JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Zerrick Cooper threw three touchdown passes to Josh Pearson and Jacksonville State rode a strong first half to a 30-12 win over long-standing rival North Alabama in a nonconference game Saturday night.
Jacksonville State extended its regular-season home win streak to 31 games.
North Alabama and the No. 8-ranked Gamecocks (3-1) have a rivalry dating back to the Lions’ first game in 1949 but met for the first time as members of the Football Championship Subdivision. The last time they met, in 2016, the Lions were still a Division II program.
Cooper hit Pearson with a 12-yard scoring pass in the first quarter and again from 67 yards out midway through the second as the Gamecocks built a 23-6 halftime advantage. The pair combined in the fourth quarter on a 53-yard scoring pass.
Terrence Humphrey scored on a 1-yard run and Andre Little caught a 15-yard scoring pass from Christian Lopez for North Alabama (1-3), but Joe Gurley misfired on both PATs.