TSU Tigers beat JSU Gamecocks for only 2nd time in team history

TSU DB Daniel Fitzpatrick returns an interception for 13 yards in the Tigers 31-15 victory at Jacksonville State. photo: Sam Jordan/TSU Athletics

TSU DB Daniel Fitzpatrick returns an interception for 13 yards in the Tigers 31-15 victory at Jacksonville State.
photo: Sam Jordan/TSU Athletics

A Rod Reed coached TSU football team had never defeated the Jacksonville (Alabama) State Gamecocks, in the three tries in his career. In fact, TSU had only beaten JSU once in seven tries until last Saturday in Jacksonville. Last season, they almost did, but a 31-28 overtime loss there was the result. This time around, the Tigers came in totally focused and gutted out a 31-15 convincing victory over their hated rivals.

Senior running back Tim Broughton had a career-high 190 yards on 26 carries. The Tiger defense came up big for TSU (6-1, 3-0 OVC), holding JSU to a season-low 292 yards, recording 14 tackles for loss and forcing a pair of turnovers. David Van Dyke anchored the unit with eight total tackles (five solo), and Anthony Bass contributed a career-high 2.5 sacks.

Jacksonville State (5-2, 2-2 OVC) got on the board first when Griffin Thomas nailed a 33-yard field goal at the 10:19 mark. The TSU offense moved the ball effectively with a career-long 39-yard dash by senior running back Tim Broughton, and QB Mike German capped off the six-play, 71-yard drive with a five-yard touchdown pass to A.C. Leonard. The toss put TSU up 7-3, with 4:15 left in the first quarter.

JSU countered with a 14-play scoring drive, but TSU’s #1 ranked defense held the Gamecocks to a 27-yard field goal from Thomas. The Tigers answered with a touchdown to go up, 14-6, when German hit Wesley Samuels for a 13-yard score. German led an eight-play, 71-yard drive completed by a diving Weldon Garlington for his third touchdown pass of the game to make the score 21-6 going into halftime.

TSU forced a punt on JSU’s first possession of the third period, and the Tiger offense marched 59 yards down the field. From there, Jamin Godfrey’s 40-yard field goal attempt was blocked—leaving the score at 21-6. JSU’s Eli Jenkins found Markis Merrill for a 76-yard bomb, and JSU punched it into the end zone four seconds later—cutting TSU’s lead to 21-13 heading into the fourth quarter. On the Tigers’ next possession, German was sacked for 15 yards in the end zone, giving JSU two points via a safety.

Godfrey came in to kick a 50-yard field that put TSU up by two scores, 24-15. TSU freshman quarterback Ronald Butler found Wesley Samuels wide-open in the end zone for TSU’s fourth touchdown of the game that widened Big Blue’s lead to 31-15 where it would stay for the remainder of the game.

With his 118 yards, German passed Joe Gilliam, Jr. for eighth all-time in career passing yards with 5,335. He also moved into a tie for sixth in school history in career passing touchdowns with 41.

The Tigers carry a six-game winning streak to UT Martin for a 1 pm matchup with the Skyhawks on Sat., Oct. 19. Listen live on FM 102.1The Light.