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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Hall of Famer proud of his Golden Lions

by Wally Hall | April 20, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.

Jesse Mason was to the left and next to him was Bill Ingram.

We were at Greg and Dora Jane Flesher's home for a Friday reception dinner for the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame inductees, of which Mason was one of nine this year.

Mason was an outstanding basketball player at what is now called UAPB. Ingram played football for the Arkansas Razorbacks and is the founder of the Arkansas Hawks basketball program and co-founder of Real Deal in the Rock.

Talking sports never had been easier.

Mason wasn't talking about his career, when he averaged almost 25 points per game before the three-point line.

He was talking about his undefeated UAPB football team, and how the Golden Lions would play for the SWAC championship if they beat Prairie View A&M the next day.

Mason has been gone from UAPB as a player and graduate for more than 60 years, but his pride runs as deep as ever.

His wife explained there have been many Saturdays during basketball season that if the Golden Lions and UALR Trojans were both playing, they would find a way to make both games.

"I can't tell you how many times that has happened," she said.

They were there Saturday when UAPB beat Prairie View A&M 36-31.

Quarterback Skyler Perry passed for four touchdowns, 201 yards and ran for 45 yards and another touchdown.

Golden Lions linebacker Isaac Peppers made sure there were no miracles for the Panthers when he sacked their quarterback on the final play of the game to ensure the Golden Lions would play Alabama A&M for the SWAC title.

The Golden Lions still have one more game scheduled for this Saturday at 3 p.m. at Simmons Bank Field against Texas Southern.

A good crowd is expected, including Hall of Famer Jesse Mason and his wife.

Taking what will probably be a final look at the Arkansas Red-White Game notebook, here are a few observations.

The Razorbacks clearly have a leader for the starting quarterback job in KJ Jefferson, who played the first half and one series of the second half.

Jefferson looked more like a pocket passer on Saturday than in his limited time the previous two seasons.

He completed 6 of 11 passes for 153 yards -- that's an average of more than 25 yards per completion -- including his first 4 passes for 107 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Jefferson made it look easy, and he had a 27-yard run, too.

Redshirt freshman Malik Hornsby had a solid performance for the Red team (second-team offense), completing 11 of 18 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown.

Five quarterbacks took snaps and eight running backs saw action in the game.

The receivers already were solid, but John David White put on a show while playing for the Red team, making 5 catches for 87 yards and 1 touchdown.

Those were the most catches by any receiver all afternoon.

White is 5-10, 180 pounds, with deceptive speed and quickness. He played some last season and would have had a touchdown when he got open in the flat, but Feleipe Franks overthrew him by 6 feet.

As Sam Pittman said, you need depth at every position, guys who can step in immediately and help in case of an injury.

It was hard to tell how the offensive and defensive lines were performing as contact with the quarterbacks was off limits. The defensive line looked like it wasn't going full speed at time, but there were no blitzes, not in a scrimmage where the objective is to make sure no one gets hurt.

Overall, it was a decent showing. The fans who braved the cold temperatures were treated to a combined 723 yards of offense.


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