Tag: DaMarcus James

JSU moves to 5-1 after defeating Tennessee State

~JSU Sportswire
~JSU Sportswire

In the Ohio Valley Conference match-up last Saturday, the Jacksonville State Gamecocks (5-1, 3-0 OVC) defeated the Tennessee State Tigers (4-3, 1-2 OVC) 27-20.

With the win, the Gamecocks improve to 8-2 against Tennessee State and 4-0 in Nashville.

Both teams had over 400 yards of total offense. JSU had 213 rushing yards and 190 passing. TSU had 364 passing yards and 43 rushing.

The Gamecocks scored three of their four touchdowns on the ground where DaMarcus James led with two touchdowns and 93 yards. James has now moved to second place on Jacksonville State’s career rushing touchdown list with 42. He trails David Gulledge’s school record of 48.

The JSU defense forced six turnovers with four interceptions and two fumble recoveries. LaMichael Fanning forced a fumble while Terrence Pendleton and Folo Johnson had fumble recoveries. Jermaine Hough had two interceptions along with one interception from Debarriaus Miller and one from Devaunte Sigler. The interceptions gave Miller and Sigler their first career interception.

Tennessee State put the first points on the board as they scored a field goal on their first drive. Jacksonville State would respond with a touchdown where Eli Jenkins completed a 16-yard pass to Bo Brummel. The extra point was blocked so the score would be 6-3 at the end of the first quarter.

James scored the lone touchdown in the second quarter on a 2-yard run. The drive consisted of 3 plays and 61 yards to make the score 13-3 going into the half.

The third quarter had the most scoring and was probably the most effective quarter in the game. After a couple of runs from James and Jenkins, James would finish the drive off with a 7-yard touchdown run to make the score 20-3 with 12:23 left in the third quarter. On the next drive, Tennessee State would march right down the field only to be held to a field goal. It wouldn’t take long for Jacksonville State to score again. On their next drive, the Gamecocks extended their lead to 27-6 with a 19-yard touchdown run by Troymaine Pope.

The Tigers wouldn’t give up that easily as they would score back to back touchdowns. Michael German completed a 15-yard touchdown pass to Wel Garlington to bring the score to 27-13. Then, German would run for one yard to bring the score to 27-20.

The JSU defense was strong in the fourth quarter. There were two important possessions in the fourth where TSU drove down the field in JSU territory. However, both possessions ended in a turnover with interceptions by Sigler and Hough. Hough’s interception closed the game out and sealed the victory for the Gamecocks.

Jacksonville State has now won five-straight games this season after losing the first game of the season to Michigan State.

The Gamecocks will now have an open week, but will return home to action against Tennessee Tech on Oct. 25.

Marvel Robinson
Sports Editor

Jenkins leads the Gamecocks to conference opener win

~ JSU Sportswire
~ JSU Sportswire

     The No. 8 ranked Jacksonville State Gamecocks (3-1, 1-0 OVC) won 52-28 in their OVC conference opener at Murray State (1-3, 0-1 OVC) on Sept. 27th. The Gamecocks win avenges last year’s heartbreaking 35-34 overtime loss at home. In a press conference before the Murray State game, head coach John Grass remarked:

“I think if we had a game circled on the calendar, this one is definitely the one.  Our guys remember last year and it was a devastating loss for our football team.  I would be shocked and disappointed if our football team is not ready to play.”

Well, there was no reason for Coach Grass to be shocked or disappointed as the Gamecocks showed up ready to play to come through with the win.

Running back DaMarcus James made his presence known with 148 yards, and three rushing touchdowns. James now has 40 rushing touchdowns in his JSU career to tie Boyce Callan for second on JSU’s career rushing touchdown list. Jacksonville State quarterback Eli Jenkins also scored three rushing touchdowns and was the most impressive offensive player. Jenkins set new career highs in rushing and passing yards. Jenkins picked up first downs when needed, and ran all over the Racers in general with 149 yards. Jenkins also had a passing touchdown and has been named the OVC Player of the Week for his outstanding performance.

The first half was fast-paced with the Murray State Racers striking first to put up seven points within the first two minutes of the game. The Gamecocks were quick to respond, scoring a touchdown on their next possession. Overall, the entire first half was an offensive shoot-out. JSU gained momentum and control when JD Williams made a pivotal 90-yard kick return to the Murray State 6-yard line. The return resulted in a James touchdown run just moments before halftime, giving the Gamecocks a 35-28 lead.

