Timothy Cash, Sports Editor
Jacksonville State accomplished something no other Ohio Valley Conference team has been able to accomplish: win 27 consecutive conference games. The 41-25 win came over Eastern Kentucky, who held the previous record of 26 straight from 1992 to 1995, in front of 18,045 fans at Burgess-Snow Field.
“I think this is a pat on the back to the guys that have built this program,” head coach John Grass said. “All of the relation ships and the hard work that has gone into that.”
The last time Jacksonville State lost to an OVC opponent came on Nov. 23, 2013 against then number two Eastern Illinois, who rolled over the Gamecocks 52-14. The streak started the next weekend at Burgess-Snow, when Jax State outlasted a big fourth quarter by Southeast Missouri to walk away with the 42-35 win.
In all, Grass was happy with the production he saw from the Gamecocks.
“It was a good night,” Grass said. “I thought we got off to a really good start, a fast start. I thought the crowd was great tonight. I thought they were really into the game, we had a lot of energy, and they helped with that energy.”
As usual, Jacksonville State’s defense had their way with Eastern Kentucky, only allowing the Colonels to net 252 yards on the day.
Darius Jackson, who was honored with his first OVC Defensive Player of the Week of the season, led the Gamecocks defense with two forced fumbles, tying his career high, and recovering one of the fumbles. He was also instrumental in limiting Eastern Kentucky to only 57 rushing yards.
Marlon Bridges also shined for Jax State’s defense, intercepting Colonel quarterback Tim Boyle for a 73-yards touchdown, the 10th longest interception in JSU football’s history.
Offensively, Bryant Horn may have had his best start since taking over as the Gamecocks starting quarterback. The redshirt junior hit 10 of his 17 targets for 158 yards, including and a 31-yard touchdown to Jamari Hester late in the second quarter. He was also Jax State’s most productive rusher, gaining 73 yards with two touchdowns.
Krenwick Sanders led the Gamecocks’ receiving corp. with 46 yards on two catches. Shaq Davidson found 31 receiving yards.
Roc Thomas, who had 36 receiving yards, recorded 21 yards in the ground game, including a 12-yard touchdown.
Tramel Terry found 49 rushing yards, while Kendrick Doss found 20.
Colonel quarterback Tim Boyle completed 16 of his 26 pass attempts for 186, including a 27-yard touchdown to Daryl McCleskey.
McCleskey finished with 59 receiving yards, and 12 yards in the Colonels’ ground game.
Ryan Markush led Eastern Kentucky’s receivers with 60 yards, while Neiko Creamer recorded 43.
Jason Lewis led the Colonels’ ground game with 50 yards.
The Gamecocks now turn their attention to Eastern Illinois, aiming to move the streak to 28 consecutive conference wins. Jacksonville State travels to Charleston, Ill. this Saturday, October 21, to take on the Panthers at 2 p.m. Central Time.