The stakes arent as big as the last time Jonesboro-Hodge traveled to Bunkie with both teams having a renissance year but the confidence, optimism and enthusiam of the Tigers are just as high. The reason is the 4-1 record posted to date that is the best start to a season in head coach Terrance Blankenship’s nine year tenure and since the 2009 season.
Carrying the momentum of the thrilling 34-32 double overtime victory over North Webster the Tigers look to extend their current winning streak and the all time series record with Bunkie to five straight. The Tigers last played the Panthers in 2000 taking a 46-22 regular season victory. A 27-22 Tiger triumph was had the year before. It was during that game that JHHS sustained a drive of 99 yards forever eching that edition of Tigers into the record books with a mark that can be tied but never broken.
In 1992 JHHS beat Bunkie 27-6 in the first round of the playoffs but the game that was played in 1988 is remembered by most who witnessed it as the most exciting game ever played in Tiger football history. That was when Brandon Bradley forever etched his name in Tiger lore by returning an interception 33 yards with no time left on the clock to lift J-H to a 34-28 victory and a spot in the Class AA state championship game.
Similar situation – The week before JHHS beat Bunkie on the “The Pass” as it has become infamously known ever since, the Tigers had advanced to the semifinals by beating Springhill 6-0 in overtime. JHHS marches into Bunkie this week on the heels of a double overtime victory over North Webster, which is Springhill consolidated with Sarepta, Shongaloo and Cotton Valley.
At 3-1, Bunkie is also experiencing one of their better starts in many years. After four consecutive losing seasons under head coach Nick Pujol, the Panthers are looking to continue to build on their 6-4 record last year. Bunkie has beaten Marskville 26-0, Pickering 31-8 and Lakeview 36-12 last week. Their loss has been to Avoyelles by a 54-13 margin.
Similar records – difference in strength of schedule! The only loss both squads have is a loss to a district 3-2A opponent although by much different margins. JHHS lost by two points to Winnfield while Bunkie was blasted by Avoyelles by 41 points. The major difference between the two teams is the strength of schedule and record of the opponents they have beaten.
The combined record of the three teams that the Tigers have beaten,which includes a Class 3A and Class 5A team, is 8-11. The three Bunkie victims sport at 1-14 mark. that would seem to work to the Tigers benefit as far as playing against a good team.
Similar offensive style! Both squads like to spread the ball around to a bevy of playmakers on the outside. Both have capable quarterbacks who can not only throw it all over the field but are very effective when the need to run arises.
JHHS advantage! While the stats don’t reveal it where the Tigers have a distinct advantage is on the defensive side of the ball. Bunkie has given up 74 points compared to 100 by the Tigers. Yet 54 of the 74 Bunkie has allowed came in the one game against the only team that has a winning record. Conversely, the Tigers have not given up less than 20 in a game this season but have shown the ability to shut down good offenses during crunch time.
Bunkie advantage! One thing Bunkie has that the Tigers don’t see very often is a strong kicking game. Already the Panthers have converted a 41 yard field goal and up to date have done well in pinning opponents in their own territory through a strong punting game.
JHHS Offensive Statistical Leaders
Passing: Tydre Malone 59-95-812, 9 TD’s, 4 INT, (203 ypg)
Rushing: Brantrel Thompson 47-260, 3 TD’s, (65 ypg), Malone 40-93, 4 TD’s (23.25 ypg)
Receiving: Justin Calahan 16-160, 2 TD’s’ Devontae Mozee 15-321, 7 TD’s; Jay Lewis 13-231
JHHS Defensive Statistical Leaders
Tackles: Xavier Atkins – 75, Peyton Smith – 33, Javion Andrews – 29, Cartavious Waters 18
Solo Stops: Atkins 64, Andrews 25, Smith 24, Lewis 15, Waters 14
Assists: Atkins 11, Smith 9, D. Jones 5, Andrews 4, Waters 4, C. Leonard 4
Sacks: Atkins 6, Andrews 4, Smith 1, Calahan 1
Tackle for loss: Atkiins 11, Andrews 7, Smith 2, Leonard 2
INT / Return yds: Mozee 2 – 106, 2 TD’s; Calahan 1-71, 1 TD; Lewis 1-0
Forced Fumbles: Andrews 2, Atkins 1, Smith 1, Lewis 1
Fumbles Recovered: Atkins 2, Andrews 2
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