JSU defense, kicker headlines Southern Heritage Classic win

SOURCE: JSU Athletics
SOURCE: JSU Athletics(JSU Athletics)
Published: Sep. 11, 2022 at 5:21 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WLBT) - The Jackson State University Tigers came back to beat the Tennessee State University Tigers 16-3 in the 33rd annual Southern Heritage Classic.

In what may be the final meeting of the Southern Heritage Classic, the battle between the two rivals proved to be a real catfight in front of over 51,000 fans.

After surrendering the first 3 points of the game, Head Coach Deion Sanders and The #15 JSU Tigers trailed for the first time this season. JSU Quarterback Shedeur Sanders and the offense weren’t clicking early, but were able to call upon the outstanding Tiger defense throughout the game... and an unsung hero.

JSU Kicker Alejandro Mata scored the first 6 points of the game in the second quarter for Jackson State, which led 6-3 at halftime.

The JSU Tiger defense shut down the Tennessee State offense, allowing only 140 total yards, and recorded 8 sacks in the classic. TSU did not score another point in the game.

Mata made a 30-yard field in the third quarter to stretch Jackson States’ lead 9-3. With just over 2 minutes on the clock, Shedeur Sanders silenced the TSU fanbase with a 27-yard touchdown dagger to Willie Gaines to ultimately claim the 16-3 victory.

Sanders completed 30-44 passes for 276 yards and a touchdown pass. Wide receiver Shane Hooks had 9 receptions for 93 yards, with running back Sy’veon Wilkerson rushing for 81 yards for JSU.

The JSU defense for frontend the Tigers’ win, headlined by linebacker Nyles Gaddy’s 3 sacks and Cam’Ron Silmon-Craig’s 11 total tackles.

Coach Sanders and the JSU Tigers are set to host the Grambling State Tigers and former NFL head coach Hue Jackson in their first home game of the season on Saturday, September 17, at 1 p.m.

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