Tuskegee Outlasts Virginia Union 58-51

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: December 2, 2007

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Jacary Atkinson threw for three touchdowns — including one on a 57-yard pass with 46 seconds left — to help Tuskegee pull off a 58-51 win over Virginia Union in the Pioneer Bowl on Saturday.

The win came in spite of a commanding performance by Virginia Union quarterback Lamar Little and gave the Golden Lions a perfect 12-0 record on the season (7-0 SIAC.)

Virginia Union (9-3, 6-1 CIAA) shut out Tuskegee in the first quarter before falling behind in the second and trailing 36-17 at halftime.

Tuskegee widened its lead in the third with a 50-24 score, but the Panthers fought back in the fourth with four unanswered touchdowns to close the gap and pull ahead 51-50.

Little threw for 455 yards (17-of-33) and six touchdowns, including one on a 78-yard pass to Phillip Taylor. He also had minus-26 yards rushing.

But Atkinson’s touchdown pass to Jason English dashed the Panther’s near come-from-behind victory. Atkinson won the game’s most valuable player and offensive MVP awards.

The Golden Tigers totaled 11 sacks and held the Panthers to minus-33 yards rushing, setting school marks in both categories.

Virginia Union linebacker Brandon Smith would take defensive honors. The sophomore finished with nine tackles, including eight solos. He also sacked Atkinson twice.

With a third straight Pioneer Bowl victory, The Golden Tigers continued the SIAC’s domination of the game. In 10 years of playing the CIAA champion in the Pioneer Bowl, the SIAC has an 8-2 record.

Tuskegee has both of the losses: 23-7 to Winston-Salem State in 1999 and 30-28 to Shaw in 2004.