Jackson State’s Marcellos Wilder tries to get around Alcorn’s Zavier Johnson, left, and Robert Gainwell during the Capital City Classic game Saturday afternoon in Jackson. (Eric Shelton \ The Natchez Democrat)

Jackson State blows out Alcorn

Published 12:01am Sunday, November 20, 2011

JACKSON — The 2011 Capital City Classic turned out to be a completely one-sided game at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in Jackson Saturday afternoon.

The Alcorn State Braves were on the wrong end of a record-breaking performance by Jackson State quarterback Casey Therriault. Therriault threw for 539 yards and four touchdowns en route to breaking the single-season record for passing yards and total yards at Jackson State. The explosive Tigers’ passing attack and a suffocating defense led to a 51-7 victory over Alcorn State.

“Therriault went to work tonight,” Alcorn State head coach Melvin Spears said. “This is an outstanding team, one of the best in the nation, and we have nothing to hang our heads about.”

Jackson State (9-2, 7-2) ended the game with 687 yards of total offense to Alcorn’s 209.

Former Natchez High School standout Rico Richardson was one of Therriault’s main targets Saturday. Richardson caught three passes for 149 yards and one touchdown. He also scored a touchdown on special teams when he recovered a blocked punt in the end zone.

Despite a tough season that saw the Braves finish with a record of 2-8 overall and 1-8 in SWAC play, Spears said he did see positives in the season and in the loss to Jackson State. Spears said the Braves brought in 32 freshmen this season, some who gained quality playing experience and can help the team next year.

“The only good thing about freshmen is they are going to be sophomores,” he said. “(It’s going to take) work, work, work. “That’s the Alcorn way. And we have to keep bringing in great players.”

Spears said he fully expects to be back next season to coach the Braves despite a vow by Alcorn President M. Christopher Brown Monday to make cuts to athletics due to losses in revenue.

“Absolutely,” he said. “The bottom line is, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It’s a process, and we just have to keep working.”

The lone bright spot for Alcorn was the performance of running back Arnold Walker. Walker rushed for 102 yards and the Braves’ lone touchdown.

Jackson State jumped out to a 14-0 lead after one quarter of play. A 27-yard touchdown pass from Casey Therriault to Marcellos Wilder gave the Tigers their first score with 6:13 to play in the first quarter. Five minutes later Rakeem Sims found the end zone on a 9-yard run.

Jackson State continued its onslaught in the second quarter with a 32-yard field goal by Smith to make the score 17-0. Then Richardson made a big play when he scooped up a blocked Alcorn punt in the end zone. The Smith extra point made the score 24-0 with 6:53 left to play in the half.

Richardson got his name called again before the half ended when he caught an 87-yard pass from Therriault to extend Jackson State’s lead to 31 points.

Jackson State threatened to score once more before the half ended, but Alcorn’s Desmond Stevenson intercepted a deep pass from Therriault in the end zone to end the Tigers final scoring opportunity of the half. The Tigers gained 428 yards on offense in the half, and Therriault threw for 319 yards and two touchdowns through 30 minutes of play.

Alcorn got on the board early in the second half with a 1-yard touchdown run by Arnold Walker. Arturo Tamayo added the point after, and the Braves trailed 31-7 with 9:21 left in the third quarter.

The Tigers answered Alcorn’s touchdown with 2:28 left in the third quarter when Therriault found Renty Rollins for a 5-yard touchdown strike to bring the score to 38-7.

Jackson State pushed the score to 44-7 with a 2-yard touchdown run by B.J. Lee early in the fourth quarter. The two-point try on a fake extra point failed. The Tigers tacked on seven more points with 6:47 to go in the game with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Therriault to E.J. Drewery.

  • Anonymous

    Spears must be smoking something.  Progress???  You went from being a challenger for Birmingham to to a 2 win season, and one of those wins came from a D-3 school.   If Spears is back, I can start planning to take my vacation doing football season because I will not be traveling to any games.

  • Anonymous

    Houstonbrave, hang in there.  As a staunch JSU supporter and graduate, I can tell you that you all are experiencing something similar to what we had, during the horrendous “Bell Years” at JSU.  We went from being very dominate in the SWAC, to just about, if not, the laughing stock of the SWAC.  I have heard from many prominent Alcornites, that a petition may be in the works, to get not only Spears removed, but the AD as well.  Spears is noting that a lot of the players are “new” and have not yet become accustomed to playing in the SWAC.  Yet still, hang in there.  You won’t be near the bottom always.  From a JSU Fan!!!!  Congrats to the Tiger Nation, for a successful football season! 

  • Anonymous

    “Alcorn State head coach Melvin Spears said. “This is an outstanding team, one of the best in the nation, and we have nothing to hang our heads about.”

    W-R-O-N-G!!! This is the worst exhibit of football in the country. Mediocre football at best. Below high school level effort.

    The SWAC is the laughing stock in college football…year in and year out. The NCAA should not sanction SWAC football anymore.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TFY3MWUOUOMRYCDH4EGUW6R37U Demarcus

    melvin was right……. look at the FCS ranking of jackson state. We can and will compete with anyone in the FCS,but it all started with us building a program that’s what alcorn has to do.It won’t happen over night,or even a few years, You have to go through the process of basic football first.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TFY3MWUOUOMRYCDH4EGUW6R37U Demarcus

    now you’re right, you must have a coach that will build, not tear down what you already have.

  • Anonymous

    J-State will lose in the first round of the FCS…if selected

  • Anonymous

    Why you even on OUR Post.  don’t you have any friends or something to fill your time.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, I remember that time.  I know their is something out there to get the coach out.  I would also like to add, not let anyone on the committee that selected Spears, besides the President, be on the committee.  I was against them hiring Spears in the first place.  I am not sure if we have a permanent AD yet.  If not, that may be the problem.

    And they need to hurry as recruiting season is coming up.