Monday, November 21, 2016

McNair, Alcorn Braves overcame a lot to repeat as East champs

LORMAN, Mississippi -- Fred McNair’s first season as Alcorn State coach hasn’t gone as smoothly as he’d hoped, but he can’t complain about the results.

The Braves (5-5, 5-4 in SWAC) clinched their third-straight SWAC East title Saturday with a 35-16 win over Jackson State in their regular-season finale in Lorman.

Alcorn State struggled to a .500 record a year after finishing 9-4 following a loss to North Carolina A&T under Jay Hopson, who left Alcorn for southern Miss following the season.

But quarterback Lenorris Footman, who accounted for 2,100 yards and 25 touchdowns last fall, played in just six games this season, as did tailback Arron Baker, who led the team in yards per carry.

Those are just two of the guys who have dealt with nagging injuries throughout the season.

“We’ve had a lot of starters out,” McNair said. “It’s been a struggle trying to get everyone healthy at the same time, and even going back to preseason camp, we had so much rain we couldn’t even get outside and practice. That put us behind from the start.”


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