PINE BLUFF, Ark. — The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff football team won the 2020-21 SWAC Western Division Championship with an exciting 36-31 win over Prairie View A&M Saturday at Simmons Bank Field.
The Golden Lions (4-0 overall, 4-0 SWAC) continued to turn back the clock in winning the division championship for the first time since 2012, the last season UAPB won the SWAC Championship.
The Golden Lions will play in the Cricket Wireless SWAC Football Championship Game presented by Pepsi Zero on Saturday May 1 against either Alabama A&M or Alabama State at 2 p.m. at a location TBD.
QB Skyler Perry (16-33, 201 yards, 4 TDs 1 INT; 12 car, 45 yards, 1 TD) accounted for a career-high five touchdowns, WR Josh Wilkes (3-16-2) caught a pair of touchdown passes, and WR Tyrin Ralph tied a career-high seven receptions for a career-high 100 yards and one touchdown as UAPB defeated Prairie View A&M (2-1, 2-1) for the first time since 2012.
LB Isaac Peppers III had four tackles and a career-high 3.5 sacks. His sack on the final play of the game sealed the win for the Golden Lions. DB Jalon Thigpen also had a career-high two interceptions in the contest.
Trailing 14-7 after the first period, UAPB scored three touchdowns in the second quarter. Perry’s one-yard TD run tied the score at 14-14 less than two minutes into the second quarter.
Following a three-and-out by the Golden Lion defense, Daryl Carter blocked a punt deep in PVAMU territory that was recovered by the Panthers inside the five-yard line. Three plays later, Perry’s five-yard touchdown pass to Wilkes gave the Golden Lions a 20-14 lead with 10:42 to play until halftime as the PAT was blocked.
After the Panthers regained the lead at 21-20 with just under nine minutes to play until intermission, UAPB answered on the ensuing drive. Perry’s 31-yard touchdown pass to Ralph ended a six-play, 60-yard drive to give the Golden Lions at 27-21 lead they would take to halftime.
The teams traded field goals in the third quarter before UAPB took the game’s only double-digit lead in the fourth quarter. Aided by a key fourth-down conversion on the first play of the fourth quarter, Perry completed a 10-play, 61-yard drive with a three-yard scoring strike to Wilkes to give the Golden Lions a 36-24 lead with just over 12 minutes to play.
PVAMU responded with a touchdown drive, scoring with 7:06 remaining but would not score again.
The Golden Lions will host Texas Southern next Saturday on Senior Day at 3 p.m. at Simmons Bank Field. The UAPB Sports Network Radio Broadcast begins at 2:30 p.m. on 99.3 FM The Beat, online at uapblionsroar.com/live, and on the free UAPB Athletics App. The game will also be video streamed at uapblionsroar.com/live.