DHS alum James leads Jacksonville State to win

JACKSONVILLE – Fall Preview Day on the Jacksonville State campus may have been a preview of what awaits the Gamecocks’ remaining opponents.

Sophomore DaMarcus James ran for 149 yards and two touchdowns and senior quarterback Marques Ivory passed for 161 yards and two TDs as Jacksonville State defeated Southeast Missouri State 31-16 before a crowd of 16,842 at Burgess-Snow Field at JSU Stadium.

DaMarcus James carries the ball against Southeast Missouri State.

The Gamecocks improved to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the Ohio Valley Conference.

Jacksonville State won with an effective, ball-control offensive game plan. All five of JSU’s scoring drives took at least nine plays and all of them covered at least 60 yards.

“I felt like we had a pretty good tempo throughout the whole game,” Ivory said, “and it was actually better than how we practiced. Everybody got up to the line and we got to see what they were doing.

“We called the correct plays and the offensive line did a great job. We had been telling them all week that they controlled everything that we’re going to do, and when they play great, we’ll play great.”

“We preached all week that we’re going to dominate up front,” said sophomore center Max Holcombe. “The better the offensive line plays, the better the whole offense runs. And when we’re able to run the ball it makes it easier on Marques throwing the ball.”

Southeast Missouri State dropped to 2-3 and 1-1 with its fifth straight loss to the Gamecocks.

Jacksonville State averaged 5.5 yards per rushing attempt, finishing with 268 yards on the ground and 429 overall. SEMO, which went 99 yards for a touchdown on its first possession, had 303.

Jacksonville State’s touchdown drives covered 84, 72, 73 and 61 yards. The Gamecocks also were an exceptional 10-of-13 on third-down conversions.

James sealed the victory with a slashing 8-yard run up the middle with just over two minutes remaining to give the Gamecocks a 31-16 lead. His 149-yard rushing effort marked a career high, topping his 120-yard output earlier this season against Chattanooga.

“Just because DaMarcus is listed as a ‘B’ back on the depth chart doesn’t mean he’s a ‘B’ player,” said Jacksonville State head coach Jack Crowe.

Ivory’s second touchdown pass of the afternoon, a 20-yarder to Alan Bonner, gave JSU an eight-point cushion (24-16) with 10:57 to play. Southeast Missouri State had closed to within one on the previous drive when Renard Celestin scored on a 13-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter.

The Gamecocks did not commit a turnover, the first time that’s happened since the 2010 regular-season finale at Tennessee Tech.

Jacksonville State received the opening kickoff and worked its way into SEMO territory, but the drive stalled and the Gamecocks were forced to punt. Coty Blanchard’s perfect kick nestled on the 1, putting the Redhawks offense in an early predicament – which they promptly worked out of by driving 99 yards for the game’s first score.

Southeast Missouri State covered the distance in 13 plays, with Levi Terrell picking up 43 yards on seven carries.

Brandon Beck completed the length-of-the-field march by running in from the 5 with 5:30 left in the first quarter. Drew Gelbach’s extra point made it 7-0 SEMO.

The Gamecocks answered with a long drive of their own to pull even at 7-7.

James ran 23 yards on the drive’s second play and then Marques Ivory connected with Bonner for a 25-yard gain into Redhawks territory. Runs by Washaun Ealey, James and Blanchard moved JSU deep into Southeast Missouri State territory.

Facing third-and-4 late in the first quarter, Ivory hooked up with Kevyn Cooper for a 14-yard touchdown. Griffin Thomas’ PAT tied it at 7-7 with 1:12 left.

Southeast Missouri State regained the lead with another time-consuming drive after again being pinned at the 1, this time on a 55-yard punt by JSU’s Hamish MacInnes .

Terrell’s 37-yard run on second down quickly got the Redhawks out of the hole. SEMO moved to the Gamecocks 12, but an 11-yard quarterback sack by JSU’s Caleb Lawrence and DiMetrio Tyson halted the momentum and Drew Geldbach came in to kick a 42-yard field goal with 6:21 left in first half.

Jacksonville State gained its first lead with a 72-yard, 12-play drive on the ensuing possession.

The Ivory-to-Bonner combo clicked on a pair of short completions and James finished off the scoring drive with a 1-yard run with 1:24 left. Thomas’ PAT gave Jacksonville State the 14-10 lead it took to the locker room at halftime.

Jacksonville State begins a two-game road trip next Saturday at Tennessee Tech. Kickoff is at 7.

The Gamecocks’ next home game is Oct. 20 against Tennessee State at 11 a.m. in a game nationally televised on Fox College Sports.


