What started out as a long ride turned into a pleasure cruise for Jonesboro-Hodge who blasted Bunkie 51-0 for their fifth straight win. The victory improved the Tigers record to 5-1 and continued the best start to a season since 2009. It also marked the largest margin of victory since 2005.
In by far the best overall effort of the season, the Tigers dominated every phase of the game as they scored on their first possession and never looked back. On offense J-H had 22 first downs compared to just 7 for Bunkie. Defensively J-H allowed only 143 yards in total offense and intercepted as many passes (3) as the Bunkie receivers caught. The Tigers also won the turnover battle by a 4-1 margin, that included back-to-back defensive touchdowns and for the first time this season J-H had less penalty yardage than their opponent.
Perhaps the two most impressive stats of the night were first, a 12-play scoring drive by the J-H second team offense that ate up an incredible, 13 minutes and 35 seconds and all but 1:38 of the fourth quarter. Secondly, on third and fourth downs J-H converted 8 of 10 while Bunkie was 2-13 including 0-7 in fourth down conversion attempts. This stretches the Tigers streak of not allowing a fourth down conversion to 15 attempts over the last two games.
The victory also set a new personal standard for Tiger head coach Terrance Blankenship. For the first time in seven years of Class AA competition (JHHS was in Class A for 2 years) Blankenship has seen his team win five games and more importantly showing promise of more to come.
“Coming into this game we have been our own worst enemy,” said Blankenship. “The guys are starting to play like they are capable of and if we continue to grow as a team like we have over the last couple of weeks we have the capability of having a very good team.”
Impressive Start! After allowing Bunkie only three yards, netting two tackles for a loss, forcing a fumble and then a punt the Tigers began their first possession of the game on their own 22-yard line. On the 7th play of the drive, Tydre Malone, who went 4-4 for 76 yards, hit Justin Calahan for a four-yard TD score.
Quick Strike! On their third possession, J-H went 68 yards in just two plays with the coup-de-gras being a perfectly thrown bomb by Malone to Devontae Mozee who reached out and made a beautiful fingertip catch in the endzone. The pair connected again for the two-point conversion to up the Tigers lead to 14-0.
Best drive to date! After Dominic Strickland pounced on a loose ball at the J-H 10- yard line to stem Bunkie’s only true scoring threat of the game, J-H embarked on their best drive of the year to date. Other than two incomplete passes the Tigers gained at least ten yards on 7 of 8 plays, including Brantrel Thompson’s 10-yard scamper into the endzone with 1:41 left in the second quarter. Thompson also ran in the two-point conversion that upped the lead to a commanding 22-0 at the half.
De-ja-vu! Just like the opening drive of the game, Malone and Calahan capped off the first drive of the second half with their second scoring pass and catch, this one for 13 yards. Malone then found Javion Andrews in the back of the end zone for the two pointer to up the Tigers lead to 30-0 with just 2:43 gone off the clock.
Back-to-back! On the first play of Bunkie’s next possession, pressure by Strickland forced an errant throw that Devontae Mozee picked off and returned 46 yards for his third pick six of the season. On Bunkie’s next play Xavier Atkins stepped in front of a pass and returned it 34 yards for the touchdown. Two plays, Two Tiger interceptions, Two touchdowns. The result was now a 45-0 lead and Mozee and Atkins entering into the J-H record book as the only pair to return interceptions for a score on back-to-back plays.
Finishing touches! Blankenship emptied his bench following the three-score outburst in a span of 3:28. A entirely new cast took the ball at their own 32-yard line. Twelve times the Tigers ran the ball. Ten of the rushes were by Chance Leonard, who capped of the drive that took up virtually the entire fourth quarter, with a two-yard plunge for the Tigers final points. The effort gave Leonard a team leading 66 yards.
1st quarter: Calahan 4 yd pass from Malone (kick failed)
2nd quarter: Mozee 38 yd pass from Malone (2 pt pass -Mozee from Malone)
2nd quarter: Thompson 10 yd run (2 pt run – Thompson)
3rd quarter: Calahan 13 yd pass from Malone (2 pt pass – Andrews from Malone)
3rd quarter: Mozee 46 yd INT return (Stevens kick)
3rd quarter: Atkins 34 yd INT return (2 pt run – Calahan)
4th quarter: Leonard 2 yd run
|3rd Down Conv||6-8||2-6|
|4th Down Conv||2-2||0-7|
Individual Offensive Stats:
Passing: Malone 11-18-191, 3 TD’s, 1 INT
Rushing: Leonard 10-66 (1 TD), Thompson 11-57 (1 TD), Malone 5-40, Strickland 1-2
Receiving: Calahan 3-64 (2 TDs), Lewis 3-36, Mozee 2-49 (1 TD), Gray 2-26, Leonard 1-16
Individual Defensive Stats:
Total tackles: Atkins 13, Smith 9, Leonard 8, Andrews 7, Waters 6, Strickland 6, Lewis 5, Jones 4
Solo stops: Atkins 3, Smith 3, Leonard 3, Strickland 3, Andrews 2, Waters 2, Jones2, Mozee 2
Tackle for loss: Atkins 2, Andrews 2
Fumble recovery: Strickland
Interceptions: Mozee (TD), Atkins (TD), Moss
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