Sunday, October 16, 2011

JSU escapes with 17-16 win over Delta Devils

ITTA BENA — Rick Comegy didn't expect it to be a close game.
And most likely, many here at Rice-Totten Stadium on Saturday likely felt the same.

But Mississippi Valley State gave fans a reason to stick around for the entire 48 minutes, as the Delta Devils played rival Jackson State to the wire before suffering a 17-16 loss, their 18th straight.
It's the closest the Delta Devils (0-7, 0-6 SWAC) have a come to a victory all season.
It was a surprise for Jackson State coach Comegy, whose Tigers (6-1, 4-1 SWAC) squad came in as one of top-ranked HBCU's in the nation.
"No I wasn't," Comegy said when asked if he thought his team would win by such a narrow margin, "but I knew that they would come on an emotional high. I was hoping that we would get a lead, but it didn't happen that way. They played football."
For over three quarters, the Delta Devils didn't look like a team whose last win came nearly two years ago. MVSU led 10-6 at halftime and held JSU's heralded quarterback Casey Therriault to just 51 passing yards and an interception in the first half.
"We had a good feel for them," said MVSU coach Karl Morgan. "We had a good feel for what they were doing."
The Delta Devils took the lead for the final time with over 11 minutes left in the third quarter, when reserve quarterback Marvin Pittman scored on a 45-yard option run on his first play of the game.
But just 30 seconds later, the Tigers struck back with a 75-yard strike to Tommy Gooden from Therriault that gave JSU a 17-13 advantage.
Valley had a chance to snatch the lead and the momentum when marched to JSU's 1, but were forced to boot their second field of the game after two failed runs and a incomplete pass. Carlos Sanchez' 26-yard field goal tightened the lead to just one point, 17-16, but it would be the last time either team put any points on the scoreboard.
JSU moved deep in Valley territory with less than than a minute left, but kneeled down to end the game.
The one-point win for JSU was unexpected for Therriault, but a win always feel good, he said.
"We don't expect any of our games to be close, but this one was," said Therriault, who finished 22-of-40 for 254 yards with a TD and an interception. "And as long as we can fight through and win it, I don't care if its by a 1/2 point. As long as we win the game. It might be ugly but that gives us something to work for next week."
MVSU receiver Paul Cox had two big catches — both over 40 yards — in the first half, but was held to just one reception in second half. He finished with three catches for 94 yards.
"The last four weeks we need to just throw it up (to Cox)," said Morgan. "Throw it up and make it a jump ball.....We probably don't do that enough."
Valley outgained JSU on the ground — 226 to 172 — and was led by Pittman who had 79 on seven carries. Brandon Stansell added 69 yards on 18 attempts.
Pittman and starting quarterback Garrick Jones shared duties for most of the second half after Jones re-injured his sore ankle. Jones completed 9-of-17 passes for 111 yards and a TD.
"We just have to come back Monday and be ready to fight," said Jones. "We have a don't quit give attitude....We're going to get that one (win) and when we do it's going to be fun."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

MVSU coach: Game against MSU 'in the works'

Mississippi State's football team has scheduled — and defeated — both Jackson State and Alcorn State. The only Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) team not to get a shot at the Bulldogs is Mississippi Valley State.
But the Delta Devils may soon get their chance to face the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Bulldogs, says MVSU coach Karl Morgan.
MVSU, who currently holds an 0-3 record and has dropped their last 14 games, may have MSU on their 2012 schedule, Morgan told WXVT on Monday.
"The last I heard we had a deal to play season," Morgan told the TV station Monday afternoon. "And I just got a note across my desk -- Oklahoma State just called. I don't know what that is all about. I don't know if they're looking for a game, but the Mississippi State game is in the works."
If the game is scheduled, it will mark the first time the two in-state schools have met on the gridiron.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Around the world: MVSU's basketball slate includes trip to North Carolina, Las Vegas and Florida

ITTA BENA — Like in years past, the Mississippi Valley State men’s basketball team will spend the first two months of the season on the road.

