Tag: Roc Thomas

Gamecocks race past Murray State

Roc Thomas piled up 138 rushing yards and two touchdowns in Saturday’s victory over Murray State (JSU Athletics)

Daniel Mayes, Chanty Sports Reporter

After a bit of a rocky start that led to Jacksonville State trailing after the first quarter, the Gamecocks recovered to blow out Murray State 59-23 for their 30th consecutive Ohio Valley Conference victory on Saturday.

The story of the game, as has become usual for Jacksonville State, was their dominant defense.

The Gamecocks held the Racers to just 153 yards of total offense and -3 rushing yards, which was a school-record low for JSU.

In this game however, the Jacksonville State offense proved to be just as dominant.

JSU marched right down the field in five plays on their opening drive, and Bryant Horn ran it in for a touchdown.

“I thought we played really well outside of turnovers,” Jacksonville State head coach John Grass said. “We’ve got to clean those up. But other than that, you have to be pleased.”

Those turnovers led to the Gamecocks’ early deficit of 13-7.

On the Gamecocks’ next drive, Horn was picked off, and Murray State immediately converted the opportunity into points with a touchdown pass from Shuler Bentley to Jordon Gandy to tie the game at 7-7. Then, Sean Rodriguez returned a JSU fumble 47 yards to make the score 13-7.

After that, the JSU offense came alive.

Horn, who got most of the playing time on the day at quarterback, threw three first half touchdown passes, a career high.

Horn found Demontez Terry for a 45-yard bomb early in the second quarter, then completed two touchdowns to Jamari Hester, with one coming just eight seconds before halftime, making the score 28-13 at the break.

On their second drive of the second half, the Gamecocks increased their lead with a Roc Thomas touchdown.

After a knee-injury scare in the first quarter, Thomas had a stellar day once again for the Gamecocks. The senior transfer from Auburn gained 138 yards and two touchdowns on just 17 attempts, good for an average of 8.1 yards per carry.

Thomas was named OVC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance, his fifth such honor this season.

Thomas was the catalyst behind a vicious JSU rushing attack, which piled up 323 yards on the ground, the highest total for the Gamecocks on the season.

After two more turnovers for Jacksonville State led to two more Racer scores, the Gamecocks added three more touchdowns in the fourth quarter to reach 59 points, the highest scoring output for JSU of the year.

The Gamecocks’ final two scores came after forced turnovers of their own, as a Randy Robinson-forced fumble was recovered by Darius Jackson and Charles Crawford intercepted a Murray State pass and raced down to the 15-yard line.

The Gamecocks hit the road to Martin, Tennessee next week to take on the Skyhawks of UT-Martin before returning to Burgess-Snow for their final regular season game on Thursday, November 16.

JSU downs Governors to tie OVC record


Jacksonville State downed Austin Peay 34-14 on the road in Clarksville, Tennessee on Saturday, October 7 2017. (Daniel Mayes/The Chanticleer).

Daniel Mayes, Chanticleer Sports Reporter

Jacksonville State took down Austin Peay 34-14 Saturday in Clarksville, Tennessee to tie the record for consecutive Ohio Valley Conference wins at 26.

JSU tied the record previously held by Eastern Kentucky, whose streak ended in 1995, by shutting down a much improved Austin Peay Governors squad, who came into the game on a three game win streak of their own after losing their previous 29.

The Gamecocks began the contest strong, shutting down the Governor offense on their first possession before a 17 play, 91-yard drive from the offense took 7:54 off the clock and left JSU with a 7-0 lead. Quarterback Bryant Horn finished off the drive with a 6-yard touchdown completion to a leaping Trae Barry.

Horn, who started the game but split time with Kendrick Doss once again, finished 5-9 for 52 yards and one touchdown through the air and picked up 74 yards and a touchdown on 11 rushing attempts.

The ground attack proved to be the most effective offense for Jacksonville State on the night, as the Gamecocks piled up 296 yards and three touchdowns against a stout Austin Peay defense that had not allowed more than 165 yards on the ground in their previous five games this season.

Roc Thomas, who rushed for 135 of those yards and two of those touchdowns, led the Gamecocks to a quick strike touchdown on their second offensive drive, dashing into the end zone from 23 yards out after a 3 play drive to give the Gamecocks a 14-0 lead.

Thomas would be named OVC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance, his third time taking home the honor this season.

Thomas’ second touchdown gave the Gamecocks a 20-0 lead with 1:57 left in the first half.

Jonathan Hagler then intercepted a Peay pass on the first play of the next drive before the Governors forced and recovered a Bryant Horn fumble on the very next play.

The turnover seemed to give the floundering Austin Peay offense some life, as JSU held the Governors to just 42 total yards and prevented them from crossing the midfield stripe prior to the miscue.

JaVaughn Craig’s 21-yard pass to Kyran Moore gave the Govs their first score and made the tally 20-7 at the break.

Horn led the Gamecocks a 27-7 lead after their first drive of the second half, blasting into the end zone from four yards out to cap off the drive with a touchdown.

A Jeremiah Oatsvall pass to DJ Montgomery gave the Govs their second score with 12:38 remaining in the fourth before a quick answer for the Gamecocks put the game away.

De’Marcus Flowers took in the kickoff at the 13-yard line, blasted through a hole up the middle and tight roped down the sideline for an 87-yard return for a touchdown, the first for JSU since the 2011 season, earning Flowers the honor of Co-Specialist of the Week in the OVC.

The 34-14 victory leaves JSU’s record at 4-1, including 2-0 in the OVC, and drops Austin Peay’s turnaround campaign to 3-3 (2-1).

JSU has a chance to break EKU’s OVC consecutive wins record on Saturday, October 14, when the Gamecocks face-off against the Colonels themselves.

Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. at Burgess-Snow Field at JSU Stadium.

Follow Daniel on Twitter @DMayes34 for tweets about JSU, Sports, JSU Sports, and sometimes spectacularly cringeworthy puns.

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)