Tigers' Effort Falls Short, 29-35, to Jackson State
The Tennessee State Tigers, playing a valiant first half fell 29-35 to the Jackson State Tigers at the Southern Heritage Classic in Memphis, Tennessee (09/10). The loss dropped TSU to a 1-1 record in the early season.
It was also the second straight loss to Jackson State in the Southern Heritage Classic after TSU had won seven straight in the current series. It marked the first time Jackson State has won back-to-back wins over Tennessee State since they won three in a row during the 1995, 96 and 97 seasons. Tennessee State now holds a 10-9 record against Jackson State in the Southern Heritage Classic and a 23-20-2 record in the overall series between the two schools.
The game began as on offensive affair, when Jackson State scored a 62-yard TD on their first play of the first quarter for a 7-0 lead with 11:54 remaining on the clock. TSU fought back on their next possession scoring on a Jeremy Perry to Travis James 54-yard TD bomb to tie the score at 7-7 at 8:27. Jackson State moved ahead 14-7 at the 4:55 mark, but TSU tied the score at 14-14 just two minutes later (2:14).
In the second quarter, TSU moved ahead 21-14 (12:25) on a Calvin McNairl 11-yard TD reception, but Jackson State drove 74-yards in six plays to tie the score at 21-21 at the 9:47 mark. Tennessee State closed out the first-half scoring with a 43-yard Field Goal by Jamin Godfrey at 7:19 for a 24-21 TSU lead at halftime.
The second half was more a defensive battle, but Jackson State was able to score a TD in the third quarter after an 11-play, 82 yard drive for a 28-24 lead (10:08). Tennessee State got the board with a safety (6:17) when the Jackson State quarterback fielded an errant center snap and was called for intentionally grounding the football after intense pressure from the TSU defense. The third quarter ended with Jackson State leading 28-26.
The TSU defense held Jackson State at bay for the majority of the fourth quarter, but JSU engineered an 11-play, 71 yard drive for a TD with just 2:04 remaining in the game for a 35-26 lead.. Tennessee State mounted a heroic 8-play 31-yard drive to score a 33-yard FG with 0:28 remaining to close the score to 35-29 . The ensuing onside kick was recovered by TSU, but a penalty for early touching by TSU awarded the ball to Jackson State. The Tigers of J-State were able to run out the clock for the win.
On the game, TSU gained 377 yards of Total Offense (78 rush, 226 pass), while yielding 477 yards of Total Offense (140 rush, 337 pass) to Jackson State. TSU earned 16 first downs (5 rush,10 pass, 1 penalty) while Jackson State earned 22 first downs (8 rush, 12 pass, 2 penalty).
Tennessee State quarterback Jeremy Perry passes for 226 yards (21-31-2) and 2 TDs. WR Travis James gained 115 yards on 3 receptions with 1 TD. TSU's top rushers were Trabis Ward with 35 yards (13 carries) with 1 TD and Dante' Thomas with 34 yards (13 carries).
TSU's top defender was linebacker Rico Council, who led all tacklers with 11 tackles (7 solo) with 2 TFLs (16), 1 sack (11) and 1 forced fumble.
Tennessee State University opens their Ohio Valley Conference season next week when they travel to play at Murray State. Game time is set for 6:00p.
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