– Captains for the Gamecocks: senior QB Marques Ivory, senior DB Brooks Robinson, and senior DE DiMetrio Tyson

– Southeast Missouri won the coin toss and deferred to the second half.

– Today’s attendance was 16,842.

– Freshman Leon Jones earned his first career start at LB and became the 13th Gamecocks to earn his first career start this season.

– Jacksonville State’s Kevyn Cooper caught his first TD of the season on the Gamecocks’ first score of the game with 1:12 left in the first quarter. It was Cooper’s first TD since the Georgia State game on Sept. 17, 2011.

– JSU’s 84 yard, nine-play scoring drive in the first quarter was a season-long scoring drive. The drive surpassed the 83-yard scoring drive against Arkansas in the season opener.

– Jax State QB Marques Ivory has thrown at least one TD pass in three of the four games this season and has tossed 30 on his career. The senior signal caller now ranks fifth all time on JSU’s career passing TDs.

– Ivory now has 15 100-plus passing games in his career and matched his 161 yards he tossed against Murray State on Oct. 2, 2010 for his eighth best career passing mark.

– Jax State’s DaMarcus James registered a rushing TD for the third consecutive game with a 1-yard rush with 1:24 left in the first half to put the Gamecocks ahead, 14-10.

– James turned in his second career 100-plus yard rushing game after finishing with149 yards and added his second TD of the game with an eight-yard rush to seal the win with 2:05 left in the game.

– Senior Alan Bonner finished with seven catches for 92 yards along with a 20-yard TD grab from Marques Ivory in the fourth quarter.

– Sophomore Pierre Warren posted a career-high nine tackles, including a stop for a loss to share team-high honors with Caleb Lawrence.

– The Gamecocks tallied 429 total yards on offense for the second time this season and the 48th time under Jack Crowe the Gamecocks rolled up at least 400 yards of total offense. JSU finished with 410 total yards against Chattanooga.

– With James’ 100-plus rushing yards, Jax State has had a 100-yard rusher in the last three meetings with SEMO – Darius Barksdale (2010) 113, Calvin Middleton (2011) 191 and DaMarcus James (2012) 149.

– JSU’s last TD pushed it over the 30-point mark for the firsts time this season and the Gamecocks are now 51-8 under Jack Crowe when scoring 30 or more points in a game.

– Jax State held SEMO to just 56 yards passing and for the second-straight year. The Gamecock defense allowed just 76 passing yards last year.


8 – Number of wins over SEMO at Burgess-Snow Field at JSU Stadium.

10 – (of 13) on JSU’s 3rd Down Conversion Percentage vs SEMO.

13 – Wins in the series against SEMO.

30 – Number of touchdown passes Marques Ivory has thrown in his career, 5th most in JSU history.

48 – JSU wins under Jack Crowe when posting 400-plus yards on offense.

73 – The average yards on JSU’s four scoring drives.

97 – Career wins by JSU Head Coach Jack Crowe.

127 – Consecutive games in which the Gamecocks have scored, a streak that dates back to Nov.18, 2000, when they were last shut out.

400 – JSU’s offense has surpassed that number in total offense in both games played at home.


Southeast Missouri vs. Jacksonville State – Sept. 29, 2012

JSU Head Coach Jack Crowe

“I thought it was two quality teams playing today because if you look at it, neither team had a turnover and there were few penalties in the game. They were 8-of-14 on third down conversions and everything about this says that we played a quality football team. I think we beat a quality football team and I think we played with a lot more efficiency ourselves. We were 10-of-13 on third down conversions and our yards per carry were high. Marques Ivory’s passing efficiency was high with two touchdowns and 14-of-18 and no interceptions. When you have all that combined, you can run the ball 49 times.”

“I thought DaMarcus James was clearly the quality player out there that got things done. I think people that have seen him over the years are not surprised at what he did today. He may be listed as the B-Back on the depth chart, but he is a B player on this team.”

“I think this win says a lot and I don’t think this win says a lot to the people on the basis of the tradition of us playing SEMO, but what I saw coming in here and what I saw on that field – They (SEMO) is going to be a tough team for anyone to play. I am certainly happy and proud of the players.”

 DaMarcus James, So., RB

“Tonight we came out and blocked real well. We were short a couple backs and I had to stay calm and stay focused. I kept my composure and just came out and played hard.”

Marques Ivory. Sr., QB

“We had a pretty good tempo throughout the whole game – actually better than in practice. We told them (Offensive line) the whole week that they control everything we do.”

Max Holcombe, So, C

“We preached all week to dominate up front. The way we played today just shows how well we play better as a unit and communicate, we can dominate.”

— Jacksonville State Athletics