Home-standing Jonesboro-Hodge put up a good fight in the first round of the LHSAA playoffs but in the end it was 18th seeded Kentwood who continued on the road to the Dome with a 27-18 victory. Kentwood advances to play #2 Mangham this Friday while Jonesboro-Hodge’s season comes to a close with a 3-4 mark
In most years if a Louisiana high school is playing football after Thanksgiving it means that team had a fairly successful year. That is because normally it would mean that school had won a couple of playoff games, was playing at least in the quarterfinals and would end the year with a winning record.
By no means was 2020 a normal year as this year every team that made the playoffs were playing after Thanksgiving. First it was scare there would be no season at all due to the Coronavirus. Then only an eight game schedule would be played. As a result the annual contest with rival Winnfield wasn’t played for the first time since World War II.
Fortunately for the Tigers most of the contests on the schedule were able to be played but J-H did have a couple of games (Loyola, Lakeside) cancelled by outbreaks of the virus, leaving J-H playing six games in the regular season. In those J-H finished 3-3 overall and 1-1 in district 1-2A play.
First round blues! The loss continued the string of first round Class 2A playoff losses by the Tigers to six straight and dropped head coach Terrance Blankenship’s playoff record to 4-8 in his eight years at the helm.
Suspect seeding! Perennial playoff power Kentwood entered as an 18th seed. This was due to their last two games being cancelled which caused a major loss of valuable power points. As result they entered the contest with only six games under their belts but sported a 4-2 record overall and a perfect 3-0 record in 9-2A play. If they would have been able to play their last two Kentwood would have been seeded much higher.
Roos jump on top! Kentwood went up 14-0 before J-H finally got on the board in the second quarter when JaMarriyea Lewis caught a Tydre Malone touchdown pass to narrow the half time margin to just an eight point deficit.
Heartbreaking turnaround! J-H started the third quarter by driving the ball into Kentwood territory and bringing hope to the Tiger faithful that they might draw even. Then disaster struck as Kentwood intercepted a pass at their own 27 yard line and returned it 73 yards for a touchdown. Instead of the score possibly being tied at 14 apiece it was now a 21-6 Kentwood lead. Another Roo score pushed the margin to 27-6 midway in through the fourth quarter.
Still fighting to the end! With such a large deficit and really no hope of making a comeback to win it would have been understandable if the Tigers just laid down and let the clock run out. To their credit they continued to fight and scored a pair of touchdowns to make the final score respectable. First it was a Devontae Mozee and Tydre Malone connection for 50 yards. Then JaMarriyea Lewis picked up a blocked punt and returned it for a touchdown to narrow the margin to the final 27-18 score.
“I hate we lost this game as it is one we could have won,” said Blankenship. “Still I am proud of the way the guys fought. They played to the end. “
No ground game! Quarterback Tydre Malone completed 13 passes for 239 yards and two scores but that was virtually all the offense could muster as Kentwood totally shut down the Tigers running game. LaJavion Nichols led the Tigers rushing attack with 15 carries for only 36 yards as J-H had their lowest rushing output of the season. DeVontae Mozee caught 3 passes for 89 yards and a score to lead the receiving corp. Jamarriyea Lewis followed with 5 catches for 74 yards and a touchdown.
#15 JHHS (3-4) 0 6 0 12 – 18
#18 KHS (5-2) 7 7 7 6 – 27
1st Quarter: Kentwood 11 yard run (PAT good) 7-0
2nd Quarter: Kentwood 11 yard run (PAT good) 14-0
JHHS – Malone pass to Lewis (PAT no good) 14-6
3rd Quarter: Kentwood 73 yard interception return (PAT no good) 20-6
4th Quarter: Kentwood 2 yard run (PAT no good) 27-6
JHHS – Malone 50 yard pass to Mozee (2 pt. no good) 27-12
JHHS – Lewis return of blocked kick (2 pt no good) 27-18
JHHS offensive statistical leaders: (GAME)
Passing: Malone (13/23 – 239, 2 TD’s, 1 Int)
Rushing: Nichols (15/36), Malone (10/1), Calahan (4/-1)
Receiving: Mozee (3/89, 1 TD), Lewis (5/74, 1 TD), Bowie (2/53), Calahan (1/15), Boston (1/8)
JHHS offensive statistical leaders: (SEASON)
Passing: Malone (59/115 – 974, 10 TD’s, 4 Int’s)
Rushing: Nichols (73/513, 6 TD’s), Thompson (23/341, 4 TD’s)
Receiving: Calahan (16/221, 4 TD’s), Lewis (11/258, 2 TD’s)