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Jags down MVSU 35-3

November 6, 2011 · By · Filed Under Football 

A bad snap caused a big loss for the Delta Devils.

Thursday nights matchup against Mississippi Valley State was a bit of a mismatch. The short week didn’t make much difference as the they won 35-3 in a cold breezy game at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

With injuries to Jereme Jones and B.J. Scott, J.J. Keels handled the lone kick return duties against the Delta Devils. Keels showed he was ready for this opportunity very quickly in the game. After forcing the Delta Devils to punt, Keels would take the punt off of a bounce and return it 45 yards to the two yard line. Keels would not be able to take it into the end zone on the first down play, but Houston would on the next play though.

He would also take the opening kickoff of the second half 100 yards for a touchdown to get his first touchdown as a Jaguar. Earlier in the second quarter, Keels would break a 25 yard run down to the Delta Devil one yard line, where he stepped out of bounds before scoring. Again Houston would put the ball in the end zone.

Every time the Delta Devils threatened to score, they would make a mental mistake and break their momentum, it would allow the Jaguars defense to stiffen and force a stop.

The defensive front, particularly the starting three, were in the backfield all night. Romelle Jones regularly beat his man but Delta Devils linemen did good to knock him off his rush from time to time. Ben Giles had a career night with nine tackles.

It was another game where the Jags could go deep into their bench and get other players some playing time and experience in game situations. But the Jags also tried out some new wrinkles in their goal line package and successfully scored a couple times in that situation.

Coach Jones commented after the game, “It was big for J.J. to come in there as a true freshman and make those types of plays. We lost B.J. and Jeremé, so we have gotten thin in our return game. I thought he stepped up and did really well. That [the kickoff return] was a big play in the game.”

“I thought we played really sound in the first half,” Coach Jones said. “The defense gave up a little yardage in between the 20s, but got stiff down there toward the goal line. The offense had a short field a couple of times, then we had an 80-plus yard drive in the first half, which is big. The special teams played well — the return game was good and we kicked the ball well. Overall I am real pleased with the game.”

“We are kind of a methodical football team, we don’t have big-play guys on offense,” he continued. “J.J. came in and sparked us in the return game, and he had a couple of good runs. But we are the kind of team that if we don’t make mistakes and have a lot of penalties, we have a chance to beat a lot of people. When we play like we did tonight then we end up on the winning side, so we just need to keep that up.”

The Jags have a week off before their final game of the season when they host Cal Poly on Saturday, November 19. The game can be seen locally on UTV44 and nationally on ESPN3.com and will kick off at 4pm.

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