Courtesy of Jackson State Athletics
HOUSTON – Running back Sy’veon Wilkerson rushed for a career-high 216 yards and two touchdowns and QB Shedeur Sanders accounted for four total touchdowns as the Jackson State University football team defeated Texas Southern 41-14 Saturday night at PNC Stadium.
Jackson State (9-0 overall, 6-0 SWAC) can win the Eastern Division title and clinch home field for the Cricket SWAC Championship Game on December 3 with a win next week against Alabama A&M in the Gulf Coast Challenge in Mobile.
Jackson State scored on its first three possessions of the game to take an early lead. Wilkerson’s three-yard touchdown run capped a 12-play, 65-yard scoring drive on Jackson State’s opening possession and provided a 7-0 lead.
On the next possession, Sanders hit D.J. Stevens on a 38-yard scoring pass to take a 14-0 lead with under five minutes to play in the opening quarter to cap a three-play, 51-yard drive.
Following a Texas Southern touchdown, Jackson State scored again. Wilkerson’s 41-yard scoring run capped a four-play, 60-yard drive to give JSU a 21-7 lead late in the first quarter.
After neither team scored in the second quarter and Texas Southern cut the margin to 21-14 midway through the third quarter, Jackson State regained control.
Sanders’ two-yard touchdown run capped a seven-play, 61-yard drive to extend the JSU lead to 28-14 with 5:31 to play in the period.
Following a TSU fourth-down play in which the punter’s knee hit the ground at the 12-yard line prior to the kick, JSU scored on the next play on the first of two Shane Hooks’ TD receptions to give Jackson State a 34-14 lead with just under four minutes to play in the period.
Jackson State capped the scoring early in the fourth, as an eight-play, 75-yard drive ended with a Sanders-to-Hooks nine-yard touchdown reception in the first minute of the fourth quarter.
Sanders, the Heisman Trophy and Walter Payton Award candidate, completed 23 of 30 passes for 252 yards and three TD passes while rushing for a fourth. Hooks caught seven passes for 76 yards with his two TD receptions.
Defensively, S Cam’ron Silmon-Craig had 11 tackles, and LB Aubrey Miller had 10. LBs Jeremiah Brown and Khalil Arrington each had a sack for the Tigers. CB Travis Hunter had four pass breakups.