Tigers obliterate Braves in Capital City Classic

Published 12:01 am Sunday, November 20, 2011

JACKSON — In his final game in Jackson State uniform, Casey Therriault completed an outstanding two-year run at quarterback with one of his finest games.

The senior from Michigan received a hero’s sendoff before nearly 35,000 fans in the 19th Capital City Classic at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Therriault shredded an overmatched Alcorn State secondary for 539 yards and four touchdowns as the Tigers crushed the Braves 51-7. In the process, Therriault broke both the single-season passing and total offense records at JSU.

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“No unfinished business,” Therriault said of his approach. “I wanted to see us score a lot of points and we did. This was the biggest game of the year, but I didn’t think I got that much yardage. The big thing was to get the win.”

Jackson State (9-2) was declared ineligible to play in the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship game because of low Academic Progress Report numbers. Another side note was the unresolved contract situation of head coach Rick Comegy.

Comegy, who was not offered an extension after JSU after the low APR numbers were revealed, wanted to keep the focus on the game and not him.

“I don’t have any control on that. I just wanted to win the football game,” Comegy said. “I’m so glad for our 12 seniors. This was our Super Bowl. Our defense played outstanding. We also had another fantastic job by Casey. He’s been wonderful for us. I’m just proud to know him.”

The lopsided loss only adds to the heat on first-year Alcorn State coach Melvin Spears. The school’s president, Dr. M. Christopher Brown II, said he would evaluate the program at season’s end and budget cuts would be made after attendance fell drastically in the Braves’ final two home games.

Spears said he expects to be back.

“We now know what pieces we need to bring in,” Spears said. “We saw what it takes to compete at this high level. We were a very young team that had a lot of ups and downs. For today, it was too much Therriault.”

Saturday it was all down for the Braves. The Tigers rolled out to a 31-0 lead by halftime. The Braves missed an easy 26-yard field goal after Therriault’s first possession was stopped on an interception by Chris Rayborn. They could not move the ball from the Tigers’ 4 and Arturo Tamayo missed the kick and with it the only chance the Braves would have to stay competitive.

Therriault bounced back with a 27-yard touchdown pass to Marcell Wilder and an 87-yard score to Ric Richardson. In between the TD passes, the Tigers blocked a punt for a score, got a 32-yard field goal from Jabril Smith and a 9-yard TD run from Rakeem Sims..

Alcorn State got its lone score on a 1-yard run by Arnold Walker to make it 31-7 with 9:21 left in the third quarter.

Therriault came back with scoring tosses of 5 yards to Renty Rollins and 13 yards to E.J. Drewery, the latter coming with 6:47 to play.