MVSU holds off Texas Southern 12-9

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ITTA BENA, Miss. (AP) -- A stout defense and effective special teams helped Mississippi Valley State edge Texas Southern 12-9 on Saturday.

With the scored tied 2-2 following a Texas Southern safety, Garrick Jones capped off a five-play, 36-yard drive with a 12-yard touchdown pass to J.J. Thurman to give Mississippi Valley State (1-8, 1-7 Southwestern Athletic Conference) a 9-2 lead at halftime. Carlos Sanchez added a 25-yard field goal late in the third quarter to extend the Delta Devils' lead to 12-2.

Texas Southern (3-4, 1-5) drew within three, 12-9, on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Riko Smalls to Joe Anderson with 2:31 to play. The Delta Devils' sealed the win by intercepting Smalls' pass with 35 seconds remaining.

Both teams failed to gain more than 200 total yards. Mississippi Valley State committed 11 penalties while Texas Southern converted on only 2 of 15 third-down attempts.