In their recently released schedule, the Delta Devils will host two exhibition games here at the R.W. Harrison Complex — against Victory University (Nov.3) and Delta State (Nov. 8) — before hitting the road for the following two months.

Following their two home preseason games, MVSU will hit the road to face Notre Dame, Depaul, North Carolina and South Carolina. Then the Delta Devils are scheduled to compete in the Las Vegas Invitational on Nov. 25-26 where they will play three teams: Morgan State, Tennessee State and Cal-Poly.

Afterwards, the Delta Devils will travel to Arkansas, Northwestern, Ole Miss, Florida, Wisconsin and Iowa State before beginning conference play Jan. 3.

Valley’s home conference games include: Arkansas Pine-Bluff, Alcorn State, Southern, Jackson State, Grambling, Alabama State, Alabama A&M, Texas Southern and Prarie View A&M.

The SWAC Basketball Tournament will be held in Garland, Texas at the Special Events Center March 7-10.

Exhibition games

(in Itta Bena)

Nov. 3 Victory University

Nov. 8 Delta State

Non-conference schedule

Nov. 12 at Notre Dame

Nov. 14 at DePaul

Nov. 20 at North Carolina

Nov. 22 at South Carolina

Nov. 25-26 Morgan St./Tenn. St./Cal-Poly (in Las Vegas)

Nov. 30 at Arkansas

Dec. 2 at Northwestern

Dec. 10 at Ole Miss

Dec. 19 at Florida

Dec. 23 at Wisconsin

Dec. 31 at Iowa State

Home conference games

Jan. 3 Arkansas Pine-Bluff

Jan. 14 Alcorn State

Jan. 16 Southern

Jan. 28 Jackson State

Jan. 30 Grambling State

Feb. 4 Alabama State

Feb. 6 Alabama A&M

Feb. 18 Texas Southern

Feb. 20 Prairie View A&M

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

MVSU depth chart for Saturday's game vs. Alabama State

OT Martin Davis
Trevin Wallace

OG Antonio Griggs
Kevin James

OC Wesley Steele
Eddie Wright

OG Kevin James
Anthony Banks

OT Nicholas Sherman
Jestin Williamson

TE Jonathon Henderson
James Payne

WR Paul Cox
Julian Stafford

WR Alex Thornton
Dontae Reed

TB Rapheal Bateaste
Brandon Stansell

FB Dytanyl Greer
Jonathon Davis

QB Garrick Jones
Carl Davis


DE Javaoris Fritz
Christian Hawkins

DT Robert Simpson
Avon Waters

DT Rico Shaw
Chmarko Goldsberry

DE Leployer Franklin
Kwaku Boah

OLB Terrell Johnson
Antonio Benson

MLB Keven Woods
Rico Mazique

OLB Desmond Spivey
Marcus Thompson

C Michael Boykins
DeAndre Johnson

S Carlos Hollis
Napoleon Brewer

S Jeremy Langston
Armon Williams

C Marquis McFadden
Marquez Floyd

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Eighth grade girl gives football a shot