The Gamecocks dominated in the second half, putting up 17 unanswered points. Jacksonville State gained control in the 4th quarter as Jenkins tacked on his third rushing touchdown with a sweet 15-yard run. The Jenkins run put the game even further away as the final score ended 52-28.

Coach Grass stuck to a very methodical and effective running game with the Gamecock offense, which helped rack in a staggering 628 total yards. Adjustments made to the Gamecock defense brought the Racers upbeat offensive game to a much slower pace, resulting in a second half shut-out. Better defensive plays were made by the Gamecocks in the second half, allowing Murray State only 71-yards total in the second half, as opposed to the whopping 289-yards allowed in the first half alone.

JSU will now return home to host UT Martin at Burgess-Snow Field on Saturday at 3 pm. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN 3.

Rachel Read
Staff Writer

Gamecocks win first home game

~ JSU Sportswire
~ JSU Sportswire

With the help from three different quarterbacks, the Gamecocks (2-1) defeated West Alabama (2-1) 45-34.

It was announced that 18,912 were in attendance to see Jacksonville State play West Alabama. This was the first time they played since 1992 where JSU won.

Jacksonville State played three different quarterbacks and they all threw at least one touchdown. This was the first time in JSU history where three quarterbacks threw for a touchdown pass.

Eli Jenkins had a touchdown pass to Markis Merrill for 88 yards. Max Shortell had two touchdown passes to Josh Barge who had three total touchdown catches. His third touchdown catch was from Christian Lemay, the third quarterback that played.

“I’m comfortable with all three of those guys,” head coach John Grass said about the three quarterbacks.

The Gamecocks running game was effective as DaMarcus James scored a rushing touchdown to make 37 in his career. Troymaine Pope and Miles Jones both rushed for over 100 yards.

Jax State’s defense would get their first take-away of the season as Jermaine Hough intercepted a pass and scored on a 34-yard return.

The scoring started with West Alabama striking first. It only took the Tigers 3 plays and 67 yards to put the first points on the board. Kyle Caldwell had connected with Tyshaan Alston on a 5-yard pass. The Gamecocks would respond with an 88-yard pass from Jenkins to Merrill. The score would end 7-7 at the end of the first quarter.

Shortell would arrive at quarterback in the second quarter and throw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Barge. This would make the score 14-7 until Connor Rouleau added three more points with a field goal to make it 17-7. James would help put the Gamecocks up 24-7 as he ran in a 3-yard touchdown. West Alabama would score right before the half on a pass from Caldwell to Chad Toocheck. The halftime score was 24-14.

Both teams scored three-straight touchdowns in the second half. JSU would score their three touchdowns first as it started with Shortell passing to Barge again for a 13-yard touchdown. That drive consisted of 10 plays and 99 yards. The Gamecocks went up 31-14 to only to score again with another touchdown catch from Barge. This time, Lemay was the quarterback who threw the 14-yard touchdown pass to Barge. The touchdown pass was Lemay’s first of his career and it gave Barge a new career high of three touchdown passes. This made the score 38-14. The Gamecocks last touchdown would come on defense as Hough scored on a 34-yard interception return to make it 45-14.

West Alabama would score three last-minute touchdowns in the fourth quarter. However, it wasn’t enough as the final score ended in JSU favor 45-34.

Jacksonville State ended with 336 rushing yards and 294 passing yards. The Gamecocks total offensive yards were 630. Jaylen Hill led the team with six tackles.

“It’s good to get that first home win,” Grass said as he became the eighth Gamecock head coach to win his home-opener.

The Gamecocks are now 2-1 and eighth in the FCS. Jacksonville State will now head back on the road as they play at Murray State this Saturday in an OVC Conference game. 

Marvel Robinson
Sports Editor

Overtime thriller gives Grass first win

~ Steve Lathan/JSU
~ Steve Lathan/JSU

John Grass earned his first win as head coach of the Jacksonville State Gamecocks as they defeated the Chattanooga Mocs 26-23 in an overtime thriller.

Jacksonville State approached the game ranked No. 9 and Chattanooga was ranked No. 13.

All of the Gamecocks touchdowns came from running the ball. Miles Jones, DaMarcus James and Eli Jenkins all scored on a rushing touchdown.

Chattanooga didn’t score at all on offense.

