In 2017 Trinity Christian High was one of the most talented teams in the nation. They boasted elite talent across the board and they also had a pretty special assistant coach *wink wink*, but what they had at QB and RB made them a team to be truly feared. At one point Trinity Christian had Shedeur Sanders at Quarterback and the #5 RB in the country in Maurice Washington in their backfield. Needless to say this presented some very serious defensive challenges for opposing teams. To get a glimpse of their dominance, at one point, they beat a team, at that team‘s homecoming, 60 to zero.
In the game Sanders threw for 2 touchdown, while RB Maurice Washington ran for a total of 282 yards and 3 TDs. As you watch the video of their dominate performance (link below), you see so many glimpses of what HBCU fans have come to enjoy over the course of the first two weeks of this season.
Shedeur Sanders, last year‘s SWAC Champion and Freshman of the Year award winner, has done a phenomenal job over the course of the first two weeks of the season, leading his team to a 2-0 start. Sanders looked dominate in his game against Florida A&M and had thrown for 599 yards, 6 TDs, and 0 INTs over the course of the first two weeks. Sanders has shown elite athleticism and great poise in the pocket. While he did not look as dominate in Jackson State’s week 2 matchup with Tennessee State as he did in their win against Florida A&M, the second year QB showed grit, accuracy, and great decision making while executing the game winning drive vs. TSU. So far it’s fair to say, Sanders has delivered on every bit of the promise he’s showed while leading Trinity Christian to weekly lopsided victories.
There was a lot of hype surrounding Maurice Washington‘s commitment to Grambling this off-season. At one point viewed as the #93 overall player in the nation, and the #5 RB in the country Washington seemed destined for stardom when he joined the Cornhuskers in 2018. When Washington decided to join Coach Hue Jackson and Grambling, it was seen by many as a move that really cemented the ”Hue Dat” Era of Grambling Football. Washington, however, got off to a rough start at Arkansas State. He ran for 1 yard on 3 carries. This performance led some to believe that maybe the dynamic RB had lost a bit of juice that made him so special coming into college football. However, a hurdle, a burst of speed, and a two touchdown performance against Northwestern State quickly reminded SWAC football fans and experts of the reasons why they often mentioned Washington as a player to watch out for in Coach Hue Jackson’s offense this season.
This week the once feared Trinity Christian dynamic duo will face off in Grambling’s first SWAC test of the season. Grambling is coming off their first win of the season and a 95 yard, two touchdown performance by Washington. Washington will look to add to his performance against a team in Jackson State that has yet to give up a touchdown this season. Jackson State‘s defense seems to be picking up where they left off last season as one of the most dominant defenses in the SWAC. They will face a huge test this week as Grambling‘s offensive weapons looked to be on full display last week and look to be much improved from last year‘s team. Along with Washington, highly touted WRs JR Waters and Lyndon Rash have shown the ability to score from anywhere on the field. While Quaterius Hawkins has emerged as Coach Hue Jackson’s QB1 amongst a crowded QB room. Grambling also still has weapons in young WRs Ryan Peppins, Tyson Bordeaux, and Phaizon Wilson that have yet to make an true impact on the offense. If Maurice Washington and this Grambling offense can have any success against this vaunted Jackson State defense it will go a long way in helping the GSU Tigers pull off an upset this weekend in Jackson.
Of course this would have been a great week for Jackson State fans to get to see Travis Hunter on the offensive side of the ball, but according to Coach Sanders, Hunter and hard-hitting Safety Shiloh Sanders will not play this week, while recovering from injuries. This brings the major responsibility back on the shoulders of Shedeur Sanders to lead his team to victory against his former running mate and the “Kings of the SWAC”. Saturday’s contest will go a long way in determining which team gets to fight for SWAC Championship Gold at the end of the season.