TIGERS NOTCH WINNING SEASONBY DFEATING MURRAY STATE, 35-10
MURRAY, Ky. --- Tennessee State rode the running of junior running back Charles Anthony, timely passing, and a strong defensive effort in rolling to a 35-10 victory over host Murray State to secure a winning season as the Tigers wrapped up the 2003 campaign. The victory gives the Tigers a 7-5 overall mark and 5-3 Ohio Valley Conference record. TSU, picked to finish seventh in the OVC after 2-10 and 1-5 marks last year, is the OVC's most-improved team over last season. Murray State, picked to finish second, wraps up the campaign at 4-7 and 3-5. "It is a great win to close the season," said Tiger head coach James Reese. We are going to miss our (17) seniors and we wanted them to go out with a victory. "The guys had fun out there today and got the job done. It is a positive way for us to go into the off-season and begin our work for next year. We had a lot of guys come through with big games, but you can't say enough about the effort that Charles had today." Anthony rushed for a career-high 194 yards and scored one TD. He tied the school record of 38 attempts in a game. Darron Davis also had 38 rushes in a game against Ausitn Peay during the 1993 season. TSU finished the game with 386 yards of total offense. Senior C.J. Johnson, already the OVC and school's all-time leader in receiving yardage had scoring catches on two of his three receptions in the game. Johnson fell short by six receptions of tying Mike Jones all-time career mark of 200 receptions. The Tiger defense held MSU to 227 yards of total offense and did not allow any points until the second half. The Racers lone TD was set up by a Tiger fumble late in the third period. TSU recorded five quarterback sacks on the day. Senior safety Ahmed Safeullah had six solo among seven total stops. Ten different Tigers had tackles for losses. Tennessee State got the scoring underway as Bryson Rosser hooked up with C.J. Johnson on a 57-yard scoring play on the first play of TSU's second position. Joey Hudak's PAT gave the Tigers the 7-0 at the 11:46 mark of the opening period. The Tigers stretched the halftime advantage to 21-0 with a pair of second-quarter scores. Anthony broke through on a 42-yard scoring run to conclude a 7-play, 82-yard march that was kept alive by a roughing the kicker penalty. TSU's final TD of the first half came on a 13-yard pass from Rosser to senior Ande Durojaiye. The 4-play, 92-yard drive was keyed by a 58-yard screen pass from Rosser to Anthony. Murray State opened the scoring in the third quarter with its lone TD of the contest on a 16-yard pass from Stephen Hatchell to Brandon Roddy. TSU set the drive up with a fumble at its own 42-yard line. The Tigers took advantage of a Murray State turnover as Gerald Morrow recovered a Landon Cobb fumble at the Murray State 22-yard line. The Tigers wasted little time in capitalizing on the miscue as Rosser threw a TD pass to Johnson on the next play to make the score 28-10 with 28 second remaining in the third period. TSU's final score came with 10:47 remaining in the fourth period as backup quarterback Riley Walker threw to Ronald Jackson for a 22-yard scoring play. Hudak's fifth extra point made the score 35-10 which stood the remainder of the way.