Tag: Connor Rouleau

Gamecocks jump over TSU 48-13 in front of 23,413 fans

~ Photo by Sydney Sorrells
~ Photo by Sydney Sorrells

JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville State Gamecocks lived up to their No. 1 FCS rank as they defeated the Tennessee State Tigers 48-13.

In the home opener for the Gamecocks, and Ohio Valley Conference opener for both teams, a record breaking 23,413 was in attendance at Burgess-Snow Field.

The Gamecocks (2-1) put on a show in front of their home crowd and won their first OVC game of the season in pursuit to a second straight OVC Championship.

Eli Jenkins led the Gamecocks with 162 passing yards, two touchdowns, and 95 rushing yards. Troymaine Pope tacked on 93 rushing yards and Josh Clemons ran for 67 yards with one touchdown. Miles Jones ended with two rushing touchdowns and Jarren Johnson recorded one rushing touchdown.

Ruben Gonzalez led in receiving with eight catches for 109 yards. Josh Barge and Markis Merrill ended with one touchdown catch apiece.

On defense, Joel McCandless led the way with nine tackles, two for a loss, and one sack. Chris Landrum recorded six tackles. Folo Johnson had four tackles along with Dawson Wells, Brandon Bender and DeBarriaus Miller. Miller recorded an interception along with Ra’Shad Green. E.J. Moss was in on a fumble recovery, while both Landrum and Joseph Roberts forced a fumble.

After going scoreless in the first quarter, the Gamecocks put the first points on the board in the second with a 21-yard touchdown pass from Jenkins to Merrill.

A defensive stop gave JSU the ball back leading 7-0. They would go up 14-0 with 3:14 left in the first half when Jenkins found Barge in the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown pass.

Green’s interception set the Gamecocks up for another touchdown right before halftime. Jones ran in from two-yards-out to extend the lead 21-0.

JSU opened the second half with a 34-yard field goal by Connor Rouleau.

TSU would then get the ball and found the end zone for their first points on an 84-yard touchdown pass. The Tigers missed the extra point so the Gamecocks led 24-6 with 11:20 left in the third quarter.

The Gamecocks didn’t respond to the Tigers score and TSU scored again when they got the ball back. Tennessee State brought the lead down to 24-13 with another touchdown pass. This left 5:57 in the third quarter.

JSU responded quickly this time and went up 30-13 with a 2-yard run from Jones.

TSU got the ball, but turned it over as Miller caught an interception to set up Clemons 1-yard touchdown run. The Gamecocks converted on a two-point conversion and went up 38-13.

Later, in the fourth quarter, Cade Stinnett converted on a 22-yard field goal to put the Gamecocks up 41-13.

The Gamecocks last touchdown came with 53 seconds left when Johnson ran in for 17 yards.

The Gamecocks dominated every phase of the game with first downs (32-9), total yards (576-208), and time-of-possession (32:15–27:45).

Next, the Gamecocks travel to play UT Martin in another OVC match-up on Sept. 26. Kick-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN3.

Marvel Robinson
Sports Editor

JSU Football wraps up J-DAY

JSU Sportswire
JSU Sportswire

In the 2015 J-DAY Spring Game, White defeated Red 17-9.

In the scrimmage, Red ran a total of 69 plays and White ran 49. In this scenario, less was more as White had 219 total yards, while running 20 less plays than Red. Red ended with 167 total yards.

Eli Jenkins led the White with two touchdowns. Jenkins passed for 151 yards completing 10-of-16 throws. He also rushed for 29 yards and a rushing touchdown of 14 yards to go with his passing touchdown.

Troymaine Pope led in rushing for White with just 36 yards. Dalton Screws was the top receiver with four catches for 43 yards and a touchdown. Screws caught a seven yard touchdown pass from Jenkins. However, Markis Merrill had the most receiving yards with 68.

On defense, Jaylen Hill led the White with eight total tackles. Darius Jackson led the Red with seven total tackles with three being tackles for losses.

For the Gamecocks Red team, Christian LeMay passed for 83 yards completing 7-of-20 passes. Dalton Etheridge also contributed at quarterback completing 7-of-11 throws with 44 yards. Miles Jones led in rushing with 40 yards and Calen Campbell ran for 36. Josh Barge led in receiving with seven catches for 91 yards.

