PINE BLUFF -- Things haven't gone Shannon Patrick's way as of late, but a mindset change was all the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff quarterback needed to turn things around.
The junior completed 21 of 28 passes for 334 yards and 3 touchdowns as the Golden Lions strolled past Mississippi Valley State 38-6 on a breezy Saturday at Simmons Bank Field.
"This week, it was basically just concentrating on being safe with the football and not turning it over," said Patrick, who has ascended into the starter's role after previously sharing time with sophomore Skyler Perry. "I just have to let plays happen because we have athletes. Just get them the ball and things will happen."
The wrong things were happening to Patrick in the two previous games. Despite completing nearly 65% of his passes against Southern and Lane College, he had accumulated more turnovers (6) than touchdowns (4). Five of his miscues were interceptions, three of which came in a 24-point loss to the Jaguars.
The Florida native rebounded with an efficient outing Saturday to help the Golden Lions stop a three-game losing streak to the Delta Devils as they head into a bye week.
"It just started with the coaches coming in saying who's going to lead us," UAPB Coach Cedric Thomas said. "The inconsistency, playing three possessions here, playing a possession there ... we just said we're going to go with [Patrick]. We look at it like we've got another starter on the bench in Skyler, but going with Shannon I think helped the offense."
Senior Taeyler Porter ran 20 times for 95 yards and 2 touchdowns for UAPB (5-2, 2-1 SWAC), which has as many victories now as it did the previous three seasons combined. Junior Josh Wilkes had a productive game as well, finishing with a season-high 7 catches for 138 yards and 1 score.
The UAPB defense did a number on Mississippi Valley State quarterback Dejerric Bryant. A year after he scorched the Golden Lions for 181 yards on the ground and three touchdowns in a 48-47, double-overtime victory, the senior had just 32 yards rushing on 10 carries and was 8-of-19 passing for 80 yards with 3 interceptions.
"Our whole deal was to finish," Thomas said. "[Bryant] ran for a school record last year, and I'll never forget that. We were looking at this game even before the Lane game because it was important to us."
Bryant had two long runs on the Delta Devils' first two possessions, including a 28-yard touchdown on their second series as Mississippi Valley State (1-5, 0-2) went ahead 6-0. He did little else after that.
After Mississippi Valley State scored, UAPB got in a hurry on the ensuing march. The Golden Lions needed eight plays and a little over two minutes to travel 75 yards, with Porter scurrying in for a 4-yard touchdown run at the 2:51 mark of the first quarter.
UAPB pushed its edge to 14-6 one drive later when Patrick spotted wide receiver Dejuan Miller streaking down the right sideline for a 32-yard touchdown with 10:38 to go in the second quarter.
Patrick's second scoring toss came just before halftime when he took UAPB 66 yards in five plays, finishing with a perfectly thrown 17-yarder to wide receiver Tyrin Ralph in the back of the end zone for the touchdown.
Porter gave the Golden Lions a 28-6 lead with a 1-yard score with 59 seconds remaining in the third quarter, and UAPB stuck a fork in the Delta Devils with 14:47 left on Patrick's 56-yard touchdown pass to Wilkes.
"The whole sentiment and mindset this week, for me, was who are you," Thomas said. "I told them last Sunday that they hadn't played a whole football game yet. Are you that football team to be up 20 like you were last year to Valley and lose in overtime? Are you that team to get up for Lane at homecoming, then have to scratch and claw to try to win the game?
"I wanted to see them put a whole football game together, and they did that."
Miss. Valley State 6 0 0 0 -- 6
Ark.-Pine Bluff 7 14 7 10 -- 38
MVSU--Bryant 28 run (Read rush failed), 5:19
UAPB--Porter 4 run (Piwniczka kick), 2:51
UAPB--Miller 32 pass from Patrick (Piwniczka kick), 10:38
UAPB--Ralph 17 pass from Patrick (Piwniczka kick), :38
UAPB--Porter 1 run (Piwniczka kick), :59
UAPB--Wilkes 56 pass from Patrick (Piwniczka kick), 14:47
UAPB--FG Piwniczka 30, 5:32
First downs 14 27
Rushes-yards 38-190 38-150
Passing 109 339
Comp-Att-Int 13-29-3 22-32-0
Return Yards 132 92
Punts-Avg. 5-38.8 4-41.5
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-1
Penalty-Yards 7-53 3-30
Time of Possession 31:46 28:14
RUSHING--Miss. Valley State, Clayton 6-77, Johnson 5-33, Bryant 10-32, Gray 3-20, Smith 5-15, Totten 3-6, Barnett 5-5, Lewis 1-2. Ark.-Pine Bluff, Porter 20-97, Allen 11-39, Patrick 6-14, Perry 1-0.
PASSING--Miss. Valley State, Bryant 8-19-3-80, Totten 5-10-0-29. Ark.-Pine Bluff, Patrick 21-28-0-334, Perry 1-4-0-5.
RECEIVING--Miss. Valley State, Clayton 3-45, Cooper 1-32, Wilson 3-20, Myers 3-19, Kidd 2-(minus 1), Barnett 1-(minus 6). Ark.-Pine Bluff, Wilkes 7-138, Miller 5-90, Ballard III 5-58, Ralph 2-31, McNeal 2-11, Porter 1-11.
Sports on 10/13/2019
Print Headline: Reins in his grasp, Patrick sparks Lions