Southern quarterback Austin Howard, the senior captain who threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns in the Jaguars' 37-31 win against Prairie View on Saturday, now stands as the highest-scoring quarterback in school history.
Howard, a four-year starter, logged his 74th passing touchdown on Southern's opening possession, a 31-yard strike to tight end Dillon Beard. With the score, Howard surpassed Dray Joseph's 73 passing touchdowns, setting a new program record.
"He's a cool customer in the pocket," said coach Dawson Odums. "One of the best I've ever seen."
"I was just out there playing ball,” Howard said. “Like Coach Odums said, ‘You’ve just got to have fun.’ And that’s what I was doing and I led my team to victory."
No. 75 came later in the second quarter. Then Nos. 76 and 77 followed.
The 5-foot-11, 208-pound quarterback tossed his second touchdown pass seconds before the first half expired, punctuating an eight-play, 90-yard drive with a 5-yard strike to tight end Jeremias Houston.
Howard 334 yards passing in Saturday's game to break Dray Joseph's career record of 8,745.
With 405 yards through the air, Howard broke that record, too.
Howard's 400-plus yards passing Saturday marked his first 400-yard game this season, surpassing his previous high of 274 yards in a 48-31 loss at Alcorn State on Sept. 23.
"I told people when the year started, 'If he's healthy, we've got a chance,'" Odums said. "You can see his talent. He understands the offense ... He's cool in the pocket."
Howard's list of records is likely to expand, too. The Jaguars have two regular-season games remaining against Texas Southern on Nov. 11 and Grambling in the Bayou Classic on Nov. 25.
20-year anniversary for 1997 Championship team
Twenty years ago, the Jaguars were national champions.
Southern's 1997 team, which won the black college national championship with a 34-28 victory against South Carolina State in 1997, was honored during the second quarter Saturday.
Coached by Pete Richardson, Southern lost just one game that year, a 33-3 setback against Florida A&M. The Jaguars rebounded to drop SCSU in the Heritage Bowl in Atlanta.
Remembering Dr. Debra Fountain
Minutes before Saturday's kickoff, A.W. Mumford Stadium fell silent in memorial of Dr. Debra Fountain, the team's unofficial psychologist who died the day before Southern's 47-40 win against Arkansas Pine-Bluff on Oct. 28.
Fountain, 63, was found unresponsive in the team's hotel last Friday and was unable to be revived once rushed by local paramedics to University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences hospital.
Before her death, Fountain was pursuing a third doctorate degree at Southern's Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and served as a volunteer on Odums' staff since 2013.
Fountain, whom Odums called the team's "mental coach," traveled with team and was a welcome presence on Southern's sideline. She also prepared motivational presentations for the team and was the players' go-to person on how to confront personal and social issues.
Southern honored 21 seniors Saturday.
Howard, cornerback Danny Johnson and defensive lineman Aaron Tiller were among those honored alongside family, friends and supporters, and the three players served as game captains.
"It's special," Tiller said. "Coming out of high school, I didn't know where I was going to play next. Coming here, they welcomed my with open arms."
Former wide receiver Devon Gales, who was paralyzed from the waist down during a kickoff against Georgia on Sept. 26, 2015, did not attend Saturday's game but was honored as Southern's 22nd senior.