Perkinston, MS – Making its first bowl appearance since 2004, No. 5 Jones (MS) tallied points in each quarter to top No. 7 Eastern Arizona 27-7 with the 11th edition of the Mississippi Bowl at A.L. May Memorial Stadium on the campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast.
The Bobcats used a series of defensive and special teams efforts to collect its first bowl win since 1998. Defensive end Marquez Bembry earned defensive MVP honors for Jones with an impressive 4.5 tackles for a loss to go along with a sack, forced fumble, and fumble recovery on the day. As a defensive unit, the Bobcats, who ranked eighth in the nation in total sacks, racked up 19 total stops behind the line of scrimmage.
The Bobcats opened up the scoring in the first quarter with a 28-yard field goal from Cristofer Thompson. The Gila Monsters answered with a 68-yard touchdown run from Eastern Arizona's offensive MVP Keyshawn Lowe, but it was Jones that rattled off 24 unanswered points, including a blocked punt returned for a touchdown in the third quarter to seal the victory. Thompson later drilled a 46-yard field goal and converted all three extra point attempts to claim the offensive MVP honors for the Bobcats.
- Jones held Eastern Arizona to just 101 yards of total offense on the day after limiting the run-game minded Gila Monsters to just 2.2 yards per attempt.
- Stetson Bennett completed seven passes for 113 yards on the day, including four connections with Immanuel Jones.
- Kalyn Grandberry led the ground game for the Bobcats with 35 yards and one touchdown.
- Lowe was the primary threat for Eastern Arizona after gaining a career-high 100 yards and one touchdown on the ground.
- Eastern Arizona's Trae'Von Hinton collected seven tackles, including four for a loss to earn defensive MVP honors for the Gila Monsters.
- The special teams highlight came from Nataurean Watts who blocked a punt in the end zone which led to a John David Rutherford recovery and touchdown to give Jones a 20-7 edge.
- Mississippi teams have now won 10 of the last 11 Mississippi Bowl games, including the last six.