The Jackson State Tigers (12-0) hosted the Southern Jaguars (7-5). This was the second straight appearance hosting the SWAC championship, and it showed early in the game. The JSU Tigers had no interest in getting bit by the upset bug that was last seen in Las Vegas, NV on Friday December 2nd and flew to Dallas, TX by Saturday December 3rd at 4:00 pm EST.
The 2022 SWAC East Division Champions Jackson State University Tigers hosted the West Division Champions Southern Jaguars because they had the better record during the regular season. The Jackson State Tigers just steamrolled their way to the SWAC East Division crown while the Southern Jaguars clinched the West Division title at the Bayou Classic against the Grambling State Tigers.
The 2021 championship game featured the Jackson State Tigers (10-1) and the Prairie View Panthers (7-4). The Panthers took an early 10-7 lead early in the second quarter. The JSU Tigers defense held them scoreless for the remainder of the game. The JSU Tigers scored the next 20 points in the second and third quarter to win the championship 27-10.
Both teams in the 2022 edition had a chance at the Celebration Bowl to face the North Carolina Central Eagles who are the champions of the MEAC.
The JSU Tigers opened the scoring with a field goal by K Alejandro Mata after the JSU Tigers defense held the Southern Jaguars offense to a three and out. The Jackson State defense came up big again with an interception by CB Herman Smith III and returned the pick down to the one-yard line. Two plays later RB Sy’veon Wilkerson scored from one yard out to make the score 10-0.
The Jackson State defense showed up big again with a sack and fumble recovery from Southern QB Harold Blood who didn’t start the game. The fumble was recovered by Jackson State LB Antonio Doyle Jr. The next play the JSU Tigers scored from 14 yards away with a pass from QB Shedeur Sanders to WR Shane Hooks and the JSU Tigers went for two-point conversion and got it. The two-point conversion was a pass from QB Shedeur Sanders to WR Kevin Coleman Jr to bring the score to 18-0.
Southern QB Besean McCray returned to the game but fell victim to another sack fumble, the sack was by LB Baron Hopson and the fumble was recovered by LB Justin Ragin. Three plays later the JSU Tigers found the endzone again with a 40-yard touchdown pass from QB Shedeur Sanders to WR Shane Hooks and once again went for the two-point conversion and got it. The conversion was another pass from QB Shedeur Sanders to WR Kevin Coleman Jr. to bring the score to 26-0.
The second quarter began with a new QB Glendon McDaniel at the helm for the Southern Jaguars who drove the team down the field and ultimately scored from four yards away. It brought the score to 26-7. The JSU Tigers responded with another touchdown pass from QB Shedeur Sanders to WR Kevin Coleman Jr. from 14 yards away to make the score 33-7. The Jaguars ended the first half with a 39-yard field goal by K Joshua Griffin to make the halftime score 33-10.
The second half started with a three and out by the Southern Jaguars defense and a block punt by DB Rodney Johnson Jr. to give the Jaguars great field position. QB Glendon McDaniel found WR Chandler Whitfield from 34 yards away to make the score 33-17.
The Southern Jaguars defense forced a 33-yard field goal by K Alejandro Mata to make the score 36-17. On the ensuing drive QB Glendon McDaniel ran the ball in from 42 yard away to bring the score to 36-24. After a fast start by Jackson State in the first quarter. the Southern Jaguars outscored the JSU Tigers 24-10. The JSU Tigers bounced back with another touchdown pass from QB Shedeur Sanders to WR Rico Powers to extend the lead to 43-24.
The fourth quarter began with defensive stops by both teams. With the Jaguars driving QB Glendon McDaniel threw an interception to CB Cam’Ron Silmon-Craig. After a muffed punt by the JSU Tigers the next play the Jaguars threw interception and essentially ended their championship dreams. The final score was 43-24.
The Southern Jaguars had over 400 yards in total offense, but the first half turnovers couldn’t stop the explosive Jackson State Tigers offense who had over 435
SOUTHERN JAGUARS DEFENSIVE STARS
Although the Southern Jaguars fell short, they still had a few defensive stars. DB Kriston Davis had 13 tackles to lead the team. DB Corione Harris had eight tackles. LB Jalan Campbell had eight tackles as well. LB Derrick Williams had seven tackles. DB Jordan Carter tacked on five tackles and an interception.
JACKSON STATE TIGERS DEFENSIVE STARS
To help their team win the championship a few players stood out on the defensive side of the ball. LB Nyles Gaddy led the team with seven tackles and one sack. S Cam’Ron Silmon-Craig had six tackles and one interception. CB Isaiah Bolden had five tackles as well. LB Aubrey Miller Jr had five tackles one forced fumble and one sack and LB Baron Hopson had five tackles one forced fumble and one sack. S Herman Smith III had three tackles and one interception. CB Tayvion Beasley tacked on one interception
Head Coach Eric Dooley for the Southern Jaguars appeared in the 2021 SWAC championship game as head coach of the Prairie View Panthers. It looks like Southern, and Prairie View Panthers will both battle it out for another championship run in the SWAC West Division for the 2023 season.
Head Coach Deion Sanders for the Jackson State Tigers won his second championship game as Head Coach. Congratulations Coach Sanders to your staff, players and school for a tremendous season. The Celebration Bowl will be the last game for Deion Sanders because he is headed to coach the Colorado Buffaloes of the PAC-12 Conference.
In other news the FCS Playoffs are heating up