Sanders, Wideman help Jackson St. rally, beat Southern 21-17

Nov 13, 2021, 6:52 AM | Updated: 8:55 pm

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Shedeur Sanders threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to Malachi Wideman to help Jackson State beat Southern on Saturday night to clinch a berth in the SWAC Championship Game and end a 9-game losing streak against the Jaguars.

Jackson State (9-1, 7-0 Southwestern Athletic Conference) forced a punt and took possession near midfield with 7:34 to play and trailing 17-7. Sanders completed five passes on a six-play drive that culminated when Wideman caught a 13-yard TD less than two minutes later and, after Southern (4-6, 3-4) went three-and-out, Sanders was sacked for a 12-yard loss and the Tigers were penalized for a false start and a delay of game before Wideman caught a 50-yard touchdown pass from Sanders to make it 21-17 with 1:42 remaining.

Jackson State — which clinched the East Division title, its first title since 2013 — closes the regular season at home against Alcorn State next Saturday and will host the SWAC Championship Game on Dec. 4.

Sanders was 24-of-31 passing for 260 yards with two interceptions — just his fourth and fifth of the season — and lost a fumble.

Jerodd Simms had 98 yards rushing and a touchdown for the Jaguars.

Acting head coach Gary Harrell improved to 4-0 while filling in for Deion Sanders, who has missed the past four weeks for Jackson State after suffering complications from foot surgery in September. Sanders, a Pro Football Hall of Famer and Shedeur’s father, was released from the hospital earlier in the week and returned to the sideline against Southern.

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Sanders, Wideman help Jackson St. rally, beat Southern 21-17