Byrd leads effort, but Tech falls to No. 5 Jacksonville State

Byrd leads effort, but Tech falls to No. 5 Jacksonville State

By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Earlier in the week, Tennessee Tech head coach Marcus Satterfield challenged senior wide receiver Dontez Byrd to provide more leadership.

And considering the numbers Byrd put up on Saturday night against FCS No. 5 Jacksonville State, it's safe to assume that the senior listened.

Byrd, the First National Bank of Tennessee-Special Olympics Player of the Game, caught six passes for 92 yards and a touchdown to lead the Golden Eagles, but the effort came up short as the defending Ohio Valley Conference champions defeated Tech 34-7 at Tucker Stadium.

"Playmakers make plays, so I just made the play," Byrd said, but was humbled by the result. "It just wasn't good enough."

Still, Satterfield wanted to get more out of his top receiver.

"I pushed him this week to see how he would respond," Satterfield said. "It got personal on Monday to see how he would come back this week. We've got great leadership. It's only our second OVC game. I wish the public could come out here and be a fly on the wall and watch how our kids work. They'd be amazed."

The Golden Eagles fall to 0-5, 0-2 in league play.

"By no stretch are we ever going to accept losing," Satterfield said. "I'm going to take a lot of responsibility and take a good look at my performance, because our guys played really hard. I didn't have a good enough plan in place for us to have success. It's 100 percent on me.

"I love my team. We're going to bounce back from this. We're going to be OK."

Byrd could have had another touchdown with a 77-yard catch, but it was negated with an illegal formation call.

Tech also had two tries at field goals from Nick Madonia as the junior attempted a 46- and a 47-yard kick, missing both.

Other than that, it was all Jacksonville State as Tramel Terry, Kendrick Doss and Tyus Flakes all ran for touchdowns, while Doss threw a 34-yard strike to Krenwick Sanders for a score.

The Gamecocks rolled up 523 yards of offense to Tech's 229.

Andre Sale passed for 125 yards on 9-for-19 passing, while Yeedee Thaenrat rushed for 50 yards on 14 carries. Defensively, Elliott Normand led Tech with 12 tackles, while Clay Davis had 11.

For the Gamecocks, Doss was a nearly perfect 11-for-13 for 196 yards and two touchdowns. Roc Thomas rushed for 102 yards on 18 carries, while Demontez Terry caught eight passes for 160 yards. Traco Williams led JSU (3-1, 1-0 OVC) with seven tackles.

The Golden Eagles return to action on Saturday as they travel to Eastern Illinois. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information