E.A. Sports Today

Gamecock comeback

Jax State rallies to force overtime, beat Sam Houston State on the road to reach four victories in first FBS season, 2-0 in CUSA

Cover photo: Jax State quarterback Logan Smothers passes to Sterling Galban during the Gamecocks’ 35-28 victory at Sam Houston State on Thursday. (Photo by Brandon Phillips/Jax State)

Editor’s note: Stats and other details from Jax State’s win at Sam Houston State can be found on this link.

By East Alabama Sports Today

HUNTSVILLE, Texas — Logan Smothers’ 28-yard touchdown pass to Perry Carter and conversion pass to Quinton Lane with 13 seconds left in regulation forced overtime, and Jax State turned a 14-point deficit into a 35-28 victory at Sam Houston State on Thursday.

The victory lifted the Gamecocks to 4-1 in their first Football Bowl Subdivision season and 2-0 in their first season in Conference USA.

The victory comes two years after the Gamecocks lost 42-7 at Sam Houston State. Both were Football Championship Subdivision programs then. Now, both are new FBS programs and Conference USA members.

Thursday’s game was their second meeting since Jax State beat Sam Houston State 62-10 in the 2015 FCS playoffs.

Smothers’ 24-yard touchdown pass to Sean Brown in the first overtime proved decisive.

The game-tying drive covered 75 yards in eight plays and 58 seconds. Smothers was 6-for-8 for 75 yards on the drive.

“Were you not entertained?” Jax State head coach Rich Rodriguez said. “To make so many mistakes and come back and win a game like this, that’s really neat.
“The last drive was phenomenal. Logan Smothers had a phenomenal drive and our wideouts and skill guys did a phenomenal job in that last minute. It just showed a lot of guts and a lot of heart on our guys.”

This after Jax State’s defense came up with a stop on Sam Houston State’s overtime possession. On fourth down and nine from the Gamecocks’ 24, Fred Perry hurried Keegan Shoemaker’s incomplete pass for Jay Rockwell.

Smothers completed 16 of 28 passes for 197 yards and three touchdowns, including a 31-yard touchdown pass to Michael Pettway at 8:32 of the third quarter. All but 16 of Jax State’s passing yards came in the second half, as the Gamecocks rallied from a 21-7 halftime deficit.

Malik Jackson rushed for 129 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

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