by Wesley Peterson
The Jackson State football team is one step closer to making it to Birmingham, Alabama for the 2012 Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship Game after beating the Alabama A&M Bulldogs 35-21 at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium Saturday night.
On Senior Day JSU’s star wide receiver Rico Richardson reached a milestone that only five other JSU receivers have accomplished. Richardson joined JSU’s 1,000 receiving yard club after finishing with 105 yards on two receptions.
JSU out gained Alabama A&M 457 total yards to 344. The Tigers put the first two scores on the scoreboard. Clayton Moore capped a four play, 74 yard drive with a seven yard run. The point after kick gave JSU an early 7-0 advantage. Rakeem Sims scored on a seven yard run of his own at the 3:29 mark in the second quarter. The extra point kick gave JSU a 14-0 lead.
Alabama A&M opened the second half with a Duante Mason to Toriono Upshaw touchdown pass, cutting JSU’s lead to 14-7. At the 5:11 mark in the third quarter Rico Richardson hauled in a 67 yard touchdown pass from Clayton Moore to put the Tigers ahead 21-7. The play also put Richardson into JSU’s 1,000 receiving yard club.
With 4:32 left in the third quarter Ryan Griffin scooped up an AAMU fumble and raced 35 yards for the score. The extra point kick made the score 28-7. AAMU continued to fight. The Bulldogs scored on a 20 yard Mason to Resha DeJarnett pass play. The extra point kick cut the lead to 28-14.
With 4:31 remaining in the game Rakeem Sims scored his second touchdown of the game, making the score 35-14. AAMU scored the final touchdown of the game at the 1:57 mark when Deaunte Mason connected with Montauriu Smith.
Rakeem Sims led all rushers with 125 yards and two touchdowns on 21 attempts. Clayton Moore passed for a game high 233 yards and a touchdown. Zach Pendleton hauled in a team high six passes for a game high 125 yards. Rico Richardson had a two catch 105 yards, one TD game. Defensively, Cameron Loeffler led the Tigers with 12 tackles. Ryan Griffin added 10 tackles and Joseph LeBeau finished with seven.
The Tigers now turn their attention to Alcorn State in the regular season finale in Lorman, Mississippi next Saturday.
2nd QTR – 11:06 (JSU) Clayton Moore 7 yd run (JSU 7, AAMU 0)
2nd QTR – 3:29 (JSU) Rakeem Sims 7 yd run (JSU 14, AAMU 0)
3rd QTR – (AAMU) Toriono Upshaw 3 yd pass from Duante mason (JSU 14, AAMU 7)
3rd QTR – 5:11 (JSU) Rico Richardson 67 yd pass from Clayton Moore (JSU 21, AAMU 7)
3rd QTR – 4:32 (JSU) Ryan Griffin 35-yd fumble recovery (JSU 28, AAMU 7)
4th QTR – 7:04 (AAMU) Resha DeJarnett 20 yd pass from Duante Mason (JSU 28, AAMU 14)
4th QTR – 4:31 (JSU) Rakeem Sims 12 yd run (JSU 35, AAMU 14)
4th QTR – 1:57 (AAMU) Montauriu Smith 4 yd pass from Duante Mason (JSU 35, AAMU 21)