Tag: Josh Barge

Man, where’s the Sunkist?

By Chris Allen Brown/Associate Editor

I’m not really one to complain — a lot — but I need my daily supply of Sunkist. There’s only one thing a guy wants after a long, eight-hour work day and that’s an iced-cold … orange soda.

(You thought I was going to say an adult beverage, didn’t you?)

But no, I have to settle to an expired Minute Maid Fruit Punch.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s a great drink choice, too, but not if the expiration date reads “FEB2618.” But today’s date is “MAR1218” and there were things floating atop my drink after one gulp.

Maybe it was the “real fruit juice” that Coca-Cola says is in Minute Maid. Maybe it was something that started to grow inside the bottle because it was an expired drink. I don’t know, but I guess we’ll find out if my byline isn’t in The Chanticleer in two weeks

(Hello, Spring Break next week!)

Anyways, for those who don’t know, Sunkist is a Buffalo Rock product, which Jacksonville State had a 10-year relationship with prior to giving Coca-Cola vending rights in late 2017. So, since August 2017, there have been no Sunkist bottles in a vending machine around campus.

Speaking of which, my first memory as a JSU student resulted because of a bottle of Sunkist.

I was walking to Martin Hall for a freshman-level Biology class in the Spring of 2012. I was thirsty, because I had to walk a far distance — parking, right — and came across a vending machine with Sunkist. I thought, ‘Man, this is perfect. I hope JSU always has Sunkist. I’d enjoy this place so much.’

I inserted my dollar and change then waited. And waited. And waited. And waited.

No bottle rolled out. I wasn’t happy.

From then on, I only attempted to get Sunkist at the café following JSU’s weekly football conference on Mondays. However, that changed when I declared as a Communication major and came to Self Hall on a weekly basis. And a weekly basis I bought a Sunkist from the only reliable vending machine on campus.

Me and Sunkist went together like Eli Jenkins and Josh Barge scoring touchdowns on Burgess-Snow Field. Or Whitney Gillespie and strikeouts at University Field. Or Trent Simpson and smashing home runs out of Choccolocco Park.

So, you can understand the heartbreak the first time I went to the vending machine in Self Hall and there were only Coke products. You can feel the pain and agony as I write this and glance down at this red liquid to my right where a Sunkist should be.

Man, I hope my future bride is OK with having a Sunkist foundation at our wedding. That’ll be … delightful.




Defense scores big for Gamecocks

By Rebekah Hawkins

Staff Writer

The Gamecocks grabbed their fifth straight victory on the back of their defense Saturday against Eastern Kentucky 24-7.

The Gamecocks’ defense shined with five interceptions, three of which returned touchdowns. They amassed 351 yards of total offense. 122 yards came off of Eli Jenkins’ arm and 25 of the other 229 yards came off his legs. Josh Clemons had an impressive day rushing for 149 yards on 26 carries. Josh Barge continued to shine with six receptions for 72 yards.

08072016-eli-jenkins-2JSU football players pose for the 2016 media guide. Josh Clemons08072016-josh-barge-2







Above: Quarterback Eli Jenkins (left) threw for 122 yds and rushed for an additional 25 yds against EKU. He threw one interception during the game. Josh Clemons (center) rushed for 149 yds on 26 carries. Josh Barge (right) made a catch in his 45th consecutive game, tying the FCS record. (photos by Matt Reynolds/JSU)

The Gamecocks started a promising drive to lead into the second quarter but two incomplete passes and a declined penalty later and the Gamecocks were punting again.

The Colonels took over with 10:11 left in the half. The Gamecocks’ Jaylen Hill committed a holding penalty that helped move the Colonels down field. A quick 16-yard run gave them more momentum. They slowed after a six-yard loss and ended up at 3rd and 16. Bennie Coney threw his first interception of the game to Joel McCandless and it was returned 41 yards for the first touchdown of the game. The Gamecocks led 7-0.

Joel McCandless  (photo by Matt Reynolds)

On kickoff the Colonels returned the ball for 34 yards but were unable to make anything else out of the drive. The Gamecocks had a 41-yard Stinnett field goal blocked on their next drive which gave the ball back to EKU. Bennie Coney threw another interception to Marlon Bridges but it was only returned for one yard.

Moments later Eli Jenkins would hand the ball back to EKU with his first and only interception of the game. With 39 seconds left in the half, Coney threw his third interception this time into the hands of Hill. He returned it 60 yards to the end zone to put the Gamecocks up 14-0 going into the half.

Jaylen Hill  (photo by Matt Reynolds/JSU)










The second half opened with punts on both team’s possessions. Stinnett finally managed to get a 25-yard field goal to connect for the Gamecocks’ only non-defensive points of the game. The Gamecocks were in the lead 17-0.

