With the 23rd annual Southern Heritage Classic happening on Saturday, the 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® series continues by remembering one of the most all-time thrilling SHCs.
On Sept. 16, 2006, TSU met Jackson State in Memphis for the teams' annual rivalry game. After a see-saw game, Big Blue walked away with a 31-30 victory thanks to a gusty call in overtime.
Jackson State started the game strong, scoring nine points in the opening period. JSU kicked a field goal with seven minutes remaining in the first quarter and then scored a touchdown with just over a minute left. On the point-after-touchdown, TSU blocked the attempted kick- a play that would turn out to be crucial.
Down 9-0, running back Javarris Williams scored Big Blue's first points of the day with a one-yard touchdown run. Instead of cutting JSU's lead to two, Eric Benson's PAT kick was blocked.
With minutes remaining in the first half, Eric Benson took the handoff from quarterback Antonio Heffner and scored from 14 yards out to give TSU its first lead of the day. This time, Benson's kick was true, and Big Blue went into the locker room with a 13-9 advantage.
Williams added another one-yard score in the third quarter to give the TSU Tigers an 11-point lead going into the fourth.
Jackson State would not go down easily and scored quickly in the fourth frame. TSU answered with a field goal, but JSU scored another touchdown from the one-yard line with just over a minute left in regulation. Jackson State added a two-point conversion after its final touchdown in regulation, and the teams went into overtime tied at 23.
TSU won the coin toss to start overtime and elected to play defense first. Riding high on momentum, JSU scored a touchdown on a three-yard pass to put pressure on Big Blue.
TSU got the ball knowing that the team needed at least a touchdown to continue the game. Again, Big Blue called William's number in the red zone and he scored form four yards out.
Big Blue lined up for a point-after-touchdown attempt to tie the game. However, a botched snap threw the attempt into disarray. Senior quarterback Richard Hartman was able to handle the snap and shovel the ball to Brandon Williams for a two-point score and the victory.
Heffner completed 10-of-17 passes for 158 yards and was selected as the Classic's Most Valuable Player. Williams rushed for over 100 yards for the third consecutive time on the season, and finished with 111 yards on the ground and three touchdowns.
The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® highlights some of the greatest moments in honor of Tennessee State's centennial celebration. A new moment will be released each weekday for a total of 100. These moments were chosen by the TSU 100 Moments committee, which consists of alums from various departments. TSU has so many great moments, not all can be represented in these 100.
Sports Information Assistant Alex Mitchell contributed to this article.
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