ITTA BENA – Garrick Jones was all smiles prior to Saturday’s game against Prairie View A&M as he and other Mississippi Valley State seniors were recognized on Senior Day.
That smile was even larger as he talked to the media after rushing for a 10-yard game-winning touchdown that provided MVSU with a 22-20 victory over the Panthers.
It marked the second straight win for the Delta Devils (4-6, 4-4 SWAC), who haven’t accomplished that feat since 2009.
“I hope this puts Valley back on the map,” said the senior quarterback.
Jones led the Delta Devils on a game-winning 7-play, 75-yard drive in just under two minutes. The drive started with a 19-yard run by Trey Bateaste, which was followed up by a 25-yard strike from Jones to Julian Stafford.
After a sack and an incomplete pass, Jones found his favorite target Stafford again – this time for 18 yards.
On the final play, he couldn’t find an open receiver and scrambled into the endzone for the game-winning, 10-yard touchdown.
“We told him not to hold the ball and wait,” said MVSU head coach Karl Morgan. “Everyone was occupied…And (Jones) just took off.”
Valley had previously trailed the entire game. Prairie View wasted no time scoring, as Rickey Simpson recovered a Jones fumble on MVSU’s first drive and took off 60 yards for a score.
The Panthers (4-6, 3-5) kept the Delta Devils off the board until early in the second quarter when Kevin Monzon converted a 21-yard field, his second of the season.
After a Prairie View 32-yard field goal, Jones found an open Stafford in the corner of the endzone to tie the game at 10 with 3:12 left in the first half.
But the Panthers answered back with a 7-play, 75-yard scoring drive before halftime to take a 17-10 lead. Spencer Nelson capped off the drive with a 7-yard TD run.
Prairie View extended its lead with a 38-yard field goal with just over 5 minutes left in the third.
Jones scored the game’s final two TDs – the first one on a 1-yard sneak and the final one to win the game.
“I’m happy for the seniors in their last game at Rice-Totten Stadium,” said Morgan.
The Delta Devils’ offense outgained the Panthers 483 to 304. MVSU rushed for 262 yards on 44 carries.
Jones rushed for 82 yards and two scores on the ground and finished 13-of-38 for 221 yards and a TD through the air.
Brandon Stansell led the Delta Devils with 106 yards on 12 carries while Bateaste added 74 yards on the ground on 14 attempts.
Julian Stafford had a career-high 14 receptions for 180 yards and a TD.
Kevin Haymore, who got his first start of the season, picked off two Prairie View passes while Carlos Hollis led MVSU with 10 tackles.
MVSU’s Jeremy Langston had seven tackles and 1.5 sacks while Robert Simpson, who leads the nation (FCS) in tackles for loss, had five tackles (3 for loss) and a sack.
MVSU will close out its season next Saturday at Texas Southern at 1 p.m.
– Courtesy: MVSU Sports Information
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