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Jackets road to Jackson continues

TONY WAITS / THE PRENTISS HEADLIGHTThe Bassfield Yellowjackets dominanted another Yellowjacket team from Union winning 42-7. This week will find the Jackets in Taylorsville for third-round playoffs.

TONY WAITS / THE PRENTISS HEADLIGHT – The Bassfield Yellowjackets dominanted another Yellowjacket team from Union winning 42-7. This week will find the Jackets in Taylorsville for third-round playoffs.

By Bobby Wilson, BHS sports

The Bassfield Yellowjackets road to Jackson continues as its powerful offense, defense, and special teams combine again for a dominant performance against another Yellowjacket team from Union.

In every game there is always a key block, hit, catch, run…something changes the game in one direction or another. Rarely does it happen on the fourth play of the game.

Against East Marion, it was a flea flicker with a pass from quarterback to receiver to quarterback to another receiver and touchdown.

This week it was a fake punt that netted 41 yards on a 4th and 3 from the Jackets 35. Showing confidence in his defense, Coach Mancuso, some would say rolled the dice early, but having watched this team over the years, this was not a roll of the dice, but a message to everyone, “we will put you away, early and often, so you better be on your toes.”

This whole season the Jackets, with the exception of a couple of games, have poured it on early and took most teas out of there scheme or plan and back on their heals.

The Jackets have scored 561 points so far this season, averaging almost 3 touchdowns per quarter in the first and second quarters, leaving way for the freshmen and sophomores to get plenty of play time for future development.

The Jackets had a rare loss of coin toss, and took the opening possession only 7 yards and giving Union confidence in holding the Jackets offense to a three and out. Back to punt, the coaches saw an opportunity and took it. Instead of centering to Mancuso to punt it away, instead it went to Josh Applewhite who ran straight up the field for 41 yards and a first and ten at the 14.

A personal foul for facemask was tacked on at the end putting the ball at the 7-yard line.

Greg green finished the drive going untouched into the end zone at the 8:57 mark of the first quarter – Mancuso kick good 7-0.

Union ran three plays for -12 yards and punted to the Jackets 48. A 39 yard run by Greg Green set up the second touchdown of the evening as CJ Moore pulled down a pass attempt and ran 12 yards for the second touchdown of the quarter, Mancuso kick good, 14-0 at the 5:17 mark of the first quarter.

Union put together a good drive, running 10 times and moving the ball 33 yards net, but one of three sacks by Jamal Peters in the second quarter forced a punt by Union, fumbled by the kicker and recovered by the hopeful future LSU star – Jamal Peters.

It took only 6 plays for the Jackets offense to go the 36 yards with a good mixture of passing and running finished off by Troderick Daniels from 11 yards out and with the Mancuso PAT. Jackets led 21-0 early second quarter.

A beautiful pass and catch by Union for 21 yards on their next drive was not enough as they then went backwards -3 yards then -5 on a delay of game before Curtis Mikell intercepted a lame duck pass of Union.

Union’s defense played hard as the Jackets threw 2 straight incomplete passes forcing the second set up to punt. This time Mancuso punted 34 yards to the Union 30.

The first play from scrimmage the future Southern Miss cornerback, Cornell Armstrong, picked off an errant Union pass giving the ball right back to the Jacket offense.

Five running plays and 41 yards of offense finished off this time by a 15 yard run by sophomore Rachaud Green, Mancuso kick was good. Jackets up 28-0 with 2:52 left in the half.

The powerful defense of the Jackets forced a quick 3 and out and forcing another Union punt.

With the Jackets offense as powerful as it is, leaving 91 seconds on the clock is dangerous, but the offense ran the ball and the clock to end the half.

Taking the ball for the second half, Union had no answers for the defense of Bassfield. Three yards on three carries and the other Yellowjackets were punting to our Jackets. A repeat of 11 previous games, the Jackets offense drove straight down field on six plays.

Anger was felt across the field, into the stands and back to the sidelines after a horrific call by the head linesman from Natchez for the second week. A pass from CJ Moore to Kameron Williams for what should have been 10 yards on a 3rd and 7-play was backed up 4 yards to a 6 yard gain and 1 yard short of a first down.

Kameron caught the ball cleanly at the 47-yard line and hit and driven backwards, where, incorrectly the ball was spotted.

Without hesitation, Coach Mancuso elected to run the ball on 4th and 1, this time with an ailing Greg Green on the sidelines, AJ Moore took the handoff about 10 yards deep and by the time he got to the line of scrimmage; it was like a freight train – full steam ahead, and the sea of Union defenders parted like the Red Sea when Moses raised his staff. 43 yards to pay dirt – and this game was over – Mancuso PAT good 35-0.

Union had no answers after they had to abandon what got them to this point in the first place. A hit like none other this season by Tra Darren Cook on the halfback of Union on an option play earlier in the first two series ended the option plays for the most part for the rest of the game.

A quick 3 and out on Union’s second possession of the second half, and the offense of the Yellowjackets was back on the field. It only took two plays after the fumble recovery at the 21 for the scoreboard to change again. This time it was Troderick Daniels for his second score of the evening. Mancuso kick was good. Jackets led 42-0.

Union finally got a drive together with the help that the Jackets sent in its JV team on defense. On the 4th try from the 2 yard line and after 3 straight fumbles by Union, who recovered all three times, Union got on the board and with a successful PAT made the score 42 – 7.

The good news for Union is they scored, the bad news is they used up 8 minutes and 28 seconds to end the 3rd quarter and 4th. The Jackets JV got two first downs and closed out this the 7 straight run away game since division play began.

The Jackets have blown out every division opponent and the first two playoff opponents. The Jackets have scored 366 points to 41 given up, and all 41 by the JV defense, not the starters.

Now, it’s on to Taylorsville, right where most thought we would be. Taylorsville seems to be a roadblock on the Jackets path to a State Championship almost every year. The current coach of Taylorsville, however, has never beaten Coach Mancuso. He lost every meeting while at North Forrest and now at Taylorsville.

Hoping to keep the streak alive, Mancuso told the team after the game, “It’s all about moving on, an opportunity to play again next week. You need to come back next week be ready, and get focused.”

Not knowing who would play at the time, Mancuso told the team, “If it’s that green and gold, we’re gonna bring the black and gold and the pain that goes with it.”

The Jackets and Tartar’s have to common opponents this year, East Marion and Hazlehurst whom they lost both, while the Jackets won both. Both teams defeated Collins and Richton, however the margins were 57-10 total for these two while the Jackets total was 77-18.

The Jackets have run up 4542 yards while Taylorsville has run up 4221 and taking into account that the starting offense for Bassfield did not play in all but 3 of 13 games.

Tartars have scored 430 points and given up 137. The Jackets have scored 561 and given up 135 points. Rushing – Jackets 251/game, Taylorsville 204; Jackets passing 74 yards/Tartars 121 yards.

Now that you know all that has happened, throw it out. We are both 2-0 and must get to 3-0 and that is all that matters.

Remember, not much parking at Taylorsville, plan accordingly. Game time is 7 p.m. at Taylorsville.

The Jackets will host South State Championship if we play East Marion. If Mize wins we go to Mize for South State. Let the road be smooth as the trip continues.