Connor Rouleau, Cade Stinnett and Kyle Trego all made field goals in the game. Rouleau made two. One was from 44 yards out and the other from 49. Stinnett sent a 32-yd field goal through the uprights and Trego made his from 31.

The Jacksonville State Gamecocks will continue to try to get better this offseason before the first game of the season arrives on Sept. 5 when they travel to play Chattanooga.

Marvel Robinson
Sports Editor

JSU Football season ends in second round of FCS Playoffs

JSU Sportswire
JSU Sportswire

In the second round of the FCS Playoffs, the Jacksonville State Gamecocks lost 37-26 to the Sam Houston Bearkats. The Gamecocks season ends with an overall 10-2 record.

In the loss, JSU had more rushing and passing yards than Sam Houston. The Gamecocks ran for 260 yards, while Sam Houston ran for 241. Sam Houston threw for 161 yards, but the Gamecocks threw for 253.

It was 12 penalties and two turnovers that really hurt Jacksonville State. The Bearkats scored 14 points off those turnovers and they only had four penalties.

Eli Jenkins led with 337 all-purpose yards. Jenkins threw for 253 yards and added 84 yards on the ground. Jenkins had a passing and a rushing touchdown.

DaMarcus James led in rushing with 128 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown was James 49th career rushing touchdown and puts him at the top of the list for career rushing touchdowns breaking David Gulledge all-time school record.

On defense, there were four Gamecocks in double digits with tackles. Ben Endress and Michael Carlisle led with 11 tackles, while Siran Neal and Folo Johnson both had 10 tackles.

On Jacksonville State’s first drive of the game, the Gamecocks drove right down the field on 5 plays for 70 yards to score the first touchdown of the game. On the drive, Jenkins completed two big passes, one to Markis Merrill for 29 yards, and the other to Josh Barge for 40 yards. The passes set up a 1-yard touchdown run by James. Sam Houston answered with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Jared Johnson to Keshawn Hill to tie the score 7-7. JSU would then respond and go up 14-7 with a 73-yard touchdown pass from Jenkins to Spencer Goffigan. The score would remain 14-7 at the end of the first quarter.

Sam Houston struck first in the second quarter and tied the score at 14. JSU would answer with a touchdown of their own as Jenkins ran for 14 yards into the end zone. The extra point was blocked, so the score remained 20-14. It was 8:36 left in the second quarter when Sam Houston took the lead for the first time in the game going up 21-20 due to a touchdown pass from Johnson to LaDarius Brown. The Gamecocks would respond again, but this time with a 37-yard field goal by Connor Rouleau to jump ahead 23-21. Sam Houston would mock JSU with a field goal of their own to take the lead 24-23. However, JSU regained the lead with a 42-yard field goal by Rouleau right before the end of the half to lead 26-24 at halftime.

The Gamecocks played well in the first half, but the second half was the difference maker. The Gamecocks were shut out in the second half. The defense gave up two touchdowns in the third quarter to give Sam Houston the 37-26 lead. The Gamecocks had a chance to comeback, but fell short. JSU turned the ball over late in the fourth quarter and that sealed the deal.

Sam Houston will now face Villanova in the Division I Quarterfinals.

In the post-game interview, JSU head coach John Grass talked about the loss.

“They just made a few more plays than we did,” Grass said.

“Our guys played extremely hard (and) played the game physical. We did not play a bad game. At times we played extremely well today.”

Although JSU loss, John Grass was still named the American Football Coaches Association 2014 FCS Regional Coach of the Year.

JSU will look to do just as good in the regular season next year as they did this year. The Gamecocks won every single Conference game in the regular season and was named OVC Champions. Next season, the Gamecocks will look to not only make the playoffs again, but to go further than the second round and maybe to the Championship.

OVC Champs clinch playoff birth

JSU Sportswire
JSU Sportswire

The No. 3 Jacksonville State Gamecocks defeated Eastern Illinois 27-20 to claim the Ohio Valley Conference Championship and clinch a playoff spot in the FCS Playoffs.

The Gamecocks are now 9-1 overall and 7-0 in the Ohio Valley Conference. This is the first time in school history that Jacksonville State has posted a perfect 7-0 in the OVC.

Jacksonville State head coach John Grass has the most wins through 10 games than any JSU coach in his debut season.

