Saturday, September 19, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Red Devils drop to 0-3 with home loss to LRCA

Special to The Leader

The Jacksonville Red Devils hosted the Little Rock Christian Academy Warriors Friday night at Jan Crow Stadium in the final nonconference game of the season. For the second week, the Red Devils could not get going offensively in the first half, and were defeated by the Warriors 49-13. Jacksonville (0-3) had 233 yards of offense, while Little Rock Christian (3-0) gained 321 yards and had a kickoff return for a touchdown.

The kickoff return came on the opening play of the game, with Damarea Crockett going 80 yards for the return and the touchdown. Josh Best added the extra point for a 7-0 Warrior lead.

The Red Devils started from their own 26-yard line and gained 5 yards before quarterback Brandon Hickingbotham punted on fourth down. The short punt was returned to the Jacksonville 20-yard line for excellent field position for Little Rock Christian. Five plays later, Stone Boshears scored from the 5-yard line. The extra point made the lead 14-0.

Jacksonville turned the ball over on downs, and the Warriors scored again with 6:04 to go in the first quarter for a 21-0 advantage.

Deboious Cobbs moved the chains for the Red Devils on the next drive with a three-yard pickup, but Jacksonville was forced to punt again.

Little Rock Christian went 73 yards to score again with quarterback Kyron Sanders scoring on a 31-yard keeper, giving the visitors a 28-0 lead.

Less than a minute later, Hickingbotham’s pass was tipped and intercepted for a touchdown and the lead grew to 35-0 with 10:59 remaining in the half.

Jacksonville’s punt on the ensuing possession appeared to be fumbled by a Warrior and recovered by the Red Devils, but instead, Jacksonville was called for a 15-yard penalty, giving the ball to Little Rock Christian on the Jacksonville 35-yard line. One touchdown was called back for holding, but Sanders completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to make the score 42-0.

The Red Devils put together a drive on the next possession, highlighted by a 39-yard completion from Hickingbotham to Stevie Eskridge to the 12-yard line. Malcolm Crudup moved the ball to the 1-yard line. After a loss back to the 5-yard line, Hickingbotham was intercepted to end the threat.

Jacksonville opened the second half with a 56-yard drive to the 17-yard line of Little Rock Christian, but was unable to convert on fourth and 6. Hickingbotham had a 12-yard completion to HarDerrious Martin on the drive, Robbie Knowlin had runs of 10 and 14 yards, and Shawn Ellis ran for 15 and 9 yards.

Hickingbotham was injured on the next Jacksonville drive, and Martin took over the quarterback duties the next time the Red Devils had the ball.

The Warriors scored one more time before that happened, for a 49-0 score with 10:20 remaining in the game.

Avery Wells returned the ensuing kick-off to the Jacksonville 40-yard line. Crudup ran for two six-yard gains, and Martin got free for 31 yards. Ellis picked up 12 yards to the 5-yard line, and ran again for the 5-yard score, and the Red Devils were on the board. Tyler Hooper added the extra point, and the score was 49-7 with 5:15 to go.

Terry Brown intercepted Warrior quarterback Jackson Bowersock and returned the ball to the 8-yard line to set up another Jacksonville score. Martin took the ball in on a keeper from four yards out to set the final score at 49-13, as the extra point try was no good.

Ellis rushed for 51 yards and a touchdown, Martin 42 yards and a touchdown, and Knowlin rushed for 40 yards.

Jacksonville opens conference play at J.A. Fair next Friday night.