SWAC Attack: Jaguars rumble pass Golden Lions in SWAC opener

SU Athletics

After a losing effort against rival FAMU last week, the Jaguars traveled to Simmons Bank Field looking to turn the corner as they took on the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

It was a good homecoming for Quarterback LaDarius Skelton, an Arkansas native, who put on a show for his family and friends with three rushing touchdowns against UAPB on the day. 

The first quarter saw the Jaguars come out playing at a higher tempo than they had a week prior, something that head coach Dawson Odoms noted during a press conference earlier in the week as a focal point of the Jags mindset this week.

Keeping the Golden Lion defense on their heels, QB LaDarius Skelton and WR TJ Bedford, who had great connections all game, were carrying the Jaguar offense for much of the afternoon. Similarly, good runs by RB Devon Benn and RB Chaney contributed heavily to the Jaguars success on offense. 

Not to be outdone, the Jaguar defense came to play with a vengeance against a UAPB offense that averaged thirty plus points a game coming into the match-up. On the afternoon, the Jaguar defense held them to only seven points all game behind solid run defense and bevy of forced turnovers, namely four interceptions thrown on the night. 

After a couple of hardnose plays from the defense, including an interception by senior Joe Davis, Skelton drove the offense down the field and sophomore fullback/ defensive back Torriando Sims II rushed the ball and scored, pushing the Jaguar lead 14-0.

In the second quarter, UAPB answers back with a good offensive drive on the Jaguar defense that cut the lead in half. One of the impact plays for the Jaguars was a well-timed interception by junior defensive end Jordan Eastling right before the half. 

In the second half of the game, the defense picked up right where they finished in the first half by forcing a three and out with a big play by linebacker (Sr) Caleb Carter. Looking to add on to their lead, QB LaDarius Skelton led the Jags down the field once more to the red zone before practically walking into the endzone to give the Jaguars a 28-7 advantage, 

Southern went back to running a quick tempo offense as they did early in the first quarter to start the second half as they continued to ride the momentum provided in the first half. Southern’s defense kept the Golden Lion offense out of the red zone all third quarter, getting hits on the UAPB quarterback and controlling the line of scrimmage. 

Junior running back Christopher Chaney had a huge impact in the match-up against UAPB in the fourth quarter, with Chaney recording twelve carries in the game as the Golden Lions had found no answer for him and Devon Benn all night.

“The nickel was pretty good, they’ve been pretty good,” Odums said. “I think they were challenged and a little upset from our last outing. We made a big deal that we weren’t able to run the ball against Florida A&M. We ran the ball on Memphis. They rose to the challenge and I was proud of them because we’re not a good team if we can’t run the ball.”

With a final score of 31-7, the Jaguars defeated UAPB took improve their record on the season to 2-3 as they look to make their return to Mumford Stadium on October 12 to take on Prairie View after a BYE week. 

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