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By William Larsha, Jr., Columnist/Sports Reporter


The Mid-South Tribune and the Black Information Highway

MEMPHIS, TN- In a game marked by turnovers, the Tennessee State Tigers outlasted the Tigers of Jackson State to win the 24th annual Southern Heritage Classic by a score of 26-16 on September 14, 2013 in Memphis. It was the second straight win for Tennessee State in the series. They improved to 2-1 on the 2013 season.


The game's first offensive touchdown came late in the third quarter on a sneak by Tennessee quarterback Michael German. Jackson State quarterback, Clayton Moore, threw four interceptions in the game. Two of those were returned for touchdowns by TSU. In all, JSU committed six turnovers. Rick Comegy, JSU head coach said, "We only gave up one real touchdown and field goals. The other touchdowns were by their defense, so those really hurt us in the game."


In the first quarter, TSU had turnover problems of its own. After fumbling an interception but later getting the ball back, TSU quarterback Ronald Butler attempted to pick up a first down on third an 32 with a pass. The pass was intercepted by JSU's Ryan griffin and returned 78 yards for a touchdown. JSU led 7-3 after the first quarter.


JSU moved the ball well in the 2nd quarter, but was hurt by a TSU interception that led to a field goal making the score 7-6. JSU got the ball back and drove to the TSU 6 yard line only to be intercepted again and after a big return, TSU made anther field goal bringing the halftime score to 9-7.


In the 3rd quarter, JSU kicked a field goal with eight minutes left to lead 10-9. TSU then missed a 29 yard field goal on its next possession. TSU got the ball back and scored on the German sneak making the score 16-10.


At the start of the 4th quarter, TSU made a 42 yard field goal to increase their lead to 19-10. Then they sealed the contest by forcing JSU's 6th turnover on an interception that was returned 50 yards for a touchdown by Daniel Fitzpatrick making it 26-10. JSU finally scored a touchdown late to make the final score 26-16.


Though there was not much offense, there were several exciting plays in the game making it enjoyable for the fans. Tevlen Hooks had 82 yards on 16 carries and was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Now everyone looks forward to the Silver Anniversary of the Classic next year.