Justin Calahan and Peyton Smith of Class AA quarterfinalist Jonesboro-Hodge wore the home red jersey’s this past Friday night. This past Monday, they were presented with another red top. This one indicated that they had been named an “Aaron’s Ace”
The two earned the weekly award given to a top athlete from northeast Louisiana by KNOE-TV sportscaster Aaron Dietrich following their performance in the Tigers second round Class AA playoff game against Mangham.
“Really happy for those two to get the recognition,” said JHHS head coach Terrance Blankenship. “They have been kind of flying under the radar all year but are very important to our team. We wouldn’t be in the position we are in without them.”
Calahan was responsible for two tiimely touchdowns and an important two point conversion. His first score, which was a 20 yard pass reception improved the Tigers lead to 13-6. His second, which came as result of a 45 yard interception return once again put JHHS by a touchdown after Mangham had narrowed the score to 13-12. As the holder on the Tiger extra point kick attempt with JH up by eight at 26-18, Calahan instead rose up, wheeled around and headed for the endzone. Seeing his path was blocked the heady Senior drew up and lofted a pass that was caught for the two point conversion that put the Tigers up by an all important “two scores.”
Smith finshed the game with 10 tackles from his defensive tackle position that kept one of the most prolific runners in north Louisiana, who had gained over 1500 yards rushing this season, in check. His impressive performance gave Smith 105 tackles on the year and continued a late season surge that has propelled the towering junior to the top of the leaderboard in the entire state regardless of classification in tackles among defensive linemen.
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