Jacket defense downs Aggies
Published 12:07 pm Wednesday, August 31, 2016
The August weather in South Mississippi showed up for the final Friday night of football in the month. As the sun went down, the humidity and the heat were relentless, and not a whisper of a breeze could be found.
Maybe this had the mental affect that brought a record number of penalties against the Jackets, most deserved, some questionable, and some not called. At the end of the night, had the officials left their flags in place, little green would have been seen for the yellow that littered the field for four quarters.
The Jackets accumulated 110 yards in the second half alone, giving them a total of 175 yards for the night. The game started with a penalty on Bassfield before the first snap of the ball. Forest County ended the night with 63 yards in penalties that were accepted. A total of 20 penalties accepted for the night.
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Despite all those penalties, the Jackets fought and overcame the adversity enough to take the victory again. The Jackets have owned the Aggies since 2011, one of only two losses in the Mancuso era to this team.
The Jackets got on the board first after Joe Lewis (#56) stopped the Aggies drive on the fourth play with two Jacket penalties. Taking the ball at their 41, the offense went straight to the run for five straight plays before quarterback Cason Sims hit a wide open Jafharis McKines (#22) for a 34 yard touchdown pass. The PAT was fumbled and the attempt afterward to run in came up inches short, Jackets led 6 – 0.
As was expected, the Aggies came out passing on the next series as the run game was stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey. A good 37 yard punt sent the Jackets back on the field, but another penalty stopped the drive, forcing the Jackets into punt formation. A 31 yard punt put the Aggies right where they left off on the last drive.
After one pass and one fumbled snap, the Aggies burned the secondary of the Jackets, a 65 yard pass for a touchdown and a line drive PAT, and for the second time this year the Jackets trailed – 6 – 7.
The Jackets answered right back with an eight play run drive, with no penalties, using five different backs, one incomplete pass as the only negative. Kevin McNair finished the drive from 20 yards out, Ron Thompson’s two point conversion attempt was good, Jackets back on top 14 – 7.
Another penalty by the Jackets gave the Aggies good field position at the Jackets 49 after a four yard run. A twenty yard pass, two positive runs, and the Aggies appeared to be on the move. A three yard loss then a 16 yard sack and fumble on a fourth and six at the 27 and the drive ended.
Jackets take over at the 43 and begin a game changing drive. Mash mouth football with a steady dose of Ron Thompson, as he went the final yard at the 5:11 mark of the first half to give the Jackets a 20 – 7 lead after the PAT was blocked.
Again a personal foul penalty on the kickoff and the Aggies were playing on a short field again. One perfectly thrown pass to a streaking receiver down the visitor’s sideline for 48 yards and the Aggies were on the board, PAT no good, and the Jacket lead had been reduced to seven points – 20 – 13 in the blink of an eye.
It took the Jackets only three plays, all runs, finished off by a 33 yard run by James Washington to make the fans forget the last Aggies fast strike.. The fake kick and run for two points failed, the Jackets back in control as the first half was coming to a close, 26 – 13.
As in other series, the Jackets penalties gave the Aggies good field position again. Back to the run game, but with not much movement, the pass was the key for the Aggies. Eleven yards, then finally an Aggie penalty, then another 16 yard pass, but the 16 wasn’t enough on a third and 19. With the half running out, fourth down, the Jackets defense stepped up. Kevin McNair in the backfield for an eight yard sack, and another turnover on downs by the Aggies.
A knee, and a 90 minute half was finally over.
The second half started with the Jackets receiving the kickoff at the 30. Twelve plays, a mix of run and attempted passing, seven penalties between the two teams, and the ball was turned over on downs at the Forest County six yard line.
A sack on third and eight forced a punt from the four with the punter standing at the back line of the end zone. Jackets penalties continued to pile up on the next series, a holding call, a false start and a twenty yard punt, and the field had been flipped as the Aggies took over at the 40 after being at the 4 on the last series.
As the third quarter ended because of the Jackets first possession, Forest County began to put together a drive to try and tighten up the score. Trying to run, but relying on the pass, the Aggies moved only to the 41 yard line of the Jackets. A questionable pass interference call that got the crowd riled, the Aggies QB went to the well once too often as Kevin McNair picked off the very next pass.
Starting at the 17, two quick runs by Christopher Thompson and Ron Thompson, put the Jackets at the 41 yard line of the Aggies. Another six yard run by Ron T. then the flags flew, and backwards the Jackets went. A loss of one on the next play, a four yard sack, and the Jackets were punting.
Still 6:32 on the game clock, and the entirety of stadium knew what was coming, and the Aggies did not disappoint. To the air they went to make a long game even longer. Eight passes and only one run, and of course there had to be penalties involved. Completing only 2 of 8 pass attempts, this game was over – you would have thought. With all the incomplete passes and penalties, the clock doesn’t move much.
Jackets take over, with a penalty, and run three plays before punting. If you stayed the second half for offense, you stayed for the wrong reason.
The Jackets, however did score, defensively. As FCAHS took over at the their 33, the passing game was back on – stepping back in shot gun formