SV grad Brown falls short of title
James Madison ends 26-game win streak in FCS grid fi nale
Eagle Staff Writer
Written by:
January 10, 2018
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Jordan Brown

Seneca Valley graduate Jordan Brown had already helped James Madison University’s football program put itself into elite company by winning a national championship last season.

On Saturday, he and the Dukes came up just short in their bid for back-to-back crowns.

Top-seeded JMU fell to North Dakota State, 17-13, in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision title contest, played in Frisco, Texas.

Brown, a red-shirt senior and starting strong safety for the Dukes, made two tackles in the game.

“North Dakota State had lost to South Dakota State in the regular season and we beat (SDSU) in the semifinals (51-16),” said Brown. “We were confident going into the title game, but we just fell short.”

It marked the sixth time in seven seasons that the Bison have won the championship. The one lull in that span came last year when JMU defeated them in the national semifinals.

NDSU entered Saturday’s game averaging 462 offensive yards per game, but was held to 264 by the Dukes, including 134 rushing yards on 48 carries, a paltry 2.8 yards per carry.

“We gave up a big play while in a Cover 4 (defense) and had a few missed tackles, but other than that, we knew what was coming,” said Brown. “We stopped the run and overall, I thought we played well.”

The Dukes trailed 17-6 at halftime and pulled to within 17-13 thanks to a short scoring run from running back Marcus Marshall with 9:26 left on the third-quarter clock. But JMU was unable to score again.

It was shortly after the game when the focus shifted from the loss to what the team had accomplished this season.

“In the locker room, (head coach Mike Houston) got up and said a few words,” related Brown. “The whole team realized that we were pretty successful and we came a long way. One game doesn’t define us.”

Brown became a full-time starter in 2016 and played a key role in the Dukes’ 26 game-winning streak over two seasons, including the program’s second national title last January. He was named Associated Press First Team All-American last month and finished the campaign with 76 tackles and a team-leading nine interceptions. He played his last collegiate game Saturday.

“It was a long five years and a helluva ride,” said Brown. “I was recruited as a quarterback, was switched to cornerback and then safety. If you would have told me that before I came to college, I would have called your bluff.

“But I learned so much from the coaches, got better and have a lot of good memories. Hopefully, I can take it to the next level.”