GREENVILLE — Lauren Tice isn’t your typical eighth-grade girl.
She hunts, fishes, and even volunteers for the Animal Welfare League in her spare time.
But that doesn't begin to measure up to her new hobby: football.
The eighth-grade Riverside student played her first junior high football game Monday in a 28-12 loss at county rival St. Joseph.
The petite, brown-haired junior high student survived weeks of practice and became what is believed to be the first female to ever suit up for the Bulldogs.
But why did a young girl, who has dabbled in everything from choir to being a homecoming maid, take up a sport dominated by guys?
“I didn't make softball. I'm not good at basketball. And I did choir last year,” she explained Monday night following her football debut.
Tice, who plays mostly on special teams during kickoff returns, told her mother, Debbie Tice, last spring about her aspirations. The elder Tice said she tried to talk her out of it, but her daughter's mind was made up.
“When she gets her head stuck on something,” said Debbie Tice, “she does it.”
Riverside junior high football coach Brad Andrews said she approached him around the same time. Tice, who said she starting training last summer, came out for practice this year and has been keeping pace with her teammates ever since.
“She goes out there and does everything the boys do,” he said. “She doesn't hold back.”
And neither did one of St. Joseph's players Monday night during a kickoff return. The Fighting Irish lineman leveled Tice and sent her spiraling to the ground.
She said that served as her “welcome to football” moment.
So what does the aspiring veterinarian think of her debut?
“I sucked,” she said, “because that (St. Joe) guy knocked me down.”
But don't anticipate Tice from giving up anytime soon. She says she's in it for the long haul, especially if she can bulk up a bit.
“I just need to get a little taller,” said Lauren Tice,” and gain some weight.”
Lauren Tice said she heard the naysayers before and after she made her decision. But that never deterred her.
“I was just thinking everyone's telling me I can't,” she said, “so I did it anyway.”
Andrews, the Riverside coach, said he stands behind Tice, and the rest of the team does as well.
“I wouldn't against it (when she came out for the team),” he said. “Though it would be interesting, I didn't have a probelm with it.
“(The Bulldog squad) is fine with it,” he added. “She a part of the team.”
Lauren Tice has made a name for herself in the classroom by being named to the Superintendent's List numerous times. And she was one of four Mississippi student ambassadors during her fifth grade year when she traveled to Scotland and London for 19 days.
Now, she wants to make her mark on the football field. And if not with a touchdown, then at least with her fashion.
She donned pink shoestrings in her Monday night debut.
"They wouldn't let me wear pink shoes or pink socks," Lauren Tice explained.
But Lauren Tice isn't the first girl to give football a shot at Riverside. Another female previously came out for the team, but only lasted one week of practice, said Debbie Tice.
"She's the first one to actually stick through it, I think," she said.
Debbie Tice also brought up a recent encounter her daughter had with Dr. Michael Mansour, an area St. Joseph supporter.
After Mansour told Lauren Tice about his allegiance to St. Joseph, she refused to give him any information about what position she would play for Riverside.
" 'You may be a spy, I can't tell you,'" Debbie Tice said her daughter told Mansour. "'If I tell you where I'm at, they'll come after me because I'm a girl.'
"He was killing himself laughing," said Debbie Tice.
Lauren Tice's football knowledge has increased drastically from when she first began down this path, said her mother.
"She didn't know to play....She didn't know positions. She was amazed at all the pads and things they have to wear," her mother said.
Lauren's parents, Debbie and Mark, both took off work Monday to watch their daughter. Some of Debbie's co-workers at the Delta Regional Medical Center showed up as well.
"When I told some of my co-workers at the hospital that my daughter was on the team, they said, 'I'm coming to the game,' " said Debbie Tice.
Next up for Tice and the Riverside Jr. High Bulldogs is another rival — O'Bannon on Sept. 6 at 6 p.m.
At that game, she hopes to line up at her favorite position, safety, and not just on special teams duty.
"...When you think of kick return, the first thing that comes to mind is lame," said the 13-year-old Tice. "When you say first-string defense, everyone's like 'oh, really.' "

Monday, August 29, 2011

JUCO transfer named Valley's starting QB

Karl Morgan has found his man.
The Mississippi Valley State coach said today on a SWAC teleconference that Garrick Jones, a junior college transfer, will start at quarterback Saturday when the Delta Devils host Alabama State.
Jones, who played the last two years at Coahoma Community College, beat out seven other vying for the position, said Morgan. He beat out sophomore Carl Davis, who started last year before suffering a season-ending leg injury.
"(Offensive Coordinator Ramon Flanigan) had a better feel for (Jones)," said Morgan. "Carl is not as athletic as the other quarterbacks.....(Jones) can move a little bit and get away from stuff..."
As for running back Cedric Blue, the Delta Devils are still waiting for the former Coahoma Agricultural standout to cleared academically by the NCAA.
"It's some missing information," said Morgan. ".....He thought he had everything sent, but obviously it hasn't been."
Meanwhile, Brandon Stansell will be the team's starting running back, said Morgan. The JUCO transfer will split time with several other guys including Ratheal Bateaste, a Southwest Miss. Community College transfer.