HOUSTON

The Texas Southern Tigers barely escaped against the UT Permian Basin Falcons, 26-16, in their home opener Saturday.

The Tigers may have defeated the Falcons, but there are many things that need improvement before their next game against Texas State on Saturday. The Tigers’ offensive line still needs work despite adding 20 players in the offseason. Both tackles were getting blown by throughout the game.

The Tigers started out the game with a couple of huge offensive drives on the Falcons’ defense. Graduate transfer quarterback from Tulane University Glenn Cuiellette threw a few dimes to his wide receivers for a couple of touchdowns.

The first touchdown was a deep route down the middle of the field to Bobby Hartzog. He turned the defender around on his route and took the ball to house for a 37-yard touchdown. The second touchdown pass for the Tigers was on slant route to TrenDavion Dickson with the defender draped all him for a 6-yard touchdown. The extra point was blocked and returned for two points.

As the clock expired for halftime, kicker Aaron Cuevas converted on a 43-yard field goal.

On the Tigers’ second drive of the second half, the Tigers drove down the field behind the rushing attack of former Dickinson star Brad Woodard. On third down and goal, Cuiellette threw a jump ball to Bryston Cummings in the back of the end zone for the touchdown.

The Falcons scored their first touchdown of the game early in the fourth quarter. The Falcons switched quarterbacks from Kameron Mathis to Sam Allen, a San Jose State transfer. Allen led the Falcons down the field on 70-yard drive, ending the drive with a 4-yard scamper into the end zone.

Back-to-back turnovers by both offenses led to a 41-yard field goal by Cueves to give the Tigers a 26-8 lead.

The Falcons answered back with a deep 64-yard touchdown from Allen to Ben Galaviz — it was the biggest play of the game. Allen led the Falcons on two scoring drives in his first three series.

The Falcons began to make a comeback with five minutes remaining after Justin Nicholls intercepted Cuiellette at the Falcons’ 10-yard line.

Woodard finished the game with 16 carries for 80 yards. His longest run was 20 yards.

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