MEMPHIS --- Tennessee State rallied from an 11-point deficit to tie the game, but Jackson State put together a drive and converted a late field goal with just more than a minute remaining in the game to hand the Tigers a 31-28 setback Saturday in the 13th Annual Southern Heritage Classic.
TSU was hurt by crucial turnovers during the game, including having one pass intercepted in the end zone after having a first-and-goal situation from 4-yard line in the third period. However, the Tigers rebounded with a late third quarter field goal by Joey Hudak and tied the game at 28-28 after a 51-yard pass from Bryson Rosser to Patrick Jenkins and the ensuing two-point conversion run by Charles Anthony.
After a change of possessions, JSU mounted what proved to be its winning drive. JSU took over at its own 14-yard line and reeled off 16 plays to cover 83 yards that took 8:02 off the clock. JSU scored what proved to be the winning point on Ashley Ascher's 20-yard field goal with 1:02 left.
In the brief time remaining, TSU moved as far as JSU's 44 and the game ended with a pass knocked away as the horn sounded at the JSU end zone.
After taking a 3-0 first quarter lead, the Tigers had to play catch-up falling behind by an 11-point margin on a pair of occasions.
JSU running back Tarnak Counslor had 125 yards on 14 carries and a pair of TD's. Highly touted quarterback Robert Kent was 18-34-0 passing for 246 yards.
The Tiger defense had five quarterback sacks, all coming in the second half. Linebacker Jermaine Beal and defensive back Deon Giddens each had 13 tackles. Redshirt freshman Aaron Harris had five tackles for a loss and a pair of quarterback sacks.
Offensively, TSU used three quarterbacks in the game in Riley Walker, Kenny Irby, and Bryson Rosser. The three signal callers combined for 11-29-3 passing for 146 yards TD.
Sophomore running back Charles Anthony, coming back from a sprained ankle, had 113 yards on 13 carries. C.J. Johnson had three catches for 31 yards and Jenkins had 56 yards on his two catches.
The game took almost four hours to play. A crowd of almost 39,000 gathered inside the Liberty Bowl for the contest which was also viewed live by a national audience on Black Entertainment Television (BET).