By Tim Ward,
Sports Editor,Veterans Memorial Stadium crowded with fans as JSU wins their 17th SWAC championship. Photo by Jay Johnson
Saturday, December 4, 2021, the Jackson State Tigers football team captured their 17th SWAC Championship before a reported crowd of over 50,000 fans. The tigers won 27-10 over Prairie View but 2 touchdowns came from special teams and the defense. Offensively, the tigers struggled passing the ball, so they relied heavily on the run game. Peyton Pickett lead the way with 107 rushing yards on 19 carries scoring 1 touchdown. Quarterback Shedeur Sanders was 8 of 16 for 85 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception.
Coach Deion Sanders said it was probably his worst game of the season. Shedeur also ran for 25 yards on 9 carries.
Prairie View couldn’t get over the hump offensively and the Darkside Defense did everything they could to frustrate them. The Panthers started with quarterback Jawon Pass but ended the game with quarterback Trazon Connely. Pass was 6 of 19 and threw 3 interceptions. One being a pick six to James Houston in the third quarter. That would turn out to be his last pass attempt of the game.
Pass was also sacked four times. Turns out it didn’t matter who Prairie View put at quarterback, the darkside defense was amped and frustrated all offensive players. Prairie View’s running backs only rushed for 21 yards, while the quarterback tandem rushed for 121.
Despite being offensively challenged, Prairie View actually lead 10-7 in the second quarter after a 37 yard field goal by kicker, Luis Reyes. On the ensuing kickoff, Isaiah Bolden returned the kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown. The crowd went wild. The extra point attempt failed, but Jackson State went into halftime leading 13-10.
After the defensive touchdown by James Houston, Peyton Pickett would score just before the third quarter ended on a 5 yard touchdown run. That would prove to be the final scoring play for both teams.
As the clock displayed all zeros, Tiger Nation was going wild. Coach Prime delivered. The team delivered. SWAC Championship number 17.
Head coach Deion Sanders, was also named the SWAC Coach of the year last week. He marveled at the reaction of the crowd and took a moment to take it all in. Still not able to fully walk without the use of his trusty scooter, he smiled and even seemed to tear up.
Undefeated SWAC football season. Not overall, but undefeated SWAC record. Team record 11-1. First 11 win season in Jackson State history. However, coach Prime reminded Tiger Nation, there is still one more game left. That game will be December 18, 2021 in Atlanta versus South Carolina State, the MEAC champion.
Peyton Pickett was the offensive MVP and James Houston was the defensive MVP. The defensive MVP probably could’ve been given to Aubrey Miller Jr. who lead the team in tackles with 7.5 with a sack or freshman defensive back, Cam’Rom Silmon-Craig who caught two interceptions.
Tiger Nation said, I Believe from day one with coach Prime. Now everyone should Believe. Jackson State University Tigers, back on top in the SWAC.