A very special group of senior football players will be honored this Friday night when Jonesboro-Hodge closes out what to date has been their finest regular seasons since 1997 by hosting district 1-2A foe Lakeside. At stake will be the opportunity to improve their record to 8-2 and possibly claim a share of their first district title since 2002. The main reason for the success this year has been the play and leadership of the nine seniors that have left a tremendous mark on the program and with head coach Terrance Blankenship.
“We have had great guys come through our program over the years,” said Blankenship. “But as a group, this year’s class, is by far the best I have been associated with. They have provided great leadership to our younger players and have been a pleasure to coach.”
For an example of their impact this group has had on the Tiger football program you need to look no further than the record over the last four years. The Tigers have compiled a 20-19 overall record and a 9-4 district record where they never lost more than one district game in a season and includes three straight second place finishes and this years possible championship. A second championship was short circuited last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic as JHHS had the same number of losses as the district champion but was declared to be the second place finisher due to being able to play one less game. Not only has this group compiled team records of worth but also have members that have etched their place in the all time annals of JHHS football.
2021-22 JHHS Senior Players:
#1 – Justin Calahan: Versatile athelete who starts both on offense and defense as well as returns kicks and does place kicking duties. Leads the team in receptions with 23 for 308 yards, that include’s 3 TD’s. Also has a 71 yard interception return for a score to his credit. For his career, Calahan has 58 receptions for 788 yards and 9 TD’s. Calahan has been selected to participate in the LA Gridiron Bowl after the season is over.
#3 – Devontae Mozee: Exploded onto the scene in his senior season to become one of north Louisiana’s most dangerous weapons anywhere on the field. The “Impact Player of the Week” and “Beast of the Week” winner by area media, leads JHHS with 535 yards in receiving on 22 catches that have accounted for a team leading 11 offensive touchdowns. He also has a team leading five interceptions and 4 INT returns for a score, including a game changing, 99 yard INT return for a touchdown last week. Adding the 73 yard punt return for a TD earlier in the year, Mozee has accounted for 16 touchdowns this season overall. Following the season Mozee will participate in the I-20 Bowl and LA Gridiron Bowl.
#4 – JaMarriyea “Jay” Lewis: Another “two-way” starter who rarely ever comes off the field. On offense Lewis has hauled in 19 passess for 316 yards and a touchdown. Also leads the defensive backfield with 41 tackles that include 33 solo stops and interception and a forced fumble. In two seasons of play Lewis has accumulated 30 receptions for 574 yards for a 19.00 yard per catch average.
#8 – Tydre Malone: In 2 1/2 years as the starting Quarterback, Malone will end his JHHS career with every career passing mark in school history as well as being listed in the all time annals is several more categories. Heading into his final regular season game Malone already has set new all time marks in completions with 197 and passing yards with 3339. He is currently tied for career touchdowns with 38 and just two short of the all time attempts record with 368. This season alone Malone has claimed the top two completions in a game mark with 20 and 16 part of his 89 total completions in 155 attempts for 1394 yards and 18 touchdowns. The lanky senior also has 241 yards rushing on 75 attempts for 6 scores. Malone will participate in the LA Gridiron Bowl following the season.
#11 – Javeon Andrews: The two year starter at end Andrews has becomd a run stopping force on the Tigers defense front. At 6’5″ and with a long wing span Andrews is third on the team with 57 tackles, 44 of those being solo stops. He ranks second with 11 tackles for a loss and 5 sacks. Andrews leads the team with four forced fumbles and tied for the lead with two fumble recoveries. The postseason LA Gridiron Bowl selection has 85 tackles in 14 games over his career for an average of five per game.
#54 – Aiden Price: After an early season injury, Price worked tremendously hard to become an anchor on the offensive line. Of late has been in the defensive line rotation as well. Recognized as an excellent leader on the field and in the locker room.
#56 – Terry Williams: Plays both ways on the offensive and defensive lines. Sees most of his action on offense but has been productive of late on the defensive front as well, inlcuding getting a tackle for a loss game before last. Plays with a tremendous motor and is also a great motivator.
#60 – Gregory Escobar: Top reserve on both lines who is considered a great motivator and team guy. This is exemplified by him being selected as team captain in two games this year, a rare honor for a primary reserve player. Through continued hard work has earned more playing time each week. Perhaps greatest attribute is positive reinforcement he provides on and off the field.
#64 – Sullivan Stephens: Has been very effective this season while handling kickoff duties for the Tigers.Also sees time as a reserve lineman on both the offense and defense. His highlight of the year was against West Ouachita where he not only made an extra point attempt but made four straight tackles on kickoffs, an unheard of act for a placekicker. Great team player who is a tremendous motivator.
The Tigers close out the regular season by taking on Lakeside in a critical district 1-2A matchup that has as not only strong implications as far as the district race goes but also for the all important Power Points Rankings. Currently the Tigers are sitting at 1-1 in district play while Lakeside is winless at 0-2. A victory by the Tigers along with the expected win by pre-season favorite, North Caddo over upstart, D’Arbonne Woods would put JHHS into a three way tie for the district title with all three teams sporting 2-1 record.
According to tie-breaker rules of the LHSAA the team with the highest Power Point Ranking would be declared district champion. This bodes favorable for the Tigers who are sitting at #5 in the current Class 2A rankings, two spots ahead of North Caddo, who is currently ranked #7. If D’Arbonne Woods, ranked #16, surprises the progasticators by beating North Caddo all is a mute point as the Timberwolves would finish 3-0 in district play.
About the Opponent: Lakeside High, located just south of Minden in Sibley and under the direction of Mike Santelices, enters the contest with a 3-5 overall record and 0-2 in district 1-2A play having lost to D’Arbonne Woods 15-12 last week in a surprisingly close game and 46-6 to North Caddo the week before. Additonal losses have been to Lincoln Prep 44-27, West Ouachita 47-7 and North Webster 39-6, the latter two being teams that JHHS has beaten this season. Their victories were 39-0 over Magnolia School of Excellence which has won once this season and 54-20 over winless Beekman Charter. Lakeside was also credited with a forfiet win over Block. (Jonesville)., For the year the Warriors have scored 153 points and given up 211 for an average of 20.89 ppg scored and 31 points against.
Series Record: The Tigers have won eight of the nine prior games between the two in a series that dates back to 1999 when the school went by Sibley High. Since the school became known as Lakeside, the Tigers have enjoyed six straight victories by a combined score of 254-68, including the 48-43 barnburner in the last game between the two in 2019.
Record Watch: Two individual career school records are expected to fall early in the contest. Quarterback, Tydre Malone, is just two pass attempts short of the school record 370 and is tied with the career touchdown record of 38. The senior signal caller will also be adding to the career records he has already broken with every completion and yard gained.
Atkins named Defensive Player of the Week: For the third time this season senational sophomore linebacker Xavier Atkins has been named Defensive Player of the Week by LA Sportsline for his 17 tackle performance against North Caddo. Atkins is currently tied for the state lead in total tackles with 148 and his school record 120 solo stops leads the next closest competitor by an incredible 41 tackles. His 18.5 tackles per game also leads by 2.1 tpg.
Mozee sets new JHHS record: With his 99 yard “pick six”, Devontae Mozee set a new JHHS record with four INT’s returned for touchdown in one season, which also leads the state. The senior defensive back is second in the state in INT return yards with 265 yard, just three yards from the leader and now has five INT’s on the year which is the fourth highest amount in the state.
See the “Play of the Year:” To see Mozee’s interception return that is easily the “Play of the Year” click here: http://www.hudl.com/video/2/24698/618084693deb0e0b984dd3f2
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