The passing game was huge in the win as Eli Jenkins passed for a career best 288 yards and one touchdown. Josh Barge led the receivers with eight receptions, 153 yards and a touchdown. Ruben Gonzalez caught seven passes of his own for 113 yards. This was the first time the Gamecocks had two receivers over 100 yards since Nov. 3, 2001.

“We knew we were going to have to throw it coming in,” said head coach John Grass in the post-game interview. “Barge had his normal day, Eli played really, really well and it was good to see Ruben get going. He showed tonight what we thought he could do the whole season.”

DaMarcus James had another good game on the ground as he rushed for over 100 yards with a touchdown. James has a school-record of 17 career 100-yard rushing games.

On the defensive end, Darius Jackson and Jaylen Hill both had interceptions. Jackson returned his interception for a 27-yard touchdown. Michael Carlisle and Ben Endress both led with 10 tackles.

Jacksonville State scored on their first drive of the game in just two plays. It only took 41 seconds for Jenkins to find Barge on a 59-yard touchdown pass. JSU jumped up 7-0 early in the game. However, Eastern Illinois would find the end zone towards the end of the first quarter to tie the score at seven.

In the second quarter, Connor Rouleau kicked two back-to-back field goals to put the Gamecocks up 13-7. Then, after another defensive stand, Jacksonville State’s running back James found the end zone on an 8-yard run. JSU went up 20-7 at halftime.

In the third, Eastern Illinois scored 10 unanswered points to bring the score to 20-17.

It was early in the fourth quarter when Jackson intercepted a pass for the Gamecocks and returned it for a 27-yard touchdown. This made the score 27-17 until Eastern Illinois added three more points with a field goal. EIU had two more chances to score again, but the Gamecocks defense stopped them and held them to no yards on the last two possessions. The final score ended 27-20.

JSU will now head on the road to Cape Giradeau, Mo. to face Southeast Missouri in the last game of the regular season.

“Hopefully we’ll have a good week this week and go on the road and beat a good SEMO team and make sure we get one of the top four seeds and get to play at home,” said Grass.

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Live stats and game information can be found at www.jsugamecocksports.com.

Marvel Robinson
Sports Editor

JSU Football gets eighth-straight win with 20-6 victory over EKU

JSU Sportswire
JSU Sportswire

The No. 4 Jacksonville State Gamecocks defeated the Eastern Kentucky Colonels 20-6 in an Ohio Valley Conference matchup.

The Gamecocks have now extended their win streak to eight and have and overall record of 8-1. The Colonels are now 8-2 overall.

It was a hard fought win for the Gamecocks as their defense held strong and their offense ran long.

The Gamecocks’ offense rushed for 357 yards which was led by DaMarcus James with 170. The 170 rushing yards gave James 3,233 yards in his career and moves him from fourth place to second on the school’s career rushing list. James also had a rushing touchdown and so did Troymaine Pope. Connor Rouleau added six points with two field goals.

DeBarriaus Miller led the Gamecocks’ defense with two interceptions while Folo Johnson set a new career high with 14 tackles.

The scoring started with Rouleau kicking a 22-yard field goal. The score would remain 3-0 at the end of the first quarter. Eastern Kentucky responded half-way through the second quarter with a field goal of their own. Then, on the Gamecocks next possession, James found the end zone on a 13-yard run. The drive consisted of seven plays for 75 yards. The score was 10-3 in JSU favor at halftime.

EKU managed to score one last time in the third quarter. The Colonels kicked another field goal to make the score 10-6 at the end of the third quarter. However, the Gamecocks would put up 10 points in the fourth quarter to secure the win. Rouleau kicked a 48-yard field goal which was the longest of his career. Pope followed up with a 14-yard touchdown run. Eastern Kentucky tried to come back, but it was a little too late.

“Our defense just played their butts off,” Coach Grass said in the post-game interview.

“Two times they were able to get the ball into the red zone and we were able to hold them to field goals. That was big.”

The Gamecocks are first in the OVC with a 6-0 conference record. The 8-1 overall record gives head coach John Grass the most wins of any other head coach in Jacksonville State history through the first nine games.

Next, the Gamecocks will be at home to face Eastern Illinois. The game is scheduled for 3 p.m.

 Marvel Robinson
Sports Editor