The Gamecocks keep on rolling.
Jacksonville State picked up another big win on Saturday night by knocking off rival North Alabama 30-12. The home crowd were treated to a victory for the good guys in the first meeting between the Gamecocks and the Lions since 2016.
Scoring was opened in the first quarter. Quarterback Zerrick Cooper found wide out Josh Pearson for a twelve-yard touchdown. After an answer from UNA early in the second, JSU hit the scoreboard once again- this time on a touchdown run from 19 yards out by Jaelen Greene. A couple minutes later, a field goal by Bryant Wallace gave the Gamecocks a 16-6 lead.
The defense got the ball back quickly and, in one play, Pearson found the end zone once more. His second receiving touchdown of the night was a 67-yarder to put JSU up 23-6 heading into halftime.
North Alabama would not go down quietly, though. Their second touchdown of the night came midway through the third quarter, but a second missed extra point kept the score at 23-12. Josh Pearson put the nail in the coffin early in the fourth, as he reached paydirt on a 53-yard receiving touchdown. The game would end 30-12, in favor of the Gamecocks.
JSU’s All-Conference wide receiver had a career day against the Lions defense. Pearson caught seven passes for a career-best 149 yards and three scores. The Redshirt Senior from Decatur, Ala., is now second all-time for touchdown receptions in Jacksonville State history. His next score will tie former Gamecock great Joey Hamilton atop the list.
Obviously, after a huge rivalry win, the Head Coach was very pleased.
“We knew it was going to be a good football game because it always is with them,” said John Grass. “That’s a good program with a good history of success.
“A lot of times you come off a big, emotional win like last week, you risk getting upset. But we had a good week of practice and I told our guys after the game that’s what kept us from getting beat.”
Following three straight wins over Chattanooga, Eastern Washington, and North Alabama, JSU sits at 3-1 on the season. Their next game will be this Saturday, as the Gamecocks will take on Austin Peay for their Ohio Valley Conference opener. Kickoff at Fortera Stadium in Clarksville, Tenn., is set for 3 p.m. ET/2 p.m. CT on ESPN+.