Courtesy of North Carolina Central Athletics
The Jackson State University Tigers jumped out to an early 13-0 first-quarter lead against the home-standing University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Golden Lions and were never threatened the rest of the way.
JSU, 6-3 overall and 4-2 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, scored on just the third play of the ballgame when quarterback Jacobian Morganconnected to D.J. Stevens on a 70-yard touchdown bomb 31 seconds into the game, giving the Tigers a 7-0 lead following Dylan Wasson’s extra-point kick.
Two possessions later, the Tigers drove 65 yards up the field following a UAPB punt, scoring when Morgan connected to Hayden Hagler on a four-yard scoring play. JSU led 13-0 after Wasson’s PAT was no good.
JSU outscored the Golden Lions 13-7 in the historic second quarter, thanks to a 24-yard field goal by Wasson at the 14:11 mark, a Stevens 25-yard touchdown reception from Morgan with 5:25 left before intermission, and a 29-yard field goal by Wasson at the end of the second quarter. Following Steven’s TD, history was made as JSU kicker Leilani Armenta became the first female to score in an HBCU college football game when she made the extra-point kick.
UAPB’s lone first-half score came when Kierston Rogers scored on a one-yard run with 1:28 left in the half.
At the half, JSU held a commanding 26-7 lead.
After intermission, the lone points in the third quarter came when Mekhi Hagens scored for the Golden Lions on a 20-yard run, narrowing JSU’s lead to 26-14 following Dean Sarris’ PAT with 11:13 left in the period.
The Tigers added a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
With 9:36 left in the game, Fabian McCray scored on a 32-yard touchdown reception from Morgan, giving the Tigers a 33-14 lead after Armenta booted the PAT.
Approximately two minutes later, Morgan threw his fifth touchdown pass of the day when he connected with Stevens for the third time in the game, closing out the scoring when Armenta added the third extra point kick of her career, giving the Tigers the 40-14 victory.
The Tigers amassed 475 yards of total offense for the game while holding UAPB to 227 yards.
Individually, JSU’s Morgan completed 26 of 36 passes for 373 yards with five TD throws, and he added 12 yards rushing. His favorite targets were McCray, who caught seven passes for 136 yards and a touchdown, and Stevens, who had three receptions for 99 yards and three touchdowns. J.D. Martinrushed nine times for 73 yards.
“That’s what we’ve been waiting on all season, a complete game from all three phases from our football team,” said JSU head coach T.C. Taylor. “Special teams were lights out today. The defense was lights out; they did what they do every week: create turnovers, get to the quarterback, and get the opposing offense off the field. The offense finally came along, too. They did an awesome job. I think the thing with the offense is just the turnovers, and they eliminated that today.”
Hagens had nine carries for 59 yards and a score, and Daemon Dawkins, who caught seven passes for 57 yards, led UAPB, which fell to 1-7 on the season and 0-5 in the SWAC.
The Tigers will return to action on Saturday, November 4, when they host Texas Southern University at Mississippi Veterans Stadium at 2 p.m.
Next Game: Texas Southern 11/4/2023 | 2 PM ESPN+ WHLH-FM
|14:29 – JSU – Stevens,D.J. 70 yd pass from Morgan,Jacobian (Wasson,Dylan kick) 2 plays, 75 yards, TOP 00:31||7||0|
|04:55 – JSU – Hagler,Hayden 4 yd pass from Morgan,Jacobian ( ) 9 plays, 65 yards, TOP 03:40||13||0|
|14:11 – JSU – Wasson,Dylan 24 yd field goal 10 plays, 39 yards, TOP 04:16||16||0|
|05:25 – JSU – Stevens,D.J. 25 yd pass from Morgan,Jacobian (Armenta,Leilana kick) 6 plays, 87 yards, TOP 02:07||23||0|
|01:28 – APB – Rogers,Kierstan 1 yd run (Sarris,Dean kick), 10 plays, 77 yards, TOP 03:49||23||7|
|00:00 – JSU – Wasson,Dylan 29 yd field goal 7 plays, 36 yards, TOP 01:17||26||7|
|11:13 – APB – Hagens,Mekhi 20 yd run (Sarris,Dean kick), 8 plays, 62 yards, TOP 03:38||26||14|
|09:36 – JSU – McCray,Fabian 32 yd pass from Morgan,Jacobian (Armenta,Leilana kick) 7 plays, 62 yards, TOP 02:43||33||14|
|07:29 – JSU – Stevens,D.J. 4 yd pass from Morgan,Jacobian (Armenta,Leilana kick) 4 plays, 15 yards, TOP 01:14||40||14|