The scoring started when Miles Jones ran 12-yards for a Jacksonville State touchdown. Chattanooga would then score on defense as Eli Jenkins was intercepted by Dee Virgin for a 55-yard return. The Gamecocks had their longest drive of the game in the second quarter. DaMarcus James ended the 11 plays, 88-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown run to make the score 14-7. The kicker, Connor Rouleau, added three points with a field goal. The 42-yard field goal was Rouleau’s first career attempt and first career make. Chattanooga would then score again on another interception return. Lucas Webb intercepted Max Shortell to make it 17-14 at halftime.

The second half was more of a defensive game as nothing but field goals were kicked. Rouleau kicked a 21-yard field goal in the third quarter to make it 20-14. Chattanooga would then kick two field goals of their own to tie the game and send it to overtime.

Chattanooga would score first in the overtime. The Mocs kicked a 29-yard field goal to put them up three. All the Gamecocks needed was a touchdown to win the game and Eli Jenkins made sure they got it. Jenkins scored the game winning touchdown on a 13-yard run. The touchdown gave Coach Grass his first win as head coach.

The Gamecocks defense was strong as they only allowed 111 total yards. This was the fewest total yards allowed against a JSU team since the Gamecocks moved to Division I in 1995. Chattanooga only had 38 passing yards with 73 rushing yards. Jacksonville State on the other hand, had 409 yards of total offense. The Gamecocks had 124 passing yards and 285 rushing yards.

DaMarcus James led the rushing with 112 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown gave James 36-career rushing touchdowns which is third in JSU history.

Eli Jenkins was named OVC Offensive Player of the Week and Devaunte Sigler was named OVC Newcomer of the Week.

The Gamecocks have a bye-week this week and will get ready for their home opener against West Alabama on Sept. 20.

Marvel Robinson 
Sports Editor

Tough debut for Grass ends with a loss

~ JSU Sportswire
                                                          ~ JSU Sportswire

The Gamecocks lost 45-7 to the Spartans in the debut of new head coach John Grass. 

It was clear to see that the Jacksonville State Gamecocks were outmatched by the Spartans of Michigan State. Michigan State is the defending Big Ten champion and a serious contender to be in the inaugural College Football Playoff.

JSU came out strong with the first play of the game. It was a 32-yard pass from quarterback Eli Jenkins to wide receiver Josh Barge. That play turned out to be the Gamecocks longest play of the game. However, they did not score on that drive.

The Gamecocks scored their only touchdown in the third quarter when Max Shortell completed a 9-yard pass to Markis Merrill. Freshman placekicker Conner Rouleau scored his first point as a Gamecock with the extra point. The drive consisted of 9 plays and 54 yards.

Michigan State scored 38 of their 45 points in the first half. Connor Cook completed 2 passing touchdowns to Tony Lippett and a third one to AJ Troup. The three passing touchdowns consisted of 64, 71 and 17 yards. Nick Hill scored twice on a 17-yard run and an 8-yard run. Michael Geiger ended the half with a 35-yard field goal. Michigan State last touchdown came in the third quarter when Tyler O’Connor ran it in for three yards.

The Gamecocks had a low total of 22 rushing yards to Michigan State’s 211 rushing yards. DaMarcus James of the Gamecocks had no touchdowns, snapping a streak of 12-straight games with at least one rushing touchdown.

There were 11 Gamecocks that made their first career start on Friday’s game vs. Michigan State. The four on offense were Ruben Gonzalez, Justin Lea, Casey Dunn and Bo Brummel. The seven on defense were LaMichael Fanning, Devaunte Sigler, Tre Garland, Michael Carlisle, Folo Johnson, DeBarriaus Miller and Jaylen Hill.

Bo Brummel caught a 6-yard pass from Jenkins to give him his first career catch in a JSU uniform. Ruben Gonzalez also made his first career catch as a JSU player with a 23-yard pass from Shortell.

JSU senior linebacker Ben Endress recorded 10 tackles which led all defenders.  This marked his third-career double-digit tackle game.

John Grass became the first coach in Jacksonville State history to face an FBS opponent in his debut with the Gamecocks.

There were 75,127 in attendance at the game. This marks the second-largest crowd to ever watch the Gamecocks play behind 82,691 at Florida on Nov. 17, 2012.

Next up for Coach Grass and the Gamecocks is Chattanooga. The game will take place Saturday at 5 p.m. in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Marvel Robinson 
Sports Editor