While smiles were abound on the ten beautiful young ladies that represented the 2022 JHHS Homecoming Court none were bigger than on the faces of the Tiger coaching staff and players after the 28-7 victory over Lakeview that gave the Tigers their first district 3-2A victory of the season. With the victory JHHS improved to 3-6 on the year and 1-3 in district play while Lakeview dropped to 4-5 overall and to the bottom of 3-2A with an 0-4 record.
More importantly the win puts JHHS back in the postseason discussion and in control of their own destiny. According to the current Division IV “Non – Select” schools power rankings, the Tigers are sitting at #29, an improvement of two spots from the week before and just one spot out of the 28 team playoff bracket.
According to JHHS head coach Terrance Blankenship, with the way the season has unfolded this is all that can be asked for at this point.
“I told the guys before the game that even though the season hasn’t gone like we would have wanted up to this point, we are still in control of whether or not we make the playoffs,” said Blankenship. “|I am proud of the way the guys responded. We had to win this one if we were going to have a shot.”
Dominating Performance! While Zoie Anderson and Cartavious Waters were honored as the 2022 Homecoming Queen and King during the assembly held earlier in the day it was Xavier Atkins who ruled the field on Friday night. The LSU commit had by far his best game of the season reminding the large throng of Tiger fans in attendance why he is one of the more coveted athletes in north Louisiana despite being only a junior. Atkins led the dominant Tiger defense with 11 tackles and one assist, including three tackles for a loss. More impressively was his blocking three punts, which sets a nee JHHS single game record and returning an interception 55 yards for a touchdown that broke what had been a close game open. For good measure Atkins also scored on a 12 yard reception while playing offense.
Future is now! To be where they are now has to be almost surreal for Freshman Dakota Knox and Jason Blackburn. Last year the pair were the quarterback and running back for J-H Middle School lending credence that they would one day be strong contributors for the varsity. That day is now! Both turned in sterling performances to lead the offense to their second best scoring total of the season. Knox completed 8 of 13 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown while Blackburn, playing for the first time in three weeks after injuring his ankle, rushed for 34 yards and scored twice.
|JHHS (3-6, 1-3)||0||20||0||8||28|
|Lakeview (4-5, 0-4)||0||7||0||0||7|
JHHS Rushing: Drayton (10-74), Blackburn (10-34, 2 TD’s), Leonard (1-4), Malone (1-minus 3), Knox( 4 – minus 6)
JHHS Passing: Knox (8-13-100, 1 TD), Malone (0-2-0)
JHHS Receiving: Atkins (3-72, 1 TD), Bolds (1-20), Palmer (1-2)
JHHS Tackles: Atkins -11, 3 TFL, Leonard – 5, 2 TFL, Waters 4, 2 TFL,
Former Coach Lonnie Calahan honored before game
In recognition of one of the iconic coaches in Jonesboro-Hodge history, Lonnie Calahan was honored before the game by a coalition of former players that he mentored during the years of 1973 – 82. Calahan was presented with a beautiful plaque that commemorated what he meant to his players while also hearing from several of his players. The beloved coach started at JHHS as an assistant in 1973 before becoming head coach in 1979 a position he held until 1982 compiling a 25-19-1 overall record and leading JHHS to the Class AA state championship game in 1980 and the quarterfinals in 1982.
Booker Family recognized as “First Family of JHHS Football”
In conjuntion with the Jonesboro-Hodge football program and sponsored by the Jackson Parish Journal, the Booker family, one of the most iconic families of JHHS football was recognized at halftime of the JHHS vs Lakeview Homecoming contest. The group[ represented three quarterbacks, one of which was the first African-American to man the position at JHHS, two all state running backs, one NFL All Pro and a professional basketball player still competing today. Being honored for their acheivements were:
Calvin Booker , Donald Booker, Randy Booker, Marty Booker, Cortez Booker, Kameron Booker and Asanti Belton.
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