BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Bryant Lee completed 22 of 29 passes for 215 yards and a touchdown and Darren Coates rushed for 142 yards and two scores to lead Southern University to a 33-27 victory over Florida A&M in the third annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge on Saturday.
The Jaguars (1-0) trailed 20-12 at halftime, but scored three touchdowns on their first four possessions of the second half to jump to a 33-20 lead. Lee put Southern in front 26-20 with a 3-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter and then Coates' 1-yard plunge early in the fourth made the score 33-20.
The Rattlers (0-1) were unable to overcome injuries to their top two quarterbacks. Backup Leon Camel played most of the first half because of a shoulder injury to starter Albert Chester. Camel then left the game with a foot injury in the third quarter, forcing Chester to return.
The Jaguars took the lead on their first offensive play of the game as Coates broke loose for a 90-yard touchdown run. FAMU answered with a 9-yard touchdown run from Camel and a 45-yard scoring run by Phillip Sylvester, giving the Rattlers a 14-6 lead with 6:05 left in the first half.
Southern cut the lead to 14-12 less than two minutes later on a 46-yard touchdown pass from Lee to Gerard Landry. Camel then connected with Javares Knight for a 40-yard touchdown pass to make the score 20-12 at the half.
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