By Tim Ward
On a rainy, soggy day that forced the Sonic Boom to perform halftime in the stands, Jackson State snapped out of a first half trance to blowout Prairie View 34 to 13. That’s the ending. The beginning, was more like the previous week, two quarters with no points.
A little over 6500 people braved the elements to watch JSU look lethargic and uninspired to begin the game.
Dedric McDonald started the game but wasn’t the same quarterback who led three fourth quarter touchdowns just seven days ago. He seemed to be pressing. Maybe his nerves were a little bad knowing that if he didn’t perform well, he could be yanked in favor of Clayton Moore. It is a little unsettling feeling that any mistake you make can get you placed on the bench.
The running game didn’t provide any spark either. Prairie View took advantage. After a Jackson State turnover, Prairie View started deep in Tiger territory and ended up scoring. As the rain fell down with slight force, both teams splish-splashed to the locker rooms with Prairie View leading 10 to 0.
Maybe Coach Comegy threatened to cut everyone, as the same team that splashed off at halftime was not the same team that returned for the second half.
Moore started the third quarter. Although he’ll get credit for the spark, it was really the running game of Rakeem Sims and Tommy Gooden that got JSU into the endzone to open the third quarter. Both running backs really took it to the Panthers’ defense.
Once that first touchdown was scored, the few soggy fans that were left finally had a reason to cheer. There was some concern because Moore was injured on the drive and didn’t return to the game. It appeared to be a shoulder injury.
The “darkside” defense woke up. Cornerback Qua Cox picked off Prairie View’s Jerry Lovelocke pass on the Panthers’ first possession of the second half. McDonald led the team back out and again they pound the rock down Prairie View’s throat. Touchdown Jackson State! 14 to 10. Prairie View managed to kick a field goal to make the score 14 to 13. That would be their last score of the evening. Jackson State reels off 20 unanswered points in route to the 34 to 13 victory.
The defense, which has had its fair share of criticism, forced over 4 turnovers Saturday, often setting the offense up with good field positions. Cox had 2 interceptions; Richard Hughes and Caleb Lester added one each. The defensive line got after the quarterback frequently causing incompletions.
BREAKING NEWS: As of Monday evening, Oct. 1, running back B.J. Lee, a Ridgeland high school product, apparently left the team. Lee wasn’t at practice all week and did not play in the game Saturday. Comegy declined to comment about Lee after the game. It is uncertain at this point why Lee left the team. Lee was the team’s second leading rusher this season.
The Mississippi Link has learned that Moore’s shoulder injury is a bruise and he will be able to play Saturday, Oct. 6, when JSU travels to Arkansas Pine-Bluff.