BENA, Miss.

The Texas Southern Tigers won their first game of the season with their third-string quarterback Elijah Odum against the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils 38-21, Saturday at Ross-Totten Stadium.

The Tigers had a different starting quarterback for the third time this season, and this made the Tigers rely on their running game pretty much for the entire game. Odum ran the ball 23 times for 172 yards and two touchdowns. He only had three completed passes in the game.

The Tigers’ offense started out on the right foot by scoring on their first drive of the game. Odum connected with Darvin Kidsy for a 15-yard touchdown. The Tigers kept the ball on the ground the entire drive until they went over the top to Kidsy.

The Tigers added to their lead early in the second quarter. Odum found some open field for a 20-yard scamper to end zone. The Tigers went to their bread and butter of the run game that worked for them all game and on this touchdown it was no different.

The Tigers’ defense started to force turnovers to give the offense good field position. Defensive linemen Anthony Johnson made the Delta Devils’ Jessie Bryant fumble at the Tigers’ 41-yard line.

The Tigers’ offense capitalized on the turnover forced by the defense. Dickinson High School alumnus Brad Woodard fumbled the ball at the 1-yard line, but tight end Mario Smalls recovered it for the touchdown. The Tigers didn’t complete a single pass on the drive.

The Delta Devils scored their first touchdown of the game with 1:10 left in the second quarter. Delta Devils quarterback Christopher Fowler started to exploit the weakness in the Tigers’ secondary. He completed three passes of 15 yards or more. Fowler connected with Quinn McElfresh for a 19-yard touchdown.

The Delta Devils continued their comeback attempt in the third quarter. The Fowler and McElfresh connection worked again, this time it was for a 36-yard touchdown. The Tigers’ defense gave the Delta Devils 35 yards in penalties on the drive.

The Delta Devils tied the game at 21-21 with 11:35 left in the fourth quarter. The Tigers’ defense couldn’t stop the Fowler and McElfresh connection and it hurt them again. This time it was for a 61-yard touchdown.

The Tigers’ offense answered right back with a touchdown of their own to take the lead back in the game. Woodard found the end zone on a 1-yard touchdown run. The touchdown was setup by Odum completing a pass to Malik Webb for a 41-yard completion.

The Tigers’ defense came back out after the touchdown by the offense and forced a turnover on a strip sack by linebacker Julian Marcantel at the Delta Devils’ 47-yard line.

The Tigers’ offense added another touchdown to their lead. Odum found the end zone on a quarterback keeper for a 12-yard touchdown. The Tigers were in complete control of the game with 7:10 left in the game.

The Tigers’ defense forced one last turnover, when linebacker Sean Jones intercepted Fowler at the Tigers’ 36-yard line.

Woodard broke for a 45-yard run to the Delta Devils’ 19-yard line. The Tigers’ offense collected a couple of penalties of the drive, which made them settle for a 24-yard field goal by Aaron Cuevas.

The Tigers are going to look to build off this win next week when they play the Southern Jaguars.

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