There’s a first time for everything.
And if you're Timothy Thompson, there’s no better time to have your first interception than during the final home game of your collegiate career.
On the first play from scrimmage in Southern's game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Saturday, Thompson got in front of his receiver on the sideline, in perfect position to pick off quarterback Skyler Perry.
It was his first interception in 36 games at SU. Thompson, an East Feliciana graduate, finished with two tackles as well.
“Him and Danny (Johnson) played together,” coach Dawson Odums said. “East Feliciana has been good to us.
“Tim has been up and down, but he stayed the process and I’m happy to see him his senior year just having fun.”
Thompson wasn’t the only Jaguar to notch a career milestone Saturday.
Wide receiver Hunter Register, who transferred from Minnesota this spring, made the first touchdown reception of his collegiate career on a 45-yard bomb from Ladarius Skelton in the first half.
Southern had been looking to get the 6-foot-5 Lafayette native more involved in the offense this season but struggled to put the ball in his hands.
Register now has five receptions for 74 yards.
Another wide receiver, sixth-year senior Randall Menard, also scored his first two touchdowns of the season on catches of 28 and 57 yards.
Running back Christopher Chaney got his first rushing touchdown of the season on a 43-yard burst untouched up the middle near the end of the third quarter. His only other rushing touchdown was last season.
While still relatively healthy overall, Southern was without a few key players against UAPB.
Seniors Dennis Craig and Arvin Huff did not dress out for their final game in A.W. Mumford Stadium, though their injury status was unclear.
Southern also lost cornerback Elijah Small in the first half after he slipped while attempting to make a tackle. He was helped off the field by trainers while avoiding pressure on his left leg and did not return to the game.
Odums said Small had X-rays during the game but was unsure of the player's status.
“I’m probably going to go over there tonight and see,” Odums said.
Freshman phenom Jordan Lewis added to his team-high sack total against UAPB with his seventh sack in the past four games.
Originally a linebacker, Lewis moved to defensive end this season where the Jaguars hoped to use his athletic traits on the edge. But few saw his recent streak coming.
He came into the weekend tied for 13th in the nation with eight sacks.
A (sort of) bad day
The Southern defense’s streak of shutting out opposing offenses came to a close against UAPB.
The Jaguars allowed 24 points, and the Golden Lions never came close to threatening Southern — but it was something of a disappointment compared to SU's previous three games, when it shut out Prairie View on Oct. 13 and gave up seven points each to Texas Southern and Jackson State.
On Saturday, 15 of the Lions' 24 points came in the second half — after they had fallen behind 42-9.
“The second half they put the backups in and all that,” linebacker Calvin Lunkins said. “I’m proud of them for holding their ground. We just have to keep getting better for the Bayou Classic.”