Cade Stinnett scored the Gamecocks’ only non-defensive points of the game  (photo by Matt Reynolds)

EKU drove down and scored their first and only touchdown of the game on their next possession off of a Tyler Swafford pass.

The Gamecocks led 17-7 as they headed into the 4th quarter. Swafford had his first interception of the game during EKU’s second possession of the quarter. This time it was Reggie Hall who took it 88 yards to the house. The Gamecocks increased their lead 24-7.

Reggie Hall  (photo by Matt Reynolds)







EKU tried one more time for something but Swafford threw his second interception to Hill who effectively ended the game. The Gamecocks ran the clock out and took their victory 24-7.

The Gamecocks sit atop the OVC standings with their perfect 3-0 conference record. They play Eastern Illinois on Oct. 29 for homecoming.








JSU extinguishes the Flames

By Daniel Mayes

Staff Writer

In their final non-conference test of the season, the Jacksonville State Gamecocks traveled to Lynchburg, Va. and extinguished the Liberty Flames 48-19.
The win increased the Gamecock’s record to 3-1, with their only loss coming at the hands of SEC foe LSU, and gave JSU some positive momentum as they head into Ohio Valley Conference play.
Despite being whistled for 11 penalties compared to Liberty’s 0, Jax State dominated the game on both sides of the ball, amassing 563 yards on offense, including 339 on the ground, and holding Liberty to only 181 total yards on the night.
Jacksonville State struck quickly to start the game, as quarterback Eli Jenkins found a wide-open Roc Thomas on a 51-yard throw to open the scoring and give the Gamecocks a 7-0 lead less than 3 minutes after the opening kickoff.
Thomas racked up 180 total yards for JSU on the night, scoring both a receiving and a rushing touchdown against the Flames’ defense.
After the Flames’ Tyrin Holloway intercepted an errant Jenkins pass, Liberty quarterback Stephen “Buckshot” Calvert led the Flames to a score with 6:23 left in the first, as kicker Alex Probert converted on a field goal to cut the JSU lead to 7-3.
JSU answered almost immediately as Eli Jenkins broke loose for a 76-yard touchdown run.
Jenkins has now piled up 415 rushing yards on the season, trailing only Louisville standout and current Heisman frontrunner Lamar Jackson for most rush-

Marlon Bridges made his first career interception in the game against the Liberty Flames. (Matt Reynolds/JSU)

ing yards by a Division 1 quarterback this season.


Marlon Bridges snagged his first career interception to give JSU the ball with 2:37 left in the half, and Jenkins punched in a 1-yard touchdown run with just over a minute left in the second quarter to give the Gamecocks a 27-3 lead at the half.
JSU would record 2 interceptions in the game as DaQuan James snatched another in the fourth quarter.
Liberty made a brief comeback in the second half as a 59-yard touchdown pass from Calvert to Dante’ Shells cut the JSU lead to 27-10.
The Flames’ hopes were quickly doused as the Gamecocks answered with 2 quick touchdowns.

Shaq Davidson’s touchdown catch brought the Gamecock’s lead to 41-10. (Matt Reynolds/JSU)

Roc Thomas scored his second touchdown of the night to make it 34-10, and then a 69-yard strike to Shaq Davidson from Jenkins increased the JSU lead to 41-10.
Davidson’s touchdown catch was the first career receiving touchdown for the LSU transfer.

Liberty got on the board again with a safety and another touchdown before an 87-yard touchdown scamper from JSU’s Justice Owens capped the scoring for the game, making it 48-19 Gamecocks.
Eli Jenkins, Roc Thomas and Josh Barge each earned conference honors for their performances against Liberty.
Jenkins was named Adidas OVC Offensive Player of the Week for the second straight week and the third time overall.
Jenkins lit up the Flames’ defense for 224 yards and 2 touchdowns through the air and 121 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground to lead the Gamecocks to their highest scoring output of the season so far.
Thomas was named Adidas OVC Newcomer of the week for the second consecutive week after rushing for more than 100 yards for the second straight game.
Barge made his first appearance as a player of the week for this season, as he was named Adidas OVC Specialist of the Week thanks in part to a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter.
The return touchdown was the first of Barge’s career and adds another accomplishment to the senior receiver’s already lengthy list.
Jacksonville State has an open date on Oct. 1 and will return to Jacksonville and face Tennessee Tech on Burgess-Snow Field in their OVC opener at 1 p.m. on Oct. 8.


Above L to R: Eli Jenkins, Roc Thomas and Josh Barge, three of JSU’s standout players from Saturday’s game, were given OVC honors on Sunday. (Photos by Matt Reynolds/JSU)

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