Twelfth-ranked Jacksonville State ended the game with 21 unanswered points to top the Murray State football team, 42-15, Saturday afternoon at Roy Stewart Stadium in Murray, Kentucky and put an end to its four-game win streak. Despite the loss, the Racers, now 4-1 in OVC play, are still one of three teams, along with the Gamecocks and Southeast Missouri, with one league loss that are still in the hunt for an OVC title.
After an early score by JSU, Anthony Koclanakis ran back an interception for 37 yards to pull the Racers within one at 7-6. Late in the second quarter, Gabriel Vicente knocked down a 23-yard field goal with just seconds left in the first half to make the score 21-9 at the break.
On the first play from scrimmage of the second half, Don Parker knocked the ball loose from JSU’s Jaelen Greene allowing Marquez Sanford to recover the ball and giving MSU a first-and-10 at the JSU 48. Off the turnover, Drew Anderson took his team down the field and capped the drive with a 17-yard rush for a touchdown that pulled the Racers within six at 21-15. From that point on, however, JSU reeled off three touchdowns and shut the MSU offense down in the process for the 42-15 win.
Playing a key role in the win, was the way that the Gamecocks found ways to be successful offensively on third downs, converting 12 of 17 opportunities. As good as the JSU offense was on third down, its defense was as successful in stopping Murray State, leaving the Racers 0-for-11 on the day on third down. Zerrick Cooper was 21-for-28 passing in the game with 259 yards and three touchdowns, all to Josh Pearson, who finished with 77 yards on six catches.
Drew Anderson was 18-for-34 in the game for 229 yards with an interception and a rushing touchdown, while Jonathan Moss led the receivers with five catches on 61 yards. Quincy Williams had a career-high 17 tackles with 1.5 for a loss of seven yards, while Kendrick Catis had nine tackles and 0.5 for loss.
Next week, the Racers hit the road for their penultimate away game of the season at Tennessee Tech. Kickoff in Cookeville on ESPN+ is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.