The Tennessee State Tigers returned to Nashville Saturday, a place they hadn't seen since the first week in the season. The Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions awaited them on their return to the Music City and in dramatic fashion, the Golden Lions were able to pull out a 37-31 win.
In the first half of the game, it was looking like the game was slipping away from the Tigers. They were tied going at seven going into the second quarter, but the running game, led by Taeyler Porter and Kesha Williams, dominated the first half and along with the play of backup Shannon Patrick led the Golden Lions to a 19-10 lead.
The score was only 19-10 at halftime due the defense blocking their extra point attempts and those saved points would come in handy. The Tigers would come out after half with a new mindset and new energy, as they were running the football better than they had in the first half with running backs Te'Kendrick Roberson and Seth Rowland giving them some energy along with star wide receiver Chris Rowland getting more involved in the offense. And riding that energy, they pulled to within one, at 25-24.
From there, the Tigers fought tooth and nail for the win, even putting themselves in position to win that game when they tied the game on the strength of a Cameron Rosendahl nine-yard pass to Steven Newbold with 50 seconds left. At that point, the thought was overtime in Hale Stadium, but the Golden Lions had other ideas.
The Golden Lions would drive the football down the field, using every bit of the 50 seconds as time expired, the Golden Lions celebrated on the field as Shannon Patrick hit Jeremy Brown with a perfect pass down the seam on the left side of Tennessee State's defense. The win would push the Golden Lions to 3-1 while the Tigers would fall to 1-3 on the year.
The Tigers were led by star wide receiver Chris Rowland offensively with 13 receptions for 154 yards and a touchdown and defensively by Ronnie Killings with nine total tackles.
The Golden Lions were led offensively by running back Taeyler Porter with 18 carries for 118 yards and Shannon Patrick with 253 yards and three touchdowns.
The Tigers head to Eastern Kentucky next weekend to start Ohio Valley Conference play when they take on the Colonels.
Full press conference with TSU head coach Robert Reed:
Defensive back Larry Wilhoite and wide receiver Al-Malik Moore discuss the game and look ahead to the next phase of the season: