Tag: Max Shortell

JSU Football wins 4 in a row

JSU Sportswire
                                                             JSU Sportswire

In only their second OVC game of the season, the Jacksonville State Gamecocks (4-1, 2-0 OVC) defeated UT Martin (1-5, 0-3 OVC) 38-14. Saturday’s game marked the 36th meeting between the two teams where JSU now leads the series 29-7.

The Gamecocks played well as a team as many players contributed on both sides of the ball. Miles Jones stood out with a career high 150 rushing yards along with a touchdown to earn the honors of the OVC co-Offensive Player of the Week. The offense had a total of 497 yards with 284 rushing yards and 213 passing yards.  The defense was rock solid with a shutout in the first three quarters and only allowed UT Martin to reach the redzone once in the whole game.

JSU put the first points on the scoreboard early in the first quarter when Eli Jenkins completed a 26-yard touchdown pass to Markis Merrill. JSU went up 7-0 as they moved to the second quarter with the same score. Max Shortell connected with Anthony Johnson on a 34-yard touchdown pass to put the Gamecocks up two touchdowns. After another JSU defensive stop, the Gamecocks’ offense would get the ball right back and score again. Troymaine Pope picked up a couple of first downs along with a Shortell’s 25-yard run to set Jones up for a two-yard touchdown run. The Jones score made it 21-0 with 8:34 left in the second quarter. UTM scored their touchdown on a Tony Bell 24-yard fumble return to make the score 21-7 at the half.

The third quarter was a long, scoreless quarter with little action. However, the play picked back up in the fourth quarter where JSU scored 17 points. In the post-game interview, head coach John Grass stated:

“We got to learn how to create that energy at all times and play four quarters of the same energy.”

In the fourth quarter, Jones ran for 62 yards to set up Jacksonville State’s fourth touchdown of the game where Bo Brummel caught a 12-yard pass from Jenkins to give Brummel his first career touchdown catch. This made the score 28-7, until Jaylen Hill made an interception (first in his career), which would eventually set up a Connor Rouleau 31-yard field goal to make the score 31-7. UT Martin would finally put together a drive that reached the redzone and the endzone. Trent Garland scored on a two-yard run for UTM to make the score 31-14 with 3:58 left in the game. However, it would be a little too late for a UT Martin comeback as Terrence Pendleton would recover a fumble and set up a Pope three-yard touchdown run. Dawson Wells also recorded his first career interception for JSU towards the end of the game and returned it for 29 yards. The final score would end 38-14.

“We just got to continue improving in all three phases and just get better,” said Coach Grass.

JSU has now won four-straight games and will get ready to travel to Nashville, Tenn. where they will play Tennessee State. The OVC game will start at 2 p.m on Saturday, Oct. 11 and will be broadcasted on ESPN3.

Marvel Robinson
Sports Editor

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