JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Zerrick Cooper passed for 240 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a score to propel Jacksonville State to a 49-22 victory over Eastern Illinois in Ohio Valley Conference play on Saturday.
The Gamecocks (5-1, 4-0), ranked seventh in the FCS coaches' poll, scored the first two times they had the ball and never looked back. Cooper found Trae Barry for a 44-yard scoring strike and a 7-0 lead. Jaelen Greene's 11-yard TD run stretched the lead to 14-0 just 6:16 into the game. Cooper added a 4-yard TD run midway through the second quarter for a 21-9 halftime lead.
The Cooper-to-Josh Pearson connection worked for a pair of TDs covering 35 and 31 yards to give Jacksonville State a 35-9 lead after three quarters. Backup quarterback Zion Webb capped the scoring for the Gamecocks with a 23-yard TD toss to Pearson and a 7-yard scoring run.
Nick Bruno kicked three field goals for the Panthers (1-6, 1-3) and Johnathan Brantley threw two fourth-quarter TD passes.
The Gamecocks owned the ground, rushing for 215 yards to just 15 yards on 19 carries for the Panthers.