The Jackson State defense eventually had to bow. The Tigers gave up their first touchdown of the season in Saturday’s matchup against Grambling State – a 73-yard touchdown from junior Maurice Washington as time went on in the first quarter – followed by a fumble by Shedeur Sanders who returned for a touchdown from 23 yards by Bryan Powell.
However, Coach Deion Sanders and undefeated Jackson State (3-0, 2-0 SWAC) didn’t break in Saturday’s home opening 66-24 win over Grambling State (1-2, 0-1).
Jackson State opened the game with a short field after a fumble by Grambling State. Shedeur Sanders completed an eight-play, 21-yard drive with a one-yard TD. Shedeur Sanders finished with six total touchdowns, 325 passing yards and 31 rushing yards in the win.
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The Tigers couldn’t have asked for a better defensive start and forced a fumble and an interception in Grambling’s first three drives. Jackson State took advantage of the interception of Quaterius Hawkins with a five-yard touchdown run for Sy’veon Wilkerson. The sophomore running back finished with 20 carries for 139 yards.
However, Jackson State and Grambling State were tied at 14-14 with 14:11 to go in the second quarter after Powell’s fumble returned for a touchdown. Grambling State used two fumbles to hang out in the first half before Shedeur Sanders and Jackson State pulled out.
Jackson State scored 24 unanswered points in the third quarter behind Shedeur Sanders and Wilkerson. Shedeur Sanders led off the second half with a 26-yard TD pass to junior JD Martin. The Tigers scored on four consecutive drives in the third quarter, finishing with an 11-yard TD run from Wilkerson followed by a 16-yard TD scramble from Shedeur Sanders.
The Jackson State quarterback wasn’t done yet. Shedeur Sanders linked with Christian Allen for an 86-yard TD strike and Daniels for a 23-yard TD in Jackson State’s opening two possessions of the fourth quarter. Three of Shedeur Sanders’ four passing touchdowns went to Daniels. He finished with five catches for 99 yards and three touchdowns.
The Jackson State defense limited Grambling State to one touchdown in the second half, a 74-yard touchdown pass from Hawkins to Lyndon Rash, but that was the bulk of their production. Grambling State had 121 yards of offense and six first downs in the second half.
Hawkins finished 12-of-30 for 123 yards and two interceptions and Washington led the way with 78 rushing yards. The Grambling State defense had three sacks and was led by Jaylon Turner with a total of 10 tackles.
This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Jackson State Football Dominates Second Half vs Grambling State