The Tigers kicker, Leilani Armenta, is the HBCU‘s first woman on the football team. On Saturday, she became the first woman player at Jackson State to score in an FCS game. The winning game was against Arkansas-Pine Bluff with a 40-14 blowout.
Armenta made history again after assisting in a touchdown during the second quarter. Brandy Armenta, Leilani’s mother, told The Clarion-Ledger that the gameplay was a surprise because no one expected the 18-year-old to kick during that game. Initially, Leilioani enrolled at Jackson to play on the soccer team but quickly became a part of the fall roster.
“We did not know it was going to happen, and we are super excited. We all started yelling because we had no idea,” Brandy said. “My daughter had no idea she would be kicking in the game today. We are beyond ecstatic.”
Tigers kicker Dylan Wasson also scored on Saturday with two field goals and an extra point, according to ESPN. Jackson State coach T.C. Taylor spoke highly of his team’s dedication and smart plays. He also acknowledged his defense turnovers and noted they “did an awesome job.”
“That’s what we’ve been waiting on all season, a complete game from all three phases from our football team,” Taylor said. “Special teams were lights out today. The defense was lights out; they did what they do every week — create turnovers, get to the quarterback, and get the opposing offense off the field.
“The offense finally came along, too. They did an awesome job. I think the thing with the offense is just the turnovers, and they eliminated that today,” he added.
Coach Taylor’s decision to add Armenta to the team due to their starting kicker, Gerardo Baeza, being injured in the Texas State game. Armenta helped assist in their first game against Bethune-Cooke at the start of the season.