JSU's rally leaves UTM out of time
Posted: Wednesday, September 7, 2011 8:47 am
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. — Senior Stephen Shiver came up with a big-time catch to put the University of Tennessee at Martin football team in great position for a game-winning field goal at Burgess-Snow Field Thursday night against host Jacksonville State.
Junior Cody Sandlin had already made a career-long 45-yard field goal, a 43-yard field goal and a 25-yard field goal to help the Skyhawks dominate No. 9 Jacksonville State. Surely Sandlin could have made a 32-yarder to give the Skyhawks a season-opening win and an Ohio Valley Conference victory.
Unfortunately, Sandlin never got the chance to kick the game-winner because time expired and Jacksonville State claimed a 24-23 victory over UT Martin.
“I would have liked to see that field goal go up,” UT Martin head coach Jason Simpson said. “We came up short.”
Jacksonville State claimed its only lead of the game with 38 seconds left on the clock. Senior Calvin Middleton capped off a nine-play drive that covered 50 yards with a four-yard touchdown. The drive consumed almost four minutes of the quarter.
“I am surprised we lost this game,” Simpson said. “Jacksonville State is a good football team, but so are we.”
UT Martin showed its prowess on the opening drive of the game when junior running back Jason McNair rattled off a 60-yard run to set up junior Tevin Barksdale’s four-yard touchdown run. Sandlin added the PAT and the Skyhawks led 7-0 with 12:40 to play in the first quarter.
Sandlin’s 43-yard field goal gave the Skyhawks a 10-0 lead and senior fullback Jarvis Perry tacked on a touchdown when he caught a 13-yard pass from junior quarterback Derek Carr.
The Skyhawks led 17-7 at the half. They ran 40 plays and piled up 285 yards of offense.