Saturday, September 29, 2012

SPORTS STORY >> Red Devils steamroll McClellan

Special to The Leader

Jacksonville kept its conference momentum going with a 57-33 victory at Little Rock McClellan at Lion Stadium on Friday. The victory improved the Red Devils to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in the 5A Central Conference.

Jacksonville had a balanced attack with 357 yards combined rushing and receiving yards. Senior receiver Kevin Richardson led the way with 250 combined rushing and receiving yards, while sophomore Lamont Gause had 13 carries for 108 yards. Starting quarterback Reggie Barnes was 11 for 20 passing in the first half for 147 yards and 2 touchdowns.

“We knew they were a good football team and had some good backs that could score form anywhere but I think we did a good job of corralling them,” Jacksonville coach Rick Russell said of McClellan. “Our offense did a good job executing, we just have a couple of plays where we have mental lapses we need to correct, but otherwise I think they played a pretty good game for us.”

McClellan started on its own 33 yard-line and was forced to punt on the first drive.

Jacksonville took over on their own 34 with Reggie Barnes at quarterback. Their first drive stalled as well with a punt giving The Lions the ball at their own 20-yard line. Penalties moved the McClellan offense backward near the goal line where the Red Devil defense caught quarterback Demarcus Quince in the end zone for a safety.

Richardson returned the kick-off to the 33-yard line of the Lions. After a first down completion to Richardson and another first down on the ground, Barnes found Richardson again for an eight-yard touchdown completion. John Herrmman added the extra point for a 9-0 Jacksonville lead with 4:14 to go in the first quarter.

McClellan started from the 50-yard line on the ensuing drive. On the first play, Quince found Akee Johnson deep for a 50-yard touchdown pass. The extra point was no good, resulting in a 9-6 Red Devil lead.

Richardson returned a Lion punt to the McClellan 39 yard-line. After a first down completion, Barnes completed a pass to Richardson to the 2-yard line. Tyler Davis took the ball in for the touchdown. The extra point was good for a 16-6 Red Devil lead.

Jacksonville recovered its on-side kick and began on the Lion 30 with great field position. However, an interception turned the ball back to McClellan.

The Red Devil defense held and then blocked a punt to take over on the Lion 18-yard line. This time the Jacksonville offense took advantage of the field position and Xavier Amos ran the ball in for the touchdown. The extra point was converted to give the Red Devils a 23-6 lead.

Starting at the 50-yard line, Quince completed a Lion pass to the Red Devil 10-yard line. On third down, Quince hit Deon Johnson in the end zone for the touchdown. The successful extra point resulted in a score of 23-13 with 2:57 in the half.

For the Jacksonville offense, Barnes connected with Chris Nelson to the Lion 33 yard-line. On third down, Barnes hit Richardson in the end zone for the touchdown. The extra point was no good. The score was then 29-13 with 0:32 left in the half.

On the first play after the kick-off, Johnson took the ball the other way 72 yards for a touchdown. When the two point conversion failed, the score was 29-19 with 0:16 left in the half.

After the shoot-out in the second quarter, Jacksonville had possession of the ball at the Lion 39-yard line following the return by Richardson.

With Aaron Smith in at quarterback, he broke free for a 33-yard run to the 8-yard line. He then hit Richardson for the 8-yard touchdown pass. Herrmman was good for the extra point for a 36-19 Red Devil lead.

Smith has been out with a leg injury since the end of the Maumelle game in week three, but made his return in the second half after sitting out last week.

“That was a little boost for us,” Russell said of Smith’s return. “He’s had a bruised thigh for the last couple of weeks. He’s back now, and we just didn’t want to put him in there too early. We wanted him to get used to the game tempo. He did a good job running the offense and managing the tempo for us.”

McClellan started on the Jacksonville 48-yard line and drove down the field for a touchdown and two-point conversion making the score 36-27.

The Red Devils’ next drive went backwards first before Smith ran the ball in for the touchdown. Herrmman put the extra point through for a 43-27 Jacksonville lead.

McClellan’s first play was intercepted by Nykel Worthan and returned to the Lion 9-yard line. On second down, Smith connected with Jacob Price for a touchdown. The extra point was good. The Red Devils led 50-27.

McClellan drove near the end zone before penalties and sacks moved the Lions back to the 31-yard line where Jacksonville took over. The Red Devils immediately turned the ball back to the Lions by way of an interception. The Lions resulting drive led to a touchdown with 7:13 to go in the game. The extra point was no good for a score of 50-33.

The Lions forced a Red Devil punt, but the ball touched a McClellan player and was recovered by Jacksonville.

The Red Devils drove down the field with Lamont Gause getting the final touchdown. The extra point was good for what would be the final score of 57-33. With 2:51 remaining in the game, the Lions threw a long pass that was picked off by the Red Devils. Jacksonville stayed on the ground to run out the clock.

Jacksonville will host Sylvan Hills next Friday night.