Saturday, October 06, 2012

SPORTS STORY >> Turnovers propel Jacksonville

Leader sports editor

A game that seemed like it could be competitive if Sylvan Hills could hold onto the ball never materialized. Jacksonville’s defense dominated until late in the fourth quarter and the Red Devil offense scored almost every time it didn’t turn it over. It all culminated in a 49-14 Jacksonville victory at Jan Crow Stadium on Friday.

The Red Devils ran just 10 plays in the second half and scored four touchdowns.

“This was as close to a solid 48-minute effort as we’ve had all year,” Jacksonville coach Rick Russell said. “Our offensive line did a great job blocking all night. Our defense did a great job except for a little letdown at the end. Overall I’m very pleased. They were very focused all week and they brought that to the field tonight. We came into this game wanting to go 3-0. We’re going to enjoy this, watch some film tomorrow and then focus on next week and going 4-0.”

Jacksonville (4-2, 3-0) scored on its first two possessions and sputtered in its next two, but the Bears couldn’t capitalize. After sacking Jacksonville on fourth down and 1 at the Sylvan Hills 16-yard line, the Bears gained 32 yards before giving it back on a fumbled handoff exchange.

Tra Doss got it back for the Bears with an interception at the Sylvan Hills’ 15. He then went under center on offense and led the team out to the 45-yard line, but fumbled the snap there and gave it back to the Red Devils.

Lamont Gause then got his third touchdown of the game in a flash after the turnover. On the first play after Doss’s fumble, Gause took an inside handoff 43 yards for the score. Blocking on the outside, and good downfield blocking by the Red Devil receivers sprung the play and Gause utilized the blockers perfectly.

“Lamont Gause did a tremendous job,” Russell said. “He was not going to be denied this week and he ran like it. This was his best game by far. He’s going to be an exciting back for us.”

The extra point was no good, leaving it 20-0 with 2:20 left in the half and that’s how it stayed until the break.

Sylvan Hills (2-4, 1-2) got the ball to start the second half, but turned it over for the fourth time on the second play from scrimmage. This time it was an interception by Nykel Worthen, aided by intense pressure from the Red Devil defensive line.

That gave Jacksonville the ball at the Sylvan Hills’ 32 and the onslaught began. On the third play of the drive, quarterback Aaron Smith hit Brandon Brockman on the right sideline at the 15. Brockman ran it in from there to make it 27-0.

On the second play of Sylvan Hills’ next drive, Jacksonville’s Mark Monk, a senior transfer playing his first game for Jacksonville, covered another fumbled exchange. It was his second fumble recovery of the game.

“Mark Monk is a big addition to this team,” Russell said of his new defensive lineman. “Depth is always a key and he gives us some quality depth at a position we really needed it.”

Two plays later, Smith kept from 15 yards out, breaking two tackles in the last five yards for the score.

Smith then hit receiver Kevin Richardson for the two-point conversion, making it 35-0 and invoking the sportsmanship rule with 8:48 left in the third quarter.

The Bears held it for three plays on the next drive, but another Doss fumbled was scooped up by Jacksonville’s Randy Armstrong and returned 15 yards for another touchdown. Hermann’s extra point made it 42-0 with 5:50 left in the third.

Sylvan Hills then put together a solid drive, marching 67 yards in 11 plays with Marion Clemmons scoring from 7 yards out with 10:15 left to play.

Jacksonville answered quickly. Sophomore Xavier Amos took the first handoff of the ensuing drive 48 yards to the Sylvan Hills 16. Two plays later, sophomore Keilen Richardson ran up the middle for 15 yards and a touchdown to make it 49-7.

Quincy Flowers scored the last touchdown of the game for the Bears to set the final margin.

The Red Devils took the ball 76 yards in eight plays on their first drive. On first down on the Jacksonville 46, Smith threw a rollout pass to Richardson, who took it 48 yards to the 6-yard line. Two plays later, Gause plowed his way into the end zone from 4 yards out for the first score of the game with 9:26 left in the first quarter.

The Bears got a good run of 17 yards by Clemmons on their first play, but turned it over a few plays later when Richardson picked off a Doss pass and returned it 36 yards to the Sylvan Hills 42.

Facing fourth down and 4 three plays later, Smith hooked up with Richardson again for a 15-yard gain to the 21.

Two Smith keepers got it to the 10-yard line and Gause did the rest, taking it 5 yards on second and goal with 3:02 left in the first quarter. John Hermann’s extra point made it 14-0.

Gause led Jacksonville with 10 carries for 117 yards and three touchdowns.

Clemmons led the Bears with 11 carries for 99 yards and a score.

The Red Devils finished with 373 total yards while the Bears tallied 238.