Southern University tight end Jeremias Houston (88) celebrates his five-yard second quarter touchdown reception with teammate Dennis Craig (82) during the second quarter agaisnt Prairie View A&M, Saturday, Nov. 4 , 2017 at A.W. Mumford Stadium. The Jags were ahead 17-14 at the half.


Southern had less two minutes on the clock and needed to go the length of the field.

The Jaguars had three timeouts. With a touchdown before halftime of Saturday's game against Prairie View at A.W. Mumford Stadium, they could regain the lead. Without a touchdown, they faced a four-point deficit to begin the third quarter.

If they didn't, they would've headed for halftime trailing by four points — an unfavorable position against Prairie View and its explosive offense, which erupted several times in the first half.

The Panthers did indeed make Southern's 37-31 something of a shootout, gashing the Jaguars' defense with 15 "chunk" plays — eight runs of 10-plus yards and seven passes of 15 or more yards.

The Jaguars had to scrap.

“We fought," running back Herb Edwards said. "We fought. That’s all I’m going to say. I’m proud of my team. Every play on the field we fought for — from the first quarter to the last quarter."

So as the first half came to an end, the Jaguars felt they needed to score.

Eight plays and 90 yards later, they did just that, pointing the way to their fifth straight win.

Quarterback Austin Howard capped the drive with a 5-yard throw to 6-foot-6 sophomore tight end Jeremias Houston, and Southern took a 17-14 lead seconds before halftime.

"No. 7 (Howard) can spin it with the best of them," coach Dawson Odums said.

“That’s important," Edwards said. "To come back into the half with a touchdown on the board shows that we can score quickly when we need to. We (were) able to drive the whole length of the field for that touchdown and we did. That’s just great to be able to do as an offense."

Prairie View used 50 seconds to score a quick touchdown in the third quarter, but Southern's mad dash before halftime kept the game at seven points instead of 14, a two-touchdown difference.

"Even when they went up, we continued to fight," Edwards said. "We came back to get the lead back in the half, from there it was a wrap. We found ourselves. We realized what we could do as an offense.”

With 2:38 remaining in the third quarter, Edwards ripped off a 24-yard touchdown, tying the score. Howard connected with Edwards for a 21-yard pass in the fourth, putting the Jaguars ahead 30-24.

A chunk of Howard's 405 total yards passing Saturday — which bumped Howard's total to 8,817 career yards, a new school record — spawned from his clutch drive to end the second.

"He's a cool customer in the pocket," Odums said. "One of the best I've ever seen. ...

"I told people when the year started, that if he's healthy, then we got a chance. He made some throws tonight, that, I mean, you can see his talent."

The Howard-led drive added seven points to Southern's total.

The Jaguars won by six, 37-31.

“I said, ‘This drive’s on me. We’ve got to get in the box,’ ” Howard said. “And that’s what we did."