Second half TSU surge too much for Tigers to overcome at Southern Heritage Classic, JSU falls 40-26
  ​Sept. 10, 2016
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Through the first half of the 2016 Southern Heritage Classic, it looked as if the Jackson State football team would be able to snap a four game losing streak to non-conference rival Tennessee State. The Tigers (0-2) fell 40-26 to the Tennessee State Tigers (2-0) at the Liberty Bowl Saturday night.
The Tigers built a 23-19 halftime lead on the strength of excellent special teams play. JSU opened the game in an aggressive fashion and it paid off for the Tigers. JSU scored its first touchdown of the game in the first three minutes of the game when Kwame Bowens, who was ranked 15th in the FCS in blocked kicks last season, was able to get a hand on an Austin Rowley punt attempt and Josh Miller scooped up the ball and scampered 49 yards for the touchdown. Christian Jacquemin’s extra point kick was true and the Tigers held a 7-0 advantage at the 12:30 mark in the first quarter.
The JSU offense got into the scoring when Ivy connected with Dan Williams for a 30-yard touchdown strike at the 9:46 mark in the first to give the Tigers a 13-0 advantage. TSU stormed back, scoring 13 unanswered points to tie the game at 13-13 by the 57 second mark in the first.
The JSU special teams unit continued to make its mark on the game. With 6:56 left in the first half, Justin Jemison blocked a Rowley punt – partially due to a botched snap – and Benjamin Thomas recovered possession in the end zone for a JSU touchdown. The PAT by Jacquemin gave JSU a 20-13 advantage.
An untimely pass interference call on JSU placed the ball on the JSU two-yard line and Erik Evans scored his second rushing touchdown of the game to pull TSU to within a point of the Tigers. Shawn Bishop blocked Lane Clark’s PAT kick attempt to preserve JSU’s 20-19 advantage
JSU ended the first half with a Jacquemin 38-yard field goal, giving the Tigers a 23-19 halftime edge.
The Tigers opened the second half with a 13-play, 55-yard drive that ended with a Jacquemin 37-yard field goal that increased JSU’s lead to 26-19 with 9:13 remaining in the third quarter. JSU would not score any more points for the rest of the game.
TSU eliminated its special team miscues after the intermission and scored 21 unanswered points to put the Tiers away. The key play of the game happened when Ezra Robinson picked off a La Montiez Ivy pass and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown with 4:15 left in the third quarter.
Ivy finished the game with 167 passing yards and a touchdown, as he completed 19 of 40 pass attempts. He also rushed for a team high 32-yards. Williams caught a game-high eight passes for 78 yards and a touchdown. Jemison played a complete game as he finished tied for a team high five tackles and had a forced fumble and a blocked kick. Brandon Maiden also had five tackles. Javancy Jones had five tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.
JSU returns to action Saturday, Sept. 17 when the Grambling State Tigers visit Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium. Kick-off is set for 6 p.m.
News and Notes:
The penalty bug crept its way back into the Tigers game. JSU had 11 penalties for 92 yards.
The Tigers were able to pick up only 60 rushing yards.
Christian Jacquemin was 2-3 in field goals, making kicks of 38 and 37 yards.
Non-Offensive Scores
12:30 1st QTR (vs. Tenn. St.) Kwame Bowens blocked punt, Josh Miller 49 –yd TD return.
6:56 2nd QTR (vs. Tenn. St.) Justin Jemison blocked punt and Ben Thomas recovered in the TSU end zone.