BATON ROUGE, La. (WVLA) — Southern’s first half was exactly what the Jaguars needed to have a chance at beating McNeese.
After allowing a touchdown on the game’s opening kickoff, the Gold and Blue held the Cowboys to a field goal, and the Jags’ went into halftime up 21-10.
However, the end of the second quarter was also the end of Southern playing sound football.
The Jags went on offense to begin the second half, and the worst-case scenario happened: Southern drew a penalty for holding deep in its own territory, and quarterback Ladarius Skelton ended the drive with an interception.
“Penalties. You can’t have drive stopping penalties. You can’t play behind the sticks. First and 15, that’s not favorable for us. We’re not built like that,” interim head coach Jason Rollins said.
Southern totaled eight penalties for 72 yards, and the defense suffered the most from the offensive woes. The Jaguars allowed allowed 21 unanswered points.
“Terrible. Ain’t nothing else to describe it. It’s just terrible. We was fighting, definitely in the first half. We fought in the first half. Like everybody been saying, the penalties just put us behind the sticks on offense. That’s why we got out the groove,” safety Jakoby Pappillion added.
Even with the offense compromising its own defense, Southern held McNeese to field goals multiple times. The Cowboys only reached the endzone twice in the second half.
However, the Jags’ defense failed to stop quarterback Cody Orgeron’s unit on third down near the end of the third quarter. McNeese scored its go ahead touchdown several plays later.
“We wish we would’ve had that cause once he’s down it’s fourth down. Either they kicking a field goal or they going for it on forth, and then, if they go for it, we stop them,” safety Chase Foster said.
“That was a big play, a big momentum. We have to make those plays,” Rollins concluded.
Southern will start conference play next weekend in Jackson, Mississippi, to face Mississippi Valley.
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