Hagens runs for 2 TDs, Jenkins returns blocked punt for TD; UAPB stuns Texas Southern 35-34

HOUSTON (AP) — Mekhi Hagens sandwiched two fourth-quarter touchdown runs around a 30-yard scoop-and-score on a blocked punt by Elijah Jenkins and Arkansas-Pine Bluff scored the final 22 points to beat Texas Southern 35-34 Saturday in the regular season finale for both teams.

The Golden Lions (2-9, 1-7 Southwestern Athletic Conference) snapped a seven-game losing streak.

Hagens scored on a 4-yard run that trimmed UAPB’s deficit to 34-21 when he ran in the 2-point conversion with 11:46 left in the game. After the teams traded punts, the Golden Lions got another stop and Cameron Roetherford blocked the punt, which Jenkins returned for a TD about 6 minutes later. LaDarius Owens was stripped by Grant Ewell Jr., who recovered the fumble near midfield and Arkansas-Pine Bluff marched 46 yards in six plays to cap the scoring when Hagens ran it in from the 5 with 1:46 to go.

Texas Southern (3-8, 2-6) took a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter after Owens capped each of the Tigers’ first three possessions with TD runs of 3, 2 and 30 yards.

Johnny Williams scored on a 1-yard run to get UAPB on the scoreboard early in the second quarter Canary Simmons forced a fumble that he returned 96 yards for a touchdown and Gustavo Romero kicked a 33-yard field goal to make it 31-7 at halftime.

Hagens threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Kenji Lewis in the third quarter and Romero made another 33-yarded to give the Tigers a 34-13 lead going into the fourth.


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