Although the 2022 campaign did not turn out as they hoped, coach Eddie George and the Tennessee State Tigers were able to close the season out on a positive note with a 22-14 over the Lions of Texas A&M Commerce.
Translating defense into offense was the theme of the afternoon, with the unit forcing 3 turnovers, which were turned into 16 points. The Tennessee State offense was unremarkable on the afternoon, they did not turn the ball over but they were only able to generate 240 yards of production. Draylen Ellis completed 11 of his 21 pass attempts for 126 yards. TSU ran for 114 yards, Jordan Gant leading the way with 58 yards on 11 carries; Devon Starling ran for 50 yards on 8 attempts, and Jalen Rouse 32 yards on 9 carries. .it was the defense that got the scoring going for Tennessee State when Darius Harper intercepted a Cameron Nellor pass on TAMC’s first play from scrimmage and returned it 28 yards to the house to put the Tigers up 7-0 only 13 seconds into the contest.
Later in the quarter, the Lions tied the game at 7 when they concluded a 6-play, 38-yard drive with a one-yard run from Reggie Branch; Mr. Branch was busy that afternoon running for 148 yards on 20 carries. Tennessee State’s next score would come after the defense denied a Commerce 4th down conversion attempt, setting the offense up at their 44-yard line. The drive stalled but a 47-yard field goal off the foot of Kaleb Mosley put TSU in front by 3 at 10-7.
The opportunistic TSU defense struck again later in the second quarter when they turned a 48-yard completion from Nellor to Jaden Proctor into a takeaway when Gleason Spreweel forced a fumble , which was recovered Harper and returned to the Tennessee State 36. Nine plays and 79 yards later the Tigers pushed their advantage to 16-7 when Draylen Ellis ran it is from 4-yards out; the PAT was blocked by James Lowery.
The Tigers’ defense prematurely ended the Lions’ next offensive possession when Harper found his way to the football once again , picking off Nellor for the second time on the day, putting the TSU offense in business at the TAMC 17-yard line. The Lion defense stood strong, not allowing the Tigers to get in the endzone, but forced them to settle for a 36-yard Mosley field goal to put TSU up 19-7.
Both teams added to their counts in the thord quarter, the Tigers on a Mosley’s third field goal of the afternoon, this one from 25-yards and TAMC on a 12-yard run from Branch to bring the score to 22-14 as the game transitioned into the fourth quarter. After missing a field goal earlier in the period. the Lions threatened to score deep in Tennessee State territory in the waning seconds of the game , but a potential touchdown pass from Nellon to Andrew Armstrong was broken up by, who else, Darius Harper to secure the win for Tennessee State.
Up next for Tennessee State is evaluation, which head coach Eddie George said will include self-scouting, as he and his coaching staff will determine the changes that need to be made to help this team ascend in the 2023 season.
|14:47 – TSU – Harper,Darius 28 yd interception (Mosley,Kaleb kick)||7||0|
|06:24 – AMC – Branch,Reggie 1 yd run (Adagbon,Emmanuel kick), 6 plays, 38 yards, TOP 03:06||7||7|
|11:11 – TSU – Mosley,Kaleb 47 yd field goal 8 plays, 26 yards, TOP 03:03||10||7|
|01:39 – TSU – Ellis,Draylen 4 yd run ( ), 9 plays, 79 yards, TOP 04:02||16||7|
|00:21 – TSU – Mosley,Kaleb 36 yd field goal 4 plays, -2 yards, TOP 00:22||19||7|
|08:43 – TSU – Mosley,Kaleb 25 yd field goal 7 plays, 40 yards, TOP 02:15||22||7|
|06:42 – AMC – Branch,Reggie 12 yd run (Adagbon,Emmanuel kick), 4 plays, 55 yards, TOP 01:51||22||14|