by Ben Ennis
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Jackson State (JSU) Tigers defense held the Alabama State (ASU) Hornets to 180 yards of total offense and two points in a 20-2 win. With the win, the Tigers stay in contention for the SWAC East Division crown and an opportunity to play in the SWAC championship game. Alabama State loss eliminated the team from the SWAC title race.
The Tigers defense scored the team’s first touchdown when Ryan Theyard intercepted a tipped pass and took it in for a touchdown during first quarter action. Keontre Hampton totaled seven tackles, including one sack and two tackles for a loss. Khalil Johnson made six tackles, that included two sacks and three tackles for loss.
Offensively, JSU took an early 10-0 first quarter lead that increased to 17-0 going into the halftime. Christian Jacquemin made a 39-yard field goal at 2:25 in the first quarter and with 24 seconds remaining in the first half, quarterback Jarrad Hayes connected with Keshawn Harper for a touchdown to end the first half with a 17-0 lead. Jacquemin made a second field goal at 10:23 in the fourth quarter and JSU extended its lead to 20-0.
When asked about the changes that made a difference, JSU Interim Head Coach John Hendrick said, “We’ve gone back to basics.
We took a hard look at who are our best playmakers.” Then the goal is to design the right plays that take advantage of these playmakers according to Hendrick.
The Hornets struggled to move the ball and made majpr mistakes the entire game. ASU Head coach Donald Hill-Ele
y said, “It was a very tough loss. Looked like two different teams from last week. Offensively we couldn’t get anything going.” “Jackson State continued to play hard and took advantage of the miscues that we had, like the touchdown on the interception,” said Hill-Eley. “We turned the ball over again and gave them a short field that led to another score.”
Photos: Ben Ennis