

Southern now has a second shot at first place.

Saturday’s losses to Prairie View and Texas Southern have reopened the door for the Jaguars to conquer the Western Division of the Southwestern Athletic Conference with a win at the 49th Bayou Classic next Saturday.

To regain the division title, Southern needed help in two games: Alabama A&M had to defeat Texas Southern, and Mississippi Valley State had to stage an upset against Prairie View.

Alabama A&M scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to close a 17-point deficit in a 24-20 win over TSU in Huntsville, Alabama. Earlier in the day, Mississippi Valley State picked up its second win of the season, a surprise 27-7 win over Prairie View.

The Panthers finished the season with a 5-3 record in SWAC play, and Texas Southern finished the game 4-4.

If Southern beats Grambling, the Jaguars would finish 5-3, tied with Prairie View. The Jaguars own the head-to-head tiebreaker over Prairie View after beating the Panthers 45-13 in October.

Southern can now advance to the SWAC title game if they win the Bayou Classic. In that case, the Jaguars would play for the conference championship on December 3 in Jackson State.

The Jaguars’ loss at Florida A&M two weeks ago seemed to end their chances, with Saturday’s action opening the door again.

Texas Southern appeared to have had its Premier League title since 2010, leading 20-3 in the fourth quarter. But A&M quarterback Xavier Lankford threw two touchdown passes and ran 38 yards for the game-winning points on a fourth and 1 game with 1:00 left.

Texas Southern could have won the game 20-10 when quarterback Andrew Body broke a long run and headed for a touchdown. But an Alabama A&M player knocked the ball out of his hand at the 1-yard line and it rolled through the end zone, giving A&M possession at their 20-yard line.

Lankford then led his team on a five-play 80-yard drive that ended with a 34-yard TD pass to Cameron Young at 6:15, opening the door for the winning drive.

Body passed 191 yards and two TDs and rushed 149 yards but was injured fumbling and did not return.

In Itta Bena, Mississippi, Prairie View took a 7-0 lead over Mississippi Valley, but the Delta Devils took control with 17 points in the third quarter. Valley scored the first of two field goals from Orlando Fernandez and then took the lead with a 15-yard TD pass from Jalani Eason to Sylvester Campbell.

The Devils made it 17-7 after a 47-yard interception return from Kenneth Martin. Another Fernandez field goal and a five-yard run by Jared Wilson sealed Valley’s upset victory.

Prairie View passed Valley 285-264, including 203 yards rushing. But the Panthers had four turnovers and got just 82 yards past quarterback Trazon Connley.