Saturday, November 20, 2010

SPORTS>>Pine Bluff tops Jacksonville

By Michael murphy
Special to The Leader

Pine Bluff advanced to the semifinals of the Class 6A playoffs with a 30-6 victory over visiting Jacksonville at Jordan Stadium on Friday.

After a close first quarter of play, Pine Bluff’s defense came to life, allowing the Red Devils just 29 yards in the remaining three quarters and getting seven sacks.

“They made plays and we didn’t,” Jacksonville coach Rick Russell said. “The kids played as hard as they could play and we’re proud of them. Pine Bluff is a good football team and we wish them well the rest of the way.”

Senior defensive linemen Melvin Johnson and Jeremy Pulliam each recorded two sacks. Bryan Terry had a sack and a forced fumble, and sophomore Kelvin Seargent added yet another sack.

“We had a great mental week at practice defensively and a great bye-week practice defensively,” Pine Bluff coach Bobby Bolding said. “I fully expected to get what we got.”

The Zebras defense made things difficult for the Red Devils after forcing running back Antwone Mosby out of the game with a knee injury in the second quarter. Quarterback Logan Perry couldn’t find his rythm, finishing the game 2 for 9, but he did have a 59-yard touchdown pass to D’Vone McClure with 6:25 remaining in the first quarter for Jacksonville’s only touchdown.

The Pine Bluff secondary gave an impressive performance as junior safety Jared Turner deflected several passes for the Zebras.

“They played great,” Bolding said. “Big hits, and we got a great pass rush, I was really pleased with our defense. They won the game tonight.

Jawahn Hunt, who broke the 2,000-yard rushing mark with Friday’s performance, gave Pine Bluff an early lead, breaking a 46-yard touchdown run with 9:29 remaining in the opening quarter. Hunt finished the game with 185 yards on 21 carries.

“He had a great game, got some good blocking,” Bolding said. “He runs the ball hard and he’s got great speed obviously.”

However Hunt wasn’t the only Pine Bluff back to get in on the action as sophomore Walter Ashley and junior Jalen Dabner both had rushing touchdowns for the Zebras. The two combined for 76 yards on the ground in relief of Hunt.

Ashley was also on the receiving end of quarterback Jordan Humphrey’s 47-yard touchdown pass which gave Pine Bluff a 30-6 lead with 10:21 remaining in the game.

“Walter had a good game,” Bolding said. “He was sick Wednesday and wasn’t able to practice, but he came back and had a good game.”

Humphrey finished the game 4 of 6 for 87 yards and a touchdown, but was intercepted by Jacksonville’s Kenny Cummings on a deep pass intended for senior Justin Bishop in the second quarter.

Senior tight end David Smith had two key receptions for the Zebras for 34 yards. His first catch went for 19 yards on a third-and-18 play.

Smith also hauled in a 15-yard reception on second and 19 which set up Dabner’s eight-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

Although the Zebras rushed for nearly 300 yards, the passing attack was efficient when Pine Bluff went to the air.

“You just kind of go to sleep when you watch us play,” Bolding said. “It’s what we do. We want you to go to sleep.”