Monday, September 23, 2013

SPORTS STORT >> Jacksonville comes back on Hornets

Special to The Leader

Jacksonville rallied in the fourth quarter and made a defensive stand in the red zone to earn its first win of the season Friday, beating previously undefeated Maumelle 27-20 at Jan Crow Stadium.

Unlike weeks one and two of the football season, the conditions were wet and rainy. Jacksonville came into the game looking for its first win, while Maumelle entered the game 2-0.

“We felt that we hadn’t played a complete game yet and we did tonight,” said Jacksonville head coach Rick Russell. “Maumelle is a good football team with good athletes and a lot of speed. We really did something tonight and we are proud of our kids. Our defense kept them out of the end zone several times tonight when they were right there inside the ten.”

The defense forced the Hornets to kick two field goals when touchdowns were denied. They also got a turnover on a bad snap, a sack for a turnover on downs, and forced Maumelle to turn the ball over on downs with 1:30 to go in the game.

“Titus O’Neil had a great second half,” Russell said. “We had to have him play at that level, because their quarterback was very fast. We are proud of him.”

From his own 25, Barnes completed a pass to Robert Harris to the Maumelle 45-yard line, but Jacksonville was forced to punt. But  Daniel Curley got it back for the Red Devils with an interception.

Taking advantage of the turnover, Barnes hit Lamont Gause with a pass for the touchdown. John Herrmann’s extra point was good for a 7-0 Jacksonville lead with 2:39 to go in the first quarter.

After the teams exchanged punts, the Hornets drove from their own 40-yard line to the Red Devil 7-yard line.

After a sack by Justin Abbott on third down, Maumelle kicked a 27-yard field goal, to make the score 7-3.

Following a short kickoff, Jacksonville started with good field position at its own 46-yard line. Gause carried for a yard, but was injured on the play and did not return.

“It’s his forearm,” said Russell of Gause’s injury. “It’s tender and with conference coming up, we wanted to take care of him.”

Maumelle penalties aided the Red Devils’ drive to the Hornet 25-yard line where on fourth and 8, Barnes connected with KaJahn Daniels for a touchdown.
Herrmann added the extra point for a 14-3 lead.

Runs from the Hornets’ Robinson and Jesse Hopkins moved the ball down the field to the Red Devil 5-yard line before a bad snap was recovered by O’Neil, forcing a turnover.
The Red Devils, however, could not take advantage and were forced to punt.

The punt was blocked and Maumelle had the ball on the Jacksonville 29-yard line, which eventually led to a Maumelle touchdown by Robinson. The extra point was no good and Jacksonville still led 14-9 at the half.

Maumelle started the second half with a kickoff return to the Jacksonville 44-yard line, followed by a carry by Hopkins to the 12. Then on fourth and 3 from the 6, Robinson was sacked by O’Neil and Brandon Toombs, which gave the ball to the Red Devils.

A Barnes pass was intercepted on the Jacksonville 24-yard line. Robinson completed a pass to Braylon Waits for the Maumelle touchdown. A two-point conversion was successful by Robinson, and the Hornets grabbed a 17-14 lead.

After hitting Robert Knowlin at the Maumelle 43, Barnes was again intercepted. The Red Devil defense forced another punt, and Jacksonville got the ball back.

The offense could not convert and after punting the ball back to Maumelle, the Hornets moved to the Red Devil 10-yard line and were held to another 27-yard field goal, increasing their lead to 20-14.

Jacksonville came right back with an 80-yard touchdown pass from Barnes to Harris. Herrmann’s PAT was no good and the score was tied 20-20 with 1:30 to go in the third quarter.

Maumelle fumbled the ball right back to the Red Devils on the Maumelle 21-yard line. A penalty and two Barnes’ keepers resulted in another Jacksonville touchdown. This time Herrmann’s extra point was good for a 27-20 Red Devil advantage.

Sacks by O’Neil, Abbott, and Austin McCollough, then an interception by Keilen Richardson got the ball back for the Red Devils.

The Hornets then picked off a tipped pass and took possession on the 50-yard line with 5:04 to go in the game.

Maumelle moved the ball all the way down to the Jacksonville 7-yard line before the Red Devil defense forced a fourth and goal on the 13. Robinson’s pass fell incomplete and Jacksonville took possession with 1:30 to go.

After picking up a first down, the Red Devils were able to run out the clock for the win.
Jacksonville will travel to West Helena next Friday to start conference play. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.