Deion sanders Dec 17, 2022; Atlanta, GA, USA; Jackson State Tigers head coach Deion Sanders on the sidelines during the game against the North Carolina Central Eagles during the first half of the Celebration Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday was supposed to be a day of celebration for Deion Sanders and his Jackson State Tigers.  This was Sanders’ last day coaching the Tigers, and they were favorites to beat the MEAC champs, the North Carolina Central Eagles, but it wasn’t meant to be. Central took the game in overtime 41-34.

Give credit to the Tigers, they scored with no time on the clock to take the game to overtime. But in that overtime, they couldn’t get it into the endzone to continue the game.

This is the second year in a row that Sanders lost his final game of the season in the HBCU national championship game.

In his post-game comments, Sanders made sure to give credit to North Carolina Central.

“Heck of a game, well coached, every trick play they had worked,” Sanders said. “Our defense didn’t show up today by any means,” he continued. “Offensively, we got it done.”

“But overall, it was a great game. Hats off to them.”

He also addressed JSU fans as well.

“Very unfortunate, much love to the JSU fans. But once again we came up short.”

Unlike his earlier speech, Sanders didn’t look too upset or disappointed by the loss Saturday. But that may change when he addresses his team for the final time.

(Donnell Suggs)

About Stacey Mickles

Stacey is a 1995 graduate of the University of Alabama who has previously worked for other publications such as Sportskeeda and Saturday Down South.