Yellowjackets win playoff game 2
Published 11:57 am Friday, November 21, 2014
Pisgah, as noted last week, means summit or peak in Hebrew, and the Jackets while going to the summit, have not reached the peak – yet, but the climb continues as the Dragons met their Apollo (Greek dragon slayer) in the form of a Yellowjacket.
Last week you did not see that I wrote that the Jackets had been playing “flat and a very lackadaisical” and that “The Bassfield Yellowjackets 2014 team is poised to 3-Peat as 2A state champions this year-‘if they want it’…” but in this game, the attitude was not flat or lackadaisical, in fact was the total opposite. The team captains came out for the coin toss, arm locked, and came onto the field as a team completely arm-locked, showing unity, and team leadership.
From the opening play, the showed they wanted this game and the opportunity to play for the third straight championship.
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Highly praised running back McGinnis of Pisgah (all three Jackson stations named him player of the week) did not come to play. On the opening drive, McGinnis never looked at the ball on the pitch, allowing the ball to roll free, where the Jackets recovered at the Dragons 33 yard line.
Two plays, two runs, the last 32 by T-Rod Daniels, and the Jackets were up quickly 7-0 after Kevin McNair’s extra point was good.
Second possession, Pisgah managed to get a 10-yard gain on a pass but not enough to convert on fourth and two as McGinnis was tackled for a two-yard loss at the Pisgah 45.
Two plays and T-Rod puts the ball on the ground instead of the end zone, a good 28 yard pass by Pisgah after the recovery, and they put the ball on the ground with Timothy Arnold on the recovery.
The Jackets drive this time was only three plays as T-Rod finished this drive with a twelve yard run. McNair PAT good Jackets up 14-0 early first quarter.
Pisgah’s running game was non-existing early on, as this drive ended after a seven-yard loss by the Dragon’s star running back McGinnis on the tackle of Gerald Reese.
This time it was Ron Thompson’s turn to put the slick cold ball on the ground giving Pisgah a little life at the 47-yard line. One play later Josh Applewhite intercepts the Dragon quarterback giving the Jackets the ball back at the 36 after a holding call was marked off against the Jackets on the return.
The Jackets went on a rare long drive of eight plays after the touchdown to Jamal Peters for the second straight week was called back for holding before the catch. T-Rod scored his 3rd touchdown of the quarter, PAT no good-Jackets lead increases to 20-0.
Pisgah makes a quick exit on their next drive with a bad punt of only 14 yards. Giving the Jackets the ball at the 35 is like just giving them points without having to take the field. T-Rod once again finished off this drive from 27 yards out, PAT was good, Jackets up 27-0!
Pisgah finally put together a good drive without their star back, moving the ball from their 39 to the 34. Just kidding the Dragons ran four plays went back five yards threw three incomplete passes and then punted 25 yards, more yards than their offense had generated.
Only four plays and this time it was Raschuad Green’s turn. A 20-yard run and the Jackets took a commanding early first half lead of 34-0 after another McNair PAT was good.
Pisgah once again went backwards on the next drive, punting on 4th and 19. Josh Applewhite had a great return that was negated by a Kenny Island block in the back of the Dragons on the punt return. A rare three and out, the Jackets punted-poorly-for the first time tonight giving Pisgah great field position at the 31.
After three incomplete Pisgah passes, the 4th pass was caught by Xavier Harper, he should have knocked it down, but having done it myself many years ago, it ain’t gonna happen. Jackets took over at the 24-yard line and one more run-this one 76 yards by T-Rod Daniels and his 5th touchdown of the half was on the board. PAT was no good and the Jackets led 40-0.
The Jackets took the opening kickoff of the second half and marched straight down field with three run plays, but Raschaud Green put the ball on the ground after a 45-yard gain to the Pisgah nine-yard line.
McGinnis of Pisgah had his first positive gain of the night with a 34-yard run giving a little spark on this icy cold night. Everyone was hoping that Pisgah was going to raise the white flag and let the clock run, but they didn’t, but didn’t have to as everyone kept the ball on the ground, no penalties, and the clock just ran.
After the good run, Pisgah was stopped cold by the Jackets defense punting the ball all the way to the Jackets five-yard line.
With runs of 21, 33, and 30 yards on a seven-play drive, the field became very short, very quickly. Gerald Reese finished the drive from five yards out and the Jackets were on top 47-0
McGinnis of Pisgah, ran right up the middle for 65 yards against the JV as the 3rd quarter ran out giving the Dragons points on the board. PAT was blocked by Racheem Booth Jackets led 47-6.
Ron Thompson was the only running back on the next Jacket series, eating up all 69 yards of the ground gain scoring from two yards out. PAT blocked, game over at 53-6.
Pisgah fumbled their next possession and the JV took over and moved the ball from the 34 to seven yard line eating up the clock and putting this one to bed after three more runs by the Dragons after they took over at the 7-yard line.
“You did what you’re supposed to do on the road – get game over early. I am proud of how you came on the road and took it to them. Green and gold are coming to Bassfield, we are going to take care of business like last year,” Mancuso told the team on a brief after game speech.
The green and gold is the Jackets second biggest rival-the Taylorsville Tartars. Taylorsville is ranked higher than the Jackets in all categories, have one win more than the Jackets. Taylorsville in six of the last seven games have given up only 19 points, while scoring 263 points (44-3). The Jackets in the last nine games gave up 120 points while scoring 443 (50-14). So you could make an argument for each, or you could make an argument for an all out war. You chose!
My players of the game are: T-Rod Daniels on offense gained 266 yards on 14 carries scoring five touchdowns, all in the first half, except for three runs.
On defense, Jerome Johnson, total dominance on the line, nine solo tackles in this game.
Chance of rain all day, clearing in the evening is the extended five-day forecast, but not icy cold. Prepare for everything; it is South Mississippi after all.
My prediction, for what it’s worth: Taylorsville will not be able to stop the run game of Bassfield. The passing off the spread offense of Taylorsville will be effective early, but the short pass that they are accustomed to will fade to going deep. Jackets will win the turnover battle thus winning the game 49-14.
No matter who wins the top bracket, the Jackets will have to travel for the South State Championship game. In the North, the usual suspects are in play. The four remaining are Calhoun City, Simmons, Bruce and East Webster.
Game time 7:00 p.m. at Willoughby Field.