Southern University honored 15 departing seniors with a pregame ceremony Saturday night as the Jaguars hammered Virginia University of Lynchburg at A.W. Mumford Stadium.
Playing in front of their home fans one last time was more than enough motivation, senior center Jaylon Brinson said.
“As a senior, I’d just like to thank the Jaguar Nation for a great five years,” he said. “We wanted to play a complete game like we do every week, but the guys also wanted to put some emphasis on the seniors and making sure we went out with a bang.”
The list of those honored included LB Calvin Lunkins, FS Montavius Gaines, DB Benjamin Harris, DE Brad Porter, OG Jeremiah Abby, OT Jodeci Harris, TE Jeremias Houston, DT CeaJae Bryant, WR Hunter Register, DB Arvin Huff, DE Joe Davis, C Jaylon Brinson, OT Mason Sims, WR Daelon Richardson and DT Dakavion Champion.
Three other seniors — CB Datrel Brumfield, LB Jordan Williams and LB Landon Auzenne — either were honored last year or have a chance of returning next year, pending an NCAA waiver.
Southern coach Dawson Odums also took a moment at his postgame press conference to salute the class.
“We got a chance to reflect on the journey of these young men,” Odums said. “They started out four or five years ago. ... It's tough, because each year you say goodbye to a group of guys that have been resilient and done everything you could ask for as a coach.”
Brandon Hinton scored his first career touchdown on a 43-yard punt return in the first quarter, notching the Jaguars’ second TD of the night. It was the first punt return for a touchdown since Willie Quinn took one 73 yards in a 64-6 victory against Alabama State on Sept. 17, 2016.
VUL also had a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Thomas Newman nullified by a holding penalty in the third quarter.
Time to burn
Fans who were watching the game clock in the second half may have thought they missed something. Early in the fourth quarter, the time on game clock changed from 14 minutes to eight minutes.
With the game already out of hand, the change was part of a second-half agreement between Odums and Virginia-Lynchburg coach Bobby Rome to move the game toward a speedy conclusion.
The game took only 2 hours, 18 minutes to play.
Southern won its seventh consecutive senior night game. ... VUL has now allowed been outscored 357-71 through eight games and has been shut out three times. ... Odums improved his record to 56-33 in eight seasons. Southern's rushing game crossed the 2,000-yard mark for the season (2,249). ... The Jaguars improved to 15-1 on the artificial turf at Mumford Stadium. Southern is 20-5 in November under Odums and 7-1 in nonconference games.
Southern travels to meet Jackson State at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson, Mississippi, at 2 p.m. Saturday. JSU lost Saturday to Alabama A&M, 48-43.