Ranked, 5A Jackson outscores Andalusia
JACKSON — Jackson’s first team outscored Andalusia 21-7 in the second half as the Aggies went on to beat the Bulldogs 41-14 in a fall jamboree game Friday night at Legion Field.
Andalusia went into the game knowing that it would be facing a top-tier team with some talented athletes, namely Aggie quarterback Matthew Jordan and linebacker Gavin Bryant.
The Bulldogs sustained a few offensive drives in the second half, but two turnovers netted points for JHS as the home team took over in the final 24.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” AHS head football coach Brian Seymore said. “We’ve got to make a few adjustments. We have some guys banged up. At times, we looked good on both sides of the ball.
“I felt like the kids played hard,” he said. “I felt like we made too many mistakes and gave up some big plays.”
Andalusia’s second-string played the entire first half, allowing the Aggies to go ahead 20-7 at the break.
The first couple of offensive drives for the Bulldogs in the second half didn’t net any TDs, but garnered a few big plays, namely a 26-yard pass from Michael McCalman to Devante Jackson with a little less than five minutes to go in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs cut it to six points with 16 seconds left in the third when Derrick Dorsey punched the ball in from two yards straight down the middle.
A bright spot during the first part of the second half was Andalusia’s defense.
Jackson was held to no touchdowns until the 10:34 mark of the fourth quarter.
Dorsey carried the ball about 10 yards for a good start, but Iquan Crosby had better plans in knocking the ball out for a fumble. Jerel Meredia caught the popped up ball and ran it back 62 yards for an easy score. The Aggies went ahead 27-14.
“That was costly right there,” Seymore said. “We were trying to sustain a couple of drives right there. Derrick made a good run — had good effort. You’ve got to take care of that ball. The kid ripped it out and made a good play.”
Jordan later hit Cody Cabaniss on a 17-yard dart with 6:47 and the Aggies sat comfortably with a 34-17.
Andalusia’s second turnover of the night came less than a minute later when McCalman’s pass was deflected.
On the deflection, Jackson’s Brandon Lang grabbed the ball in the air and gave a little effort to move the ball down the field.
Jordan, a Georgia Tech commit, showed why the Yellow Jackets picked him to lead their offense on the Aggies’ next possession.
On a 2nd-and-3 play, Jordan ran an option pass to the right, where he tossed the ball into Jerel Foreman’s arms for a 15-yard TD with 5:10 left to go in the game.
Seymore said the Bulldogs have to get back to work on the basics, which didn’t show well Friday.
“I know they have exceptional athletes,” the coach said. “We didn’t do a good job of field tackling. Jackson’s No. 5 in 5A. We’re going to have the same type of team next week (against Straughn). I know Straughn’s very talented and very well-coached. We’ve got to be ready to play next week.”
In the first half, the Bulldogs got off to a great start on their first drive, making it all the way down to the Jackson 7-yard line.
AHS back-up QB Brayden Burkhardt passed to Shun Curry, who then fumbled the ball in the end zone to rule a touchback.
From there, Jackson’s Michael Phillips ran the ball 80 yards off the right end for the Aggies’ first TD of the night with 8:38 in the first.
JHS went on to score again with 3:53 left in the first on a fumble recovery from its own player.
Damarcus Williams rushed for the end zone, but lost the ball in a flurry, where Gabe Gunn then recovered for the score.
Burkhardt, who like McCalman showed that he can run when wanted, rushed for five yards for a TD with 54.7 ticks left in the first.
Taylor Griffin later came in for Andalusia to replace Burkhardt and threw a pick to Jackson’s Kendarrian Handy at the 9:23 mark of the second quarter.
The Aggies took advantage with a 34-yard TD pass from Williams to Cededric Lewis to put JHS ahead 20-7.
With Andalusia’s two turnovers in the second half, the Bulldogs gave away five possessions compared to Jackson’s one.
Kick off next week against Straughn at home is at 7 p.m.