Tag: DaMarcus James

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

Gamecocks show out on Homecoming

JSU Sportswire
JSU Sportswire

The Gamecocks made sure Homecoming was a success as they dominated Austin Peay 56-0.

Although there was cold, windy weather, the fans still came out to see the Gamecocks as the attendance for the game reached 17,952.

“It was a little cool today, but I think everyone who came out had a good time,” said head coach John Grass during the post-game interview.

The JSU defense was very impressive in their performance as they forced two turnovers and was awarded with the shutout. Troymaine Pope forced a fumble that Lawon Debardelaben recovered. DeBarriaus Miller caught an interception and returned it for seven yards. The shutout was not only JSU first shutout of the season, but it was their first shutout since 2010. Coach Grass felt like the shutout was really impressive.

“In today’s world of offenses, it’s really hard to shut somebody out,” Grass said.

The Gamecocks’ offense was also impressive considering they scored eight touchdowns for 56 points.The 56-point margin of victory was Jacksonville State’s biggest since beating Cumberland University 72-10 in 2001.

Jones led Jacksonville State with three of those eight touchdowns. Jones had a 4-yard touchdown run, a 21-yard touchdown run and a 22-yard touchdown run.

Running backs DaMarcus James and Pope both had touchdowns of their own. Pope scored the first touchdown of the game with a 9-yard run, while James scored the last touchdown of the game with a 2-yard run. James touchdown run gave him 44 on his career and is still second for the school record of 48 by David Gulledge. James has also now rushed for 3,000 career yards which makes him the fourth JSU player to do so.

Jacksonville State quarterbacks Eli Jenkins and Christian Lemay also ran for a touchdown. Lemay’s touchdown run went for seven yards and Jenkins touchdown run came from one-yard-out. Markis Merril caught a pass from Jenkins, but fumbled it in the end zone. Bo Brummel recovered the fumble and was awarded with the touchdown.

The Gamecocks had 416 rushing yards and 239 passing yards. They set the school record for total offensive yards with 655.

“It was good to get a record, and it’s always good to get 600-and-something yards of offense,” said Grass.

The Gamecocks are now 7-1 overall and 5-0 in the conference. JSU is ranked No. 4 in this weeks Top 25 FCS Coaches Poll.

The next game for Jacksonville State is an away game against Eastern Kentucky. The game is set for 12 p.m. Live stats and game information can be found at jsugamecocksports.com. 

Marvel Robinson
Sports Editor

JSU defeats Tennessee Tech 49-3

JSU Sportswire
                                                                                                                                   JSU Sportswire

Jacksonville State defeated Tennessee Tech 49-3 on last Saturday to make six wins in a row for the Gamecocks.

The Gamecocks’ offense had 335 rushing yards and 261 passing yards to make a total of 596 offensive yards.

The defense only allowed three points in the whole game. They also only allowed eight first downs and only 67 passing yards the whole game.

After a first quarter of no scoring for the Gamecocks, Jacksonville State scored 35 points in the second quarter. The 35 points in a quarter is a school record.

Miles Jones ran for nine yards into the end zone to put the Gamecocks up 7-3. Then, on a 1-yard run, running back DaMarcus James scored a touchdown to make the score 14-3 with 10:24 left in the second quarter. The next drive for Jacksonville State would only take three plays and 26 yards. Christian Lemay found Anthony Johnson on a 17-yard touchdown pass. The pass extended the lead 21-3. Troymaine Pope would then add a score with his 22-yard touchdown run. The Gamecocks fifth touchdown of the quarter came with 40 seconds left. The drive lasted three plays and 42 yards. Eli Jenkins had connected with Ruben Gonzalez on a 10-yard touchdown pass. The touchdown gave Gonzalez his first touchdown catch of his Gamecock career. It also made the score 35-3 at halftime.

The game was pretty much over at halftime, but to add insult to injury, the Gamecocks scored two more touchdowns in the second half. Lemay would throw another touchdown pass to Johnson. This time the pass went for 28 yards. The score would be 42-3 at the end of the third quarter.

The second touchdown came in the fourth where Jones scored on a 2-yard run. The Gamecocks last touchdown drive consisted of 13 plays and 52 yards.

JSU is now No.5 in both the Top 25 FCS Coaches Poll and in The Sports Network Top 25 football poll. The Gamecocks record stands at 6-1 overall and 4-0 in the OVC.

Jacksonville State will now get ready for their Homecoming game as they will face Austin Peay on Saturday at 3 p.m.

“We will have good Homecoming week with a lot of folks coming back to campus. We have to do our job and be ready to play,” said head coach John Grass.

Tickets are available by calling the JSU Athletic Ticket Office at 256-782-8499 or online at JSUGamecockSports.com.

Marvel Robinson
Sports Editor