UPSET ALERT: Jackson State takes down Alcorn State, 34-31
Published 12:05 am Sunday, November 23, 2014
LORMAN — When it comes to the Jackson State and Alcorn State rivalry, records are thrown out the window.
And they were Saturday afternoon in Lorman, where an up and down Jackson State team took down the Southwestern Conference east division champion Braves, 34-31. With the win, Jackson State closed the season at 5-7, while Alcorn State fell to 9-3.
“It has been a long road for us,” Jackson State head coach Harold Jackson said. “If we don’t turn the ball over and beat ourselves, nobody is going to do it. We just had to hang in there together and we got it done.”
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Both teams had early opportunities to get into the end zone, but after the first quarter, field goals were the only scores.
Jackson State kicker Ryan Deising connected on kicks from 28 and 46 yards to give the Tigers a 6-0 lead. Then, Braves kicker Haiden McCraney sent a kick through the uprights from 22 yards out to cut the Jackson State lead in half.
It didn’t take long for Jackson State to answer, though. Quarterback LaMontiez Ivy rumbled into the end zone from 2-yards out to push the Tiger lead to 13-3 with 12:45 left in the second quarter.
Alcorn responded a few minutes later with a touchdown of their own on a 48-yard run from Anthony Williams III. Williams finished as the leading rusher for the Braves with 79 yards on the night.
Late in the second quarter, Alcorn took their first lead of the game, as quarterback John Gibbs Jr. scored on a 2-yard run to put the Braves in front 17-13.
But Jackson State was able to take the momentum into the locker room at halftime, scoring with just 26 seconds left in the second quarter on a 7-yard pass to Daniel Williams from Ivy.
Both team’s defenses highlighted the third quarter, allowing no points and keeping the score at 20-17 in favor of Jackson State.
But on the first play of the fourth quarter, Alcorn took the lead back on an 18-yard pass from Gibbs to Billy Shed.
A few minutes later, the Braves were in the end zone again on a 1-yard run from Gibbs, and appeared to be in control of the game, up 31-20, with a little more than eight minutes to play.
Jackson State wasn’t so sure about that.
“I thought they could do it,” said Jackson of making a comeback late in the game. “We’ve been preaching that all week, and they came out and did exactly what we knew they could do.”
Ivy led a spirited drive, culminating in a 13-yard touchdown pass to Jarius Moll, and the Tigers converted the two-point conversion to draw within three at 31-28 with just under five minutes to play.
After holding off Alcorn, Ivy and the Tigers took over on offense again, and, like he had done just a few minutes before, Ivy led Jackson State down the field.
The Tigers secured the win on Ivy’s third touchdown toss of the night, this time to DeSean McKenzie from 45 yards out to give the Tigers a 34-31 lead.
Ivy completed 27 of his 38 passes for 376 yards in the win. Despite being outgained 227-47 on the ground, Jackson State dominated Alcorn through the air, outgaining the Braves 417-166.
But while the Tigers season comes to a close, Alcorn will travel to Houston on Dec. 6 to play for a SWAC championship, and Alcorn head coach Jay Hopson said he isn’t worried about this loss being a distraction when the Braves take the field then.
“We better get ready,” he said. “If we don’t get ready, we’ll come home with an L there too. We’ve got to get ready to go.”