ITTA BENA (Oct. 15) — Mississippi Valley State saved its best defensive effort for its annual clash with rival Jackson State. But by the time the final horn sounded, it was the Tigers (6-1, 4-1 Southwestern Athletic Conference) leaving with a narrow 17-16 victory over the Delta Devils (0-7, 0-6 SWAC).
Valley held JSU's quarterback Casey Therriault to just 51 first half passing yards and led 10-6 at the break behind a 2-yard touchdown catch by Trey Bateaste.
But JSU answered back early in the second half with a 2-yard TD run by Tommy Gooden.
The Delta Devils took the lead for the final time with 11:40 left in the third when Marvin Pittman finished off a 5-play, 63-yard drive with a 45-yard scamper on an quarterback option run on his first appearance of the game.
JSU struck back 30 seconds later with a 75-yard strike from Therriault to Tommy Gooden.
Valley drove to JSU's 1-yard line, but was forced to settle for a 26-yard field goal that tightened the Tigers' lead to just one point, 17-16. It would mark the final time either team scored.
Pittman paced MVSU with 79 yards and a score on the ground while Brandon Stansell (18 carries, 69 yards) and Trey Bateaste (13 carries, 56 yards) did their part as well.
Garrick Jones finished 9 of 17 for 11 yards and a TD while Paul Cox added three catches for 94 yards.
Tommy Gooden led the Tigers in rushing (83 yards) and receiving (101) yards. Casey Therriault finished 22 of 40 for 254 yards with an interception and a TD.
MVSU will travel to Grambling State on Oct. 22.