Tag: Bryant Horn

JSU finds success with two-quarterback system

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Both Bryant Horn and Kendrick Doss saw action in the Gamecocks’ 31-10 victory over Liberty on Saturday (JSU Athletics)

Daniel Mayes, Chanticleer Sports Reporter

A quarterback controversy can often cause tension and even tear apart a football team, but for Jacksonville State, having multiple quarterbacks that can play is not a problem but a weapon.

In Saturday’s 31-10 victory over Liberty, the Gamecocks alternated quarterbacks, with usual starter Bryant Horn playing the first two offensive series before junior Kendrick Doss entered the game on the third.

“We decided we were going to play Kendrick Doss during the third series,” Coach John Grass said after the game. “It wasn’t anything to do with Bryant, we just wanted to play Kendrick.”

Doss had seen action sparingly in mop-up duty in the season-opening game against Chattanooga, but Saturday was the first extended action the redshirt junior has been a part of for Jacksonville State.

The two quarterbacks rotated in and out throughout the remainder of the game, with both finding some success.

Horn was the more prolific passer, completing nine of his 19 attempts for 181 yards and an 80-yard touchdown strike to freshman tight end Trae Barry to open up the scoring on the night for JSU.

Doss also found some success through the air, though with fewer chances, going 8-10 for 64 yards.

Doss made his impact on the game on the ground, rushing three times for 32 yards, but picking up a key score on a 15-yard touchdown run, the first for the Florence, Alabama native.

“It felt very good to get that first one,” Doss said after the game. “I have been waiting a long time for it.”

Doss originally signed with Ole Miss out of Florence High School, but, after a year with no playing time, Doss would transfer to Northeast Mississippi Community College, where he spent a season before arriving at JSU prior to the 2016 campaign.

Coach Grass says that both quarterbacks are on board with the two-quarterback system, and the two have a great friendship.

“No one was more excited for Doss’ touchdown than Horn and that speaks volumes of their relationship. They have a lot of respect for one another.”

Despite the constant rotation, the Gamecock offense seemed to find a rhythm, putting up their largest offensive output, 385 total yards and 31 points, on the season to date.

Grass says Bryant Horn will remain the starter, but his team has no issue with the two-quarterback system, and it is something the Gamecocks will use going forward despite the unpopularity of the method in college football.

“A lot of people don’t like rotating quarterbacks, but I’m all about developing the No. 2 guy.”

Horn, Doss and the Gamecocks will next see the field again on the road in Cookeville, Tennessee against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 6 p.m.

Follow Daniel on Twitter @DMayes34 for tweets about JSU, Sports, JSU Sports, and sometimes spectacularly cringeworthy puns.

Horn passes first test as JSU’s new quarterback

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Bryant Horn warms up prior to Jacksonville State’s 27-13 victory over UTC (JSU Athletics)

Daniel Mayes, Staff Writer

Replacing a legend can’t be easy.

That’s the unenviable task set upon Jacksonville State Redshirt Junior quarterback Bryant Horn this season after the departure of arguably JSU’s greatest quarterback in Eli Jenkins.

Horn’s task seems even more daunting when you consider that Jenkins’s favorite target and JSU legend in his own right, Josh Barge, is no longer around to ease Horn’s transition.

However, despite all the pressure that comes with being “the guy” as the new starting quarterback, facing a bitter rival and playing on a nationally-televised game on ESPN in his first game to boot, after a 27-13 victory over Tennessee-Chattanooga, Horn is off to a pretty good start.

In a game in which senior running back Roc Thomas, who accumulated 190 all-purpose yards, and the stifling Gamecock defense got most of the headlines and credit for the victory, Horn put forth a solid performance, connecting on 14 of his 20 pass attempts in his first outing, totaling 182 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions.

“[Horn’s] leadership was outstanding from the jump of the game,” said Thomas, who was named FCS Offensive Player of the Week for his performance. “His leadership, his sticking with the plan of the game and his persistence was amazing.”

After a rocky first series in which the Gamecocks went three-and-out, Horn was able to calm his team down on their second possession and led JSU to a field goal, hitting sophomore wide receiver Jamari Hester with a bullet pass over the middle for 14 yards to convert a third down.

“I thought Bryant played really well for his first game,” Coach John Grass said after the victory. “He probably made one bad throw that he forced over the middle.”

That bad throw resulted in the first of his two interceptions, with Horn miss-firing on a pass intended for Shaq Davidson that sailed high and was picked off by UTC’s Kareem Orr.

The short field allowed the Mocs to tie the game at 3-3 after converting on a field goal of their own.

After the interception, Horn quickly bounced back, making smart decisions and leading JSU into scoring range again.

Horn’s second interception then came on a potential touchdown pass late in the second quarter that bounced off the hands of Hester and was swiped by UTC’s Lucas Webb, leaving the score at 10-6 at the break.

“He’s a quiet confident guy,” Coach Grass said of Horn. “Nothing rattles him.”

Horn proved his coach right in the second half, shaking off the two interceptions to lead the Gamecock offense to a 14 play, 67-yard drive on their first possession of the second half, which resulted in another field goal.

After a pick-six from the Gamecock defense made the score 20-6, Horn and the Gamecocks put the game away with a 59-yard touchdown strike hauled in by Davidson late in the third quarter.

Horn’s performance in his first outing will not cause any comparison to the gaudy statistics his predecessor routinely racked up, but, with a weapon like Thomas on the offensive side of the ball and a defensive unit that Coach Grass calls the backbone of the team, Horn showed he doesn’t have to be Eli Jenkins for him, or the Gamecocks as a whole, to be successful.