May 31, 2020

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"Changing Lives, Improving Communities"


As I drove to Southern’s campus today there were fans, families, and various members of the community making their way toward the stadium. Music from various tailgate groups was heard in the distance and the closer I got the livelier the campus became, and with that my excitement grew. This was the Jaguars’ first home game, an opportunity to get their first win of the season, and a chance to show why they were predicted to finish number one in SWAC West. Fans roamed across parking lots, fields, and around the stadium as I wandered through the campus and every person I saw was wearing school colors. There was so much support and comfort between these people as they came together this Saturday. The Jaguars’ were blessed with perfect weather conditions to both watch and play football as the sun slowly faded and a cool breeze entered as game time approached.


Southern started off on a positive note by winning the coin toss. The Tigers started with the ball and there was an early sack by Joe Davis (#42). The Jaguars fired up the crowd with a touchdown by Devon Benn (#2). Ed Waters had a few attempts at some passing yards but they were incomplete which was noted as a flaw in their game for the season. The Tigers punt landed at the 46-yard line and the Jaguars attempted for a big time pass but Ed Waters defense held strong. Then Ladarius Skelton showed his running skills for a short gain and just after Devon Benn (#2) ran for the first down. Just a couple plays later Skelton rushed for another Jaguar touchdown dodging the Tigers defense left and right. With that, Ed Waters took over the ball at their own 2- yard line but felt the pressure as the Jaguars defense left Roshard Branch (#10, QB) in trouble, forcing a sloppy pass. Shykee Thomas (#27) returned the ball for the Jaguars and just after Skelton made two passes to Jadarion Davis (#81) for some positive yardage. Cameron McClain (#8) came in with two strong tackles against the Jaguar offense on this possession as well. Benn carried the ball for the Jaguars and Matthew Wilkerson (#9) was on the stop for the Tigers on this play. Skelton rushed and was taken down by Wilkerson yet again and shortly after Cameron Mackey (#9) caught a nice pass and had to be taken down by two of the Tigers defenders. Martell Fontenot (#36) attempted a field goal for the Jaguars but it was no good so the ball was back with the Tigers but their pass attempt was incomplete in an attempt to reach Isaiah Johnson. Branch (#10) was successful with a pass to Uveekie Fields (#2) for a first down for Edward Waters. De’shawn Hugee (#3) ran but was tackled by Benjamin Harris (#18) and on the very next play rushed again but was stopped by Jarod Sims (#48). Un-sportsman like conduct was called on Ed Waters and the Jaguars made their way down field, closer to the endzone and a potential touchdown. The Jaguars ended with a 33-yard field goal bringing the score to 19-0 in the beginning of the second quarter. Dale George (#16) returned the ball for the Tigers but there was a fumble on the play and it was recovered by Taylor Merritt (#72) of your Southern University Jaguars.  After the recovery, Chris Chaney (#28) came in with a huge 32 yard run and a first down not too far from the end zone which lead to another run into the endzone, scoring for the Jaguars. An illegal kicking penalty was called against Edward Waters and the Jaguars seized that opportunity by scoring yet again with Benn on the carry. De’shawn Hugee carried the ball for the Tigers on the next two plays trying to get that first down. Then there was a pass to Fields which placed them on Southern’s 49-yard line for a gain of about 30 yards. Jayshawn Francis (#12) followed with a great pass to Keenan Perkins (#87). Just when the Tigers began approaching the end zone there was an interception made by Benjamin Harris (#18) of Southern University. Skelton then saw a lengthy play as he avoided the Tigers defense and obtained another first down for the Jaguars. Skelton was then pushed out by Treon Patrick (#28) on the next play who seemed to have a little too much excitement and had to be held back by the referee. Then we saw a pass to Jamar Washington (#6) for some positive yards for the Jaguars and Benn carried the ball but was stopped two yards shy of a touchdown by Colby Wilcox (#37). Devon Benn ran for a 1-yard touchdown making the score 39-0 with 52 seconds left in the half.


The second half of the game started off a little bit slow for both sides and the Tigers definitely felt the weakness of their passing game with some big over throws from their quarterback. Fields did connect with Branch and get a first down for the Tigers at 9 minutes in the third quarter. Branch then found Jackson down field and that put them at the 10-yard line. Then there was another INCREDIBLE 95-yard interception by defensive end Jordan Lewis who was simply unable to be touched once he took off. Eric Stowers (#21) carried the ball for the Tigers for a nice gain and the next play was stopped by the Jaguars defense. Francis connected with George making their way down field with a first down. Then Stowers tried for another run which resulted in a loss of yards and there was almost another interception just after this play. McDaniel came in for Ladarius Skelton and made a pass to Cameron Mackey for a short gain to start off the possession. Craig Nelson carried the ball and was stopped by Wilkerson and then ran again right after for a first down. McDaniel ran the ball for a 16-yard touchdown upping the score to 54-0 at the beginning of the fourth quarter. David Beeks (#4) of the Tigers got a 5-yard gain which was followed by another incomplete pass from Jayshawn Francis. Farmer stopped Fields after he caught a ball from Francis and almost obtained a first down for the Tigers. Tamaurice Smith (#26) snatched the momentum right back as he intercepted the ball for the Jaguars. Running back, Travien Benjamin (#33), had two back to back runs that gave Southern another first down at the 45-yard line.  Darbbeon Profit (#15) ran for 10 yards and this and pushed for a first down on the next play and Jarod Simms (#48) came in with a strong, speedy run putting the Jaguars under 10 yards away from the end zone. Jeremiah Johnson (#49) stopped the Jaguars at the 5-yard line but Darbbeon Profit refused to be stoped and scored for Southern with the Jaguars now being up by 61 points. Francis was in to finish off the game as the Tigers quarterback and managed to get Ed Waters close to the endzone in hopes of scoring at least once before time ran out. Unfortunately for the Tigers, the game ended with a sacked quarterback and a big zero on the scoreboard.


This is what every Jaguar on the field and in the stands was looking for this game as Southern absolutely dominated this game making the “Protect the Bluff” hashtag a reality. The Jaguars never stopped playing with 110% effort making plays consistently offensively and defensively against Ed Waters. They kept the pressure on them, exposed their weaknesses, and played with a purpose. THIS is the Jaguars that we know and this is the team that has the ability to take the SWAC West title. We will see if Southern University will be able to carry this momentum into their next game against Florida A&M.