Jags Fall To Texas State On Last Second Field Goal
The South Alabama Jaguars fell on a late field goal on Saturday in San Marcos, Texas 33-31. They fought back from an 11 point deficit at halftime. They scored 21 points in the fourth quarter and 28 points in the second half.
USA tied the game with 13:10 left in the fourth quarter on a 13 yard touchdown pass from Ross Metheny to Shavarez Smith. Texas State would drive down and score a 37 yard field goal to regain the lead with 7:56 left then on the Jaguars next possession, Metheny’s pass would be intercepted and returned 29 yards for a touchdown by Justin Iwuji to give the Bobcats a 27-17 advantage.
But the Jags would not give up. With 5:20 left in the game, Metheny connected with Danny Woodson for a 42 yard touchdown to climb within three points again at 27-24. Texas State would drive and add their third field goal of the game to go back up by six points, 30-24 with 2:22 left in the game.
The Jags would add another long touchdown when Metheny connected with Danny Woodson again for a 43 yard touchdown to take their only lead of the game 31-30 with the PAT.
However, the Bobcats were not giving up with 1:32 left. After gaining a first down out to the Texas State 40, Tyler James would connect with Jafus Gaines for a six yard completion on a slant. He would run up and spike the ball. Jones would connect with Gaines again for five yards and an apparent first down, but the Bobcats would be flagged for offensive pass interference to back them up to the Texas State 31 and face 3rd and 19. Jones would then attempt a pass over the middle which Maleki Harris would knock down to bring up 4th and 19. A false start would make it 4th and 24 at the Texas State 26 yard line.
The Jags would take their final time out of the game to set their defense for the 4th and 24 play. Texas State’s Tyler Jones would air it out down the right sideline and connect with Ben Ijah for 51 yards to the Jaguar 23 yard line. After a rush for a loss of 1 yard, Texas State would take their final time out of the game with :08 left in the game.
Jason Dann would add his fourth field goal of the game from 41 yards out to give Texas State a 33-31 lead with :04 seconds left. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty would be flagged on the Bobcats to back up the kickoff 15 yards. The kickoff would make it into the endzone and downed for a touchback.
The first play would be incomplete to Jereme Jones leaving :01 on the clock. The next pass would be caught by Jereme Jones then the lateraling would begin. Jones would get it back to Metheny who would toss it back to Jones, who would toss it to Shavarez Smith, then to Cris Dinham, then back to Metheny, then Smith again who would try to get rid of it but would fumble it to be recovered by Texas State at the Jaguar 43 yard line.
The Jags were outgained in total yards 452 – 409. Texas State had 234 yards rushing and 272 yards passing. The Jags gained 109 yards rushing and 300 yards passing. The Bobcats ran 79 plays and controlled the ball for 37:21 of the game compared to the Jags 65 offensive plays and 22:39 time of possession. The Jags were a mere 4-of-13 in third down conversion attempts and 1-of-2 in fourth down conversions. Texas State converted 8-of-17 third downs and both of their two fourth down attempts.
Cris Dinham was the leading rusher for the Jaguars with 54 yards on four carries. Ross Metheny gained 40 on 10 carries and Jay Jones managed 15 yards on five carries. Metheny was the only rusher to find the endzone.
Danny Woodson caught five passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns (one for 42 and the other for 43 yards). Wes Saxton caught the most passes with 10 for 89 yards. Jereme Jones caught four passes for 50 yards. Shavarez Smith added 41 yards on three receptions. Jay Jones caught three for six yards and Bryant Lavender caught two for seven yards.
Ross Metheny went 27-of-43 for 300 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. Brandon Bridge did not see time in the game.
Enrique Williams led the Jags with 13 total tackles and one tackle for loss. Qudarius Ford had nine, all but one solo. Montell Garner was the only Jag with an interception. Pat Moore collected two sacks for 18 yards and Montavious Williams got one sack for 14 yards.
“I thought they outplayed us for three quarters,” Head coach Joey Jones said in his postgame press conference. “They controlled the game. We fought our way back into it and had a chance to win it. We had them on fourth-and-long and they convert it. But I thought they outplayed us most of the game. They ran the ball well on us. We didn’t do anything offensively in the first half. We can’t fall behind that much and expect to win ball games. We had a chance though, we just didn’t get it done.”
“Our kids are always going to come back and fight,” Joey Jones stated. “I told them in the locker room that we have to close those games out. We went ahead with a minute-and-a-half left, we just had to find a way to stop them.”
Defensive lineman Romelle Jones was injured in the first half of the game on a chop-block by the Bobcats. They were penalized for the block. The senior attended the Jaguars conditioning workout on Sunday but the extent to the injury is not know just yet. Though there was more optimism about his return, but further tests and results of prior tests are still pending.
Right now, Romelle is listed as day-to-day until they know more.
“I was a little worried about that after the game,” head coach Jones told AL.com on Sunday. “The report I got was fairly negative. I think we’re going to get some more tests run, but he seems to be walking pretty normally and I think he should be back sooner than we thought originally.”
The Jags (3-4 overall, 1-2 SBC) will return to Ladd-Peebles Stadium against Arkansas State on Saturday. They will try to even their overall record and their Conference record while trying to stay alive for the SBC championship.
Saturday’s game is set to kick off at 6:30pm in their annual Hall-Of-Fame game. It will also be televised nationally on ESPN3.