In trouncing of Grambling, Jackson State appears the class the SWAC


In trouncing of Grambling, Jackson State appears the class the SWAC

by Rick Cleveland,
September 17, 2022

Deion Sanders — or Coach Prime, as he much prefers — was clearly perturbed when TV reporters approached him coming off the field at halftime Saturday of what was eventually a 66-24 trouncing of Grambling.

His Jackson State Tigers led the G-Men 21-17, but had been their own worst enemies after taking a 14-0 early lead. Sanders told the announcers his team had played poorly, had been out of character. He said that they were not fundamentally sound. He said more. He clearly was frustrated.

Rick Cleveland

The TV announcers correctly predicted Sanders was about to give his team a tongue-lashing.

So, what did he say? Or holler?

“I was so mad I don’t remember,” Sanders said after the game. 

Put it this way: Whatever he said worked.

Jackson State, with Sanders’ quarterbacking son Shedeur Sanders leading the way, out-scored Grambling 45-7 in the second half for the lopsided victory before a sun-baked yet enthused crowd of approximately 35,000 at Memorial Stadium. This was the W.C. Gorden Classic, played in honor of the late Jackson State coaching legend who led the Tigers to eight SWAC championships.

Gorden most assuredly would approve of the Tigers’ performance Saturday, especially in the second half.

Big picture: Jackson State moved to 3-0 on the young season and has now defeated three traditional HBCU powers Florida A&M, Tennessee State and Grambling by a combined score of 141 to 30. The Tigers are clearly a lot more talented than most of the teams they have played — or, for that matter, will play.

And clearly the most talented Tiger of all is the one named Shedeur, who accounted for six touchdowns and threw some of the prettiest passes you’d ever want to see. Shedeur Sanders, a 20-year-old sophomore, plays with the poise of someone much older. He plays smart. He throws accurately. He is as talented as he is resourceful. He can throw the long ball, as he did on a perfectly thrown 52-yard strike to speedy Christian Allen that resulted in an 84-yard touchdown play. He can throw short passes and intermediate, too. He can throw fast balls and he can throw with touch. And, when the situation arises, he can run with the ball, too.

Shedeur threw so well and so productively Saturday that a reporter asked his father if this was the best passing game he has had in his short college career.

“No,” Deion Sanders replied. “I did not like the first half whatsoever. He missed a couple or this game would have been over a lot sooner. He did hit them all in the second half. As he goes, we go.”

Shedeur Sanders completed 21 of 31 passes for 357 yards and four touchdowns. He scored two more touchdowns running the ball.

But the Tigers are far from a one-man gang. Sy’veon Wilkerson, a bowling ball of a running back, displayed quick feet and much strength running for 141 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries.

And you should have seen the leaping one-handed catch Shane Hooks made on a Sanders pass that appeared to be overthrown until Hooks went up and snatched far above Grambling defenders.

Defensively, especially in the second half, the Tigers suffocated the visitors. They were clearly faster and apparently much stronger than Grambling, coached by former Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson. Jackson, in his first season at Grambling, apparently has a major rebuild on his hands. 

“Hue Jackson is a great coach,” Deion Sanders said. “… He’s where we were that first spring season. When he gets his players in there, they will be something to deal with.”

That may be, but for now Grambling and the SWAC has to deal with the monster that Jackson State football has become. Mississippi Valley State is next up for the Tigers at the Vet this Saturday. It likely won’t be pretty.

This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.


Mississippi college football schedule – Mississippi Today


Mississippi’s college football 2022: Remember, you read it here first…

The 2022 Mississippi college football season, a sneak preview:

Sept. 3: clobbers Troy 41-14, and souvenir program sales set a record because even the most ardent Rebel fans need a roster to tell who all the transfers are. Mississippi State defeats Memphis 30-29 when a long Memphis punt return for the apparent winning touchdown is called back because of an inadvertent whistle. Southern Miss upsets Liberty 24-21 in overtime, spoiling Liberty coach Hugh Freeze’s (USM, Class of 1992) return to Hattiesburg. On Sunday, Jackson State whips Florida A&M 28-17 in the Orange Blossom Classic in Miami Gardens.

Rick Cleveland

Sept. 10: The Miami Hurricanes deal Southern Miss its first loss, 31-14 in a morning kickoff at Miami. Several hours later, Mississippi State rallies after midnight to defeat Arizona 29-28 on a last-second touchdown pass. In between, Ole Miss whacks Central Arkansas 38-13. Jackson State slams Tennessee State 37-20 in what apparently will be the last Southern Heritage Classic at Memphis, a long-standing rivalry game that JSU coach Deion Sanders famously has called “a hustle.”

Sept. 17: Ole Miss knocks off Georgia Tech 31-20 in the Rebels’ first visit to Grant Field since 1946, one year before John Howard Vaught became the Ole Miss coach. Mississippi State drops a 27-26 decision to LSU at Tiger Stadium, where Tigers coach Brian line dances, somewhat awkwardly, with LSU recruits at midfield afterward. Southern Miss rocks Northwestern (La.) State 34-10. Jackson State easily defeats Grambling 31-7.

Sept. 24: Will Rogers, who never met a pass he didn’t like, throws for five touchdowns in State’s 42-10 trouncing of Bowling Green. Ole Miss hangs on for a 27-20 victory over stubborn Tulsa. Southern Miss drops to 2-2 with a 20-17 loss at Tulane. Jackson State sacks Mississippi Valley State 33-7 before a second consecutive crowd of 45,000 at Mississippi Memorial Stadium.

Oct. 1: In a battle of SEC unbeaten teams, Ole Miss edges Kentucky 30-27. Texas A$M (that’s no typo) defeats Mississippi State 20-17, dropping the Bulldogs to 3-2.

Oct. 8: Mississippi State stuns Arkansas 42-41 in overtime. Ole Miss wallops Vanderbilt 38-14. Southern Miss falls at Troy in its first Sun Belt Conference game, 24-20. Alabama State, under first-year coach Eddie Robinson Jr. scares unbeaten Jackson State before falling 28-24 at Montgomery.

Oct. 15: Southern Miss wins its first-ever Sun Belt Conference game, downing Arkansas State 24-20. Ole Miss defeats Auburn 34-17. Auburn’s Board of Trustees polls its members afterward for the firing of Bryan Harsin. Mississippi State upsets Kentucky 31-27. Bethune-Cookman shocks visiting Jackson State 27-24, spoiling JSU’s perfect season.

Oct. 22: Ole Miss rallies past LSU 37-34 to remain unbeaten at 7-0. Mississippi State gets its annual 40 lashes at Alabama, 42-21. Southern Miss returns to its Super Back offense to defeat Texas State 27-20 on the road. Jackson State bounces back with a 52-7 trouncing of the Campbell Camels.

Oct. 29: On Thursday night (the 27th), Louisiana nips Southern Miss 27-24. Texas A$M (again, not a typo) knocks Ole Miss from the ranks of unbeaten 34-31 at College Station. Jackson State waltzes past Southern U. 38-7 at Veterans Memorial Stadium, but the halftime show is much closer with the Sonic Boom staying on the field an extra five minutes to a standing ovation.

Nov. 5: State wins 31-21 over Auburn. Auburn Board of Trustees can’t get a quorum for another coaching change. Ty Keys returns from a leg injury to lift Southern Miss to a 27-20 victory over Georgia State, moving the Golden Eagles to 5-4 and one victory from bowl eligibility. Jackson State travels to Houston for a 38-20 victory over Texas Southern.

Nov. 12: After a week of Nick Saban singing praises of Lane Kiffin, Alabama controls the ball for nearly three quarters of playing time in a 48-17 victory over Ole Miss at Oxford. Georgia thrashes Mississippi State 38-14 at Starkville. Coastal Carolina drops Southern Miss 34-27. Jackson State whacks Alabama A&M 44-10.

Nov. 19: Fred McNair and Alcorn State scare the socks off Jackson State before the Tigers prevail 29-28 in the Soul Bowl. JSU finishes the regular season with a 10-1 record. Arkansas runs to a 30-24 victory over Ole Miss, making the Hogs 12-3 all-time against Ole Miss at Fayetteville. Mississippi State routs East Tennessee State 41-10. Southern Miss – finally – defeats South Alabama 27-24 to become bowl eligible.

Thanksgiving Day: It’s 7-4 Mississippi State going against 8-3 Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl at Oxford. The Rebels successfully protect their home turf in a 41-38 shootout.

Nov. 26: Southern Miss slams Louisiana-Monroe 34-17 on the road to finish 7-5 and await a bowl bid. 

With all this information – and two dollars – you can get a cold bottle of fresh spring water at your corner market. And, remember, you read it here first.

This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

JPS football teams to play Saturday at Pearl


Due to water crisis, JPS football teams to play Saturday at Pearl

Jackson high school football teams Callaway, Murrah, Provine and Jim Hill will renew old rivalries Saturday at a new venue: Pearl High School, across the river in Rankin County.

The City of Jackson water crisis has altered the lives of its citizenry – and also the way Jackson Public Schools football teams play the sport. Callaway and Murrah were originally scheduled to play at Mississippi Memorial Stadium at 11 a.m. Saturday morning. Instead, they will play at the same time at Ray Rogers Stadium in Pearl. Provine and Jim Hill will follow in the second half of the doubleheader at 3 p.m.

The moves were forced because of the water crisis, which has caused any number of issues, including that the toilets and urinals won’t flush at The Vet. There isn’t enough water pressure.

The agreement to play at Pearl was finalized early Thursday afternoon, less than 48 hours before Murrah and Callaway will kick off. 

Neverthless, Thursday’s was welcome. Murrah coach Marcus Gibson probably spoke for all four coaches when he said, “We want to play and we need to play.”

Murrah High School head football coach Marcus Gibson, during practice Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022 in Jackson.

JPS football has experienced tough sledding in recent years. The 2020 season was canceled because of the pandemic, which continued to alter schedules in 2021. The water crisis has just added additional obstacles.

“Our kids have been through so much in the last three years that this delay was not even something they were concerned about,” Gibson said. “They have learned throughout the pandemic to move forward regardless, to not worry about the uncontrollable and to control what they can. They are some of the most resilient people I have ever been around.”

Gibson, who teaches five oral communications classes when he’s not coaching football, is resilient as well. He has to be. Besides COVID and the water crisis, he has the normal football problems every coach faces, including losing his starting quarterback to a foot injury in the Mustangs’ opening game, a 49-45 defeat at the hands of Cleveland Central last week.

Murrah High School football players take a break from practice to

“We played well,” Gibson said. “It was a game we could have won and probably should have won.”

The Mustangs suffered in that game with major cramping issues.

“Our kids are in shape, but even so they were cramping as early as the second quarter,” Gibson said. 

It wasn’t because of water issues, Gibson said. Murrah parents and local businesses have donated bottled water – and ice – to the team. The Mustangs go through the cases of bottled water rapidly.

“The deal is, because of COVID, they can’t share,” Gibson said. “Once they open the bottle, it’s theirs to finish. A lot of our players bring ice and water from home in their own thermos bottles.”

JPS schools limit football practices to 90 minutes until the weather cools – and 30 minutes of that must be spent indoors.

“It’s hard to get the conditioning we need, so we have to make really good use of the time,” Gibson said.

One of the biggest issues for the football coaches was presented when the schools went to virtual learning because of the water crisis.

“Normally, you have the players at school and they just come on down to the field house for practice when the bell rings,” Gibson said. “Now they are coming from home. Not many of our players have their own cars so they have to catch rides. Some of them are at home babysitting younger siblings, so they can’t leave until a parent gets home. There’s lots of problems you don’t think about until they happen.”

This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Back Bay Mission hosts free resource fair for those in need

95 views – Janae Jordan – 2022-08-03 15:14:40

Back Bay Mission held a free resource fair this morning to give those in need a chance to get information on housing, healthcare, and employment.

It was put on by the Southern Mississippi Regional Planning Office.

There were a variety of agencies on hand to help those in need including the Mississippi Housing Authority, Department of Affairs, Mississippi Division of , and state health insurance assistance program.

Back Bay Mission Executive Director James Pennington said, “It is really important to have everything in one location, especially when…

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MS Veterans Affairs announces Gold Star Children’s Day

80 views – Rick Gogreve – 2022-07-20 21:17:04

The Mississippi Affairs worked with several Gold Star children to help turn a dream into reality.

For years, Gold Star children all over have felt abandoned and unheard. Now, that feeling is no more.

The Mississippi Veterans Affairs organization, along with several Gold Star Children’s Day, came together to announce the declaration of ‘Gold Star Children’s Day’ on August 1st.

For those who are not aware, a…

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Joy, sadness intertwine at Normandy’s D-Day commemorations

70 views – WXXV Staff – 2022-06-06 17:29:19

D Day
World War II reenactors gather on Omaha Beach in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, Normandy, France Monday, June 6, 2022, the day of 78th anniversary of the assault that helped bring an end to World War II. (AP Photo/Jeremias Gonzalez)

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) — Joy and sadness in acute doses poured out Monday on the beaches of Normandy.

As several dozen D-Day — now all in their 90s — set foot on the sands that…

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Ridgeland Memorial Day service to honor fallen soldiers

270 views – Mississippi Clarion Ledger – 2022-05-26 21:00:07

With the three-day weekend approaching, several events are planned in the Jackson metro area to honor U.S. service members who died in service to the nation.

The city of Ridgeland will host a Memorial Day Ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday, May 30, at the Memory Park at City Hall, 100 W. School St., Ridgeland, with U.S. Rep., Michael Guest, third district. 

Flags are placed near headstones at the Vicksburg National Cemetery during the Memorial Day flag placement event in Vicksburg, Miss., Friday, May 28, 2021. Nearly 1,700 flags were placed.

The event is…

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Hangar at Miss. Navy base named for Hattiesburg native Jesse L. Brown

128 views – Hattiesburg American – 2022-05-18 21:00:51

Some may have heard his name or seen it on buildings and displays throughout Hattiesburg. Some may have seen his face on the mural at Memorial Park, but many don’t know the man behind the name Jesse L. Brown.

A Hattiesburg native, Brown was the country’s first Black Naval aviator. He worked hard to educate himself and work his way through college so he could qualify for the aviation…

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Ex-Mississippi auditor Stacey Pickering resigns from state Veterans Affairs

196 views – Mississippi Clarion Ledger – 2022-05-17 06:38:18

The Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board is being run by an interim leader as the executive director and his chief of staff are both resigning.

Stacey Pickering

The agency said in release Friday that executive director Stacey Pickering decided to retire from government service and chief of staff Melissa Wade “will pursue other endeavors outside of MSVA.”

Pickering was a Republican state senator from Jones…

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Ex-Mississippi auditor resigns from state Veterans Affairs

235 views – Associated Press – 2022-05-17 07:32:30

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Affairs Board is being run by an interim leader as the executive director and his chief of staff are both resigning.

The agency said in release Friday that executive director Stacey Pickering decided to retire from government service and chief of staff Melissa Wade “will pursue other endeavors outside of MSVA.”

Pickering was a Republican state senator from Jones County…

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