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Golden Eagles fall short of upset bid at Jacksonville State

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – The Tennessee Tech football team paid No. 15 Jacksonville State a visit with an upset on their minds Saturday, but JSU quarterback Ryan Perrilloux and the Gamecock offense was too much for the Golden Eagles to handle as Tech fell 55-28 at Paul Snow Stadium in Jacksonville, Ala.

Perrilloux threw for 223 yards and three touchdowns, and was also JSU’s leading rusher with 103 yards and two touchdowns on the ground to lead the Gamecock attack.

Henry Sailes had 63 yards rushing on seven carries for Tech and one touchdown, and also had 122 yards on five kickoff returns for a total of 185 all-purpose yards on the day.

The Tech receiving corps was led by Demetrous Garrett and Zach Ziegler, who each had three catches. Alden Olverson, Corey Watson, Tim Benford and Dontey Gay had one catch each.

Tennessee Tech quarterback Lee Sweeney completed 8-of-11 passes for 118 yards before leaving the game in the third quarter.

Dustin Dillehay led the Tech defense with eight tackles while Josh Paz and Marty Jones each had six. Caleb Mitchell forced a fumble, which was recovered by Dillehay for the game’s only turnover.

The Gamecocks got on the board first with a 48-yard Perrilloux touchdown run just a minute and a half into the game. The run capped a three-play 54-yard march.

Tech would answer late in the first quarter, piecing together a nine-play 88-ayrd scoring drive. A key 24-yard completion from Sweeney to Olverson on third-and-seven that got Tech to the JSU three-yard line set up a three-yard scamper by Sailes, his first touchdown of the season. That score tied the game at seven.

The Gamecocks would score on a 15-yard run by Drec Lindley to go up 14-7, and add another touchdown when Greg Smith caught a Perrilloux pass and took it 24 yards to the endzone, going up 21-7.

But Tech was able to march down the field again, driving 64 yards on eight plays, and the Golden Eagles found the endzone on a one-yard sneak by Sweeney, pulling Tech within seven at 21-14.

JSU got the ball back with just over five minutes to play in the half, and timed its 66-yard scoring drive almost perfectly, scoring on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Perrilloux to Greg Smith with just 17 seconds left on the clock to take a 28-14 lead into halftime.

Three consecutive JSU touchdowns to open the second half put the Gamecocks up 48-14 heading into the fourth quarter.

Redshirt-freshman quarterback Tre Lamb played much of the second half for Tech, and led the Golden Eagles on two second-half scoring drives, finishing the game completing 2-of-6 passes for 26 yards, and also running the ball seven times for 16 yards.

The Golden Eagles return home for the season finale next Saturday against Murray State. Tech will try to go a perfect 5-0 in home contests this season when it takes on the Racers. Kickoff for the game will be at 1:30. For ticket information contact the Golden Eagle ticket office at 372-3940.


Their take -- Postgame quotes from head coach Watson Brown, and players Tre Lamb and Dustin Dillehay

Watson Brown
“They’re very good. That is the best Jacksonville State team I’ve ever seen and I’m not sure it’s not the best team they’ve ever had. It’s a shame that team can’t get into the playoffs because they might just win the whole thing.”

“We didn’t challenge them defensively at all. We couldn’t even get a stop. I really don’t think we got a stop. They fumbled it once and they punted once and that was it for the whole game.”

"We’re worn out, we’re tired, it’s tough on us, but we’ve got a really good game left. We had five goals going into the season. We already reached one of them, we didn’t reach one of them, and we’ve got three left in the last game.”

Tre Lamb
“When I saw Lee go down I immediately started getting warmed up on the sideline. It’s unfortunate, we were down by 14 when I went into the game and I tried my best to get us back in the game, but we just couldn’t really stop them.”

“That’s the best defense I’ve ever played against, besides the Georgia defense from last week. They’re a lot faster than most of the other teams we’ve faced in the OVC and that was the biggest difference to me, they close a lot faster on tackles.”

Dustin Dillehay
“Today we didn’t play our best football. They don’t run a complicated system but we didn’t shoot the right gaps when we needed to and we didn’t make the plays when we needed to. They’ve got some incredible athletes over there, especially at quarterback with some good size and running a running back with good size.”