Homecoming Humiliation! Tigers shocked by D’Arbonne Woods

It was a scene that Jonesboro-Hodge fans will likely remember for a long time. They only wish they didn’t have to. As the Tigers coaching staff and players slowly trudged off the field, on the visitor’s side D’Arbonne Woods was raucously celebrating with the spattering of fans that made the trip from Farmerville their improbable and shocking 22-20 victory over the Tigers.

The loss, to the supposed Homecoming fodder, dropped the Tigers to 6-2 overall and 0-1 in district 1-2A play. D’Arbonne Woods Charter (DWC), who enjoyed their first victory ever over JHHS and under first year head coach Tommy Tharp, has now equaled the most wins in a season in their short, school history, improved to 5-2 on the year and 1-0 in district play.

“I can’t tell you how disappointed I am in the way we played,” said a disconsolate Terrance Blankenship who lost a district opener for the first time in his nine year tenure. “This is the most demoralizing loss I have ever been associated with in my 21 years of coaching.”

Jonesboro-Hodge entered the contest on a six game winning streak and carrying a #6 power ranking in Class 2A. To their credit, DWC had won four in a row after losing the first two of the year but the level of competition the two schools had played was like comparing apples to oranges. In the end it was the Tigers who came up a lemon.
How did the outcome that KNOE-TV Channel-8, sports director Aaron Dietrich called on the Friday Night Blitz show was the “most shocking score in the state” come about? Was it a fluke? Was it some sort of weird Halloween hallucination? Not in Blankenship’s eye.

“They simply played better than us,” bemoaned Blankenship. “You can’t expect to beat anybody when you make the kind of mistakes we made. It wasn’t just that we made mistakes, but when we made them. Each one was a game changing play.”

Example #1: In the fourth quarter and the game tied at 14-14, D’Arbonne Woods was facing a 4th and 7 and for the first time all night was lined up to punt. Jonesboro-Hodge jumped off-sides setting up a 4th and 2 which the Timberwolves tried for and made.
Example #2: On the same drive, once again the Tigers forced a fourth down. A rush on the QB caused a “dying quail” to be fluttered up that was going to land nowhere near a receiver. Inexplicably a Tiger defensive back steamrolled a Timberwolf receiver and got flagged for a pass interference penalty giving DWC new life.
Example #3: Four plays later, with DWC facing a 3rd and 18 down and distance at the Tiger 28 yard line, once again JHHS pressure on the QB seemed to put JH in prime position to stop the drive. The pass, that went as high as long and looked more like a punt tumbling end over end, took so long to reach its destination at the two yard line that both receiver and defender had to just stand there and wait on it. The Tiger defender was in perfect position to pick the throw off but instead didn’t even make a play for the ball that landed in the receiver’s gut. One play later DWC scored putting the finishing touches on a mind boggling, 18-play, 83 yard drive that took an incredible 12:17 off the clock or the equivalent of an entire quarter
Example #4: Down by eight with just 1:48 left to play the Tigers looked like maybe they would survive after all when Tydre Malone found Devontae Mozee for a one play, 65 yard, touchdown strike. The two point conversion run by Brantrel Thompson, who with 8 rushes for 87 yards and a 28 yard TD reception was one of the few Tigers to have a good night, was virtually uncontested around the right end. Unbelievably on the left side of the field a hold was called negating the points. The next play Malone was sacked and the game was over.

D’Arbonne Domination! DWC had 22 first downs compared to 11 for JHHS. The Tiger defense never gave up a big play but simply couldn’t get the Timberwolves off the field. DWC rushed the ball 59 times for 195 yards. That is just a little over three yards a carry average. What is worse, six times DWC went for it on fourth down. Six times they made it. The number of plays run by the offense carried a decided 63-24 DWC advantage. Perhaps the most telling statistic was the time of possession in the game which showed DWC at 36:34 compared to JHHS who had the ball just 11 minutes and 26 seconds. That is less than one quarter’s worth.

Quick Strikes! How did JHHS stay as close as they did with that kind of one sided statistical disadvantage? The reason was their ability to score lightning quick. The longest drive JHHS had all night was seven plays that covered 50 yards when Thompson and Malone hooked up to give JHHS a 7-6 halftime lead after Chance Leonard made the extra point. Down 14-7 in the third period, JHHS responded again, this time with a three play, 60 yard drive that Justin Calahan took a pass from Malone the remaining 39 yards for the score. Then there was the one play Malone to Mozee strike at the end. All in all the Tigers ran 11 plays that took only 3:10 off the clock on the three scores.

Atkins adds to tackle total! Xavier Atkins continued to provide incredible tackle totals. After tallying 22 total stops the sensational sophomore increased his statewide lead to 131 which is one more than second place Ross Bertrand of Beau Chene. His total of 106 solo stops leads the state by over twenty than his next closest competitor and the only defensive player in the state to go over the century mark. 

Leonard, Lewis and Smith all reach double digits! Cameron Leonard turned in his best performance of season and in his career with 16 total tackles and 11 solo stops. Jay Lewis and Peyton Smith also reached double digits in tackles with 12 each. Cartavious Waters had nine stops includinig one tackle for a loss. 

D’Arbonne Woods (5-2, 1-0) 0 6 8 8 22
Jonesboro-Hodge (6-2, 1-0) 0 7 7 6 20

Scoring summary:

2nd quarter: DWC – Alejo 8 yd run (PAT no good)
2nd quarter: JHHS – Thompson 28 yd pass from Malone (Leonard PAT)
3rd quarter: DWC – Rawls 7 yd run (Alejo 2-point run)
3rd quarter: JHHS – Calahan 37 yd pass from Malone (Leonard PAT)
4th quarter: DWC – Rawls 1 yd run (Walker 2-point run)
4th quarter: JHHS – Mozee 65 yd pass from Malone (2 pt run no good)

First Downs 11 22
Rushes / Yards 11/86 59/195
Completions/ Attempts /Yards 7-13-173 1-4-21
Total Yards 259 216
Penatly/Yards 11/65 3/30
3rd Down Conv 2/4 7/17
4th Down Conv 0/1 6/6
Time of Possession 11:26 36:34

JHHS Individual stats:

Passing: Malone 7-13-173 yds, 3 TD’s, 1 Int
Rushing: Thompson 8-85, Malone 3-1
Receiving: Mozee 3-98, 1TD, Calahan 3-47, 1TD, Thompson 1-28, 1TD
Total Tackles: Atkins 22, Cam. Leonard 16, Lewis 12, Smith 12, Waters 9
Solo Stops: Atkins 17, Cam. Leonard 11, Lewis 9, Waters 6, Smith 5
Tackles for loss: Cam. Leonard 1, Waters 1
Interceptions: Atkins 1

Photos courtesy of Jason Strickland

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