In Arlington Texas, the Jaguars faced off against Texas Southern in a game that would be known as the Arlington Texas Showdown. The Jags were coming off a bye week but before that, they were victorious in their previous outing against Mississippi Valley State. They were led out by redshirt Junior Glendon McDaniel who in his last game recorded a career-high five touchdowns. This would also be their first game within the SWAC West division.
The first half was very hotly contested as both team’s defenses battled it out. Southern was only able to score one touchdown and a field goal as they fought for every yard. Their lone touchdown was scored by freshman runningback Kobe Dillon. They closed out the first half with a kick by Freshman kicker Luke Jackson. Southern surrendered two touchdowns in the first half so it made the halftime score 14-10 with the Jag’s trailing.
In the second half, the Jaguars looked to gain new ground and establish a renewed energy. They then gave up a touchdown to the Tigers on the initial drive of the half. Then answered back with a 65 yard run by Senior Wide Receiver Marquis McClain. The Jags were not done in the third quarter as Redshirt Senior Devon Benn ran it in on a fourth-down prayer for Southern. They then took the lead 24-21, this was their second lead of the game.
Later on, in the third quarter, Texas Southern answered back with a rushing touchdown and took the lead once again. This score indicated that the rest of this game would be a shootout for Southern with the crowd waiting to see who would blink first. By the end of the third quarter, Southern still trailed the Tigers 28-24.
The fourth quarter proved to be the most cinematic as it brought great drama. Graduate Linebacker Ray Anderson set the tone for the Jag’s as he forced a fumble at the goal line for the Jag’s to prevent the Tiger’s lead from growing. Southern then continued to utilize the run to wear down their opponents. This then led to a touchdown run by Quarterback McDaniel which came with just over 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter. This drive gave the Jag’s a three-point lead.
As the clock continued to tick away Southern remained in a heated battle with TSU. Inevitably the game came down to late game execution and Southern’s defense came up just short by giving up a late game touchdown with less than a minute left. The Jags ended up closely losing to TSU 35-31.
Interim Coach Jason Rollins spoke to how he felt about the late game turnover on downs call. “That was a first.” The game’s theme seemed to be refereeing as the first down spot call seemed to determine the fate of the Jag’s. “We have to make the plays,” McDaniel echoed the sentiments made by Coach Rollins as well. “We can’t leave it in the hands of the official”.
This game was a tough loss for Southern but there was a bit of positivity that came out as well. Wide Receiver Marquis McClain had a career high 6 catches and a big 65 yard touchdown run as well. He spoke to this saying, “I just knew it was go time.” McClain made his mark on the game however the team just came up short.
The Jag’s will look to rebound next week against UAPB. UAPB is also coming off a loss to Alabama State in their previous outing. The Jag’s will look to build up momentum in preparation for a tough schedule the rest of the way.