Photo Credits: Dave Winder
The Murray State football team held No. 21 Jacksonville State scoreless for nearly the final 40 minutes of Saturday’s game at Burgess-Snow Field in Jacksonville, Alabama. However, field goal that came up short as time expired left the Racers on the wrong end of a 14-12 decision.
The Racers held Jacksonville State scoreless for nearly the entire first quarter until Zion Webb hit Jamari Hester for a 45-yard touchdown to give the Gamecocks a 7-0 lead with 15 seconds left in the opening stanza. Webb added another touchdown minutes later to give the Gamecocks a 14-0 lead in what would be there last score of the game.
Unfortunately, for Murray State, despite the play of the defense, the offense struggled to find the end zone. The Racers finally broke through at the end of the third when Preston Rice led Murray State on a 10 play, 95 yard drive that was capped off by a two-yard rush from Rice.
In the middle of the fourth, after Steve Dawson pinned JSU at the four-yard line with a 40-yard punt, T.J. Warren came up with his second safety of the season to make it 14-9. Just minutes later, the Racers cut the deficit to just two when Zaden Webber hit the longest field goal by a Racer since at least 1994 when he converted on a 53-yarder.
After forcing the Gamecocks to punt, Murray State got the ball back with 1:42 left in the contest. Twice on the drive the Racers faced third-and-ten and fourth-and-ten and twice Rice rushed for first downs to extend the drive. Finally, with five seconds left, Webber attempted a 51-yarder to win the game, but it came up short, allowing JSU to hold on for the win.
Rice finished the game 24-for-46 for 231 yards, while LaMartez Brooks tallied his third 100-yard game of the season with four catches for 100 yards. Defensively, Kendrick Catis had eight tackles with an interception, while TJ Warren had seven tackles and a safety.
Murray State returns to action next Saturday at home when they host Tennessee Tech at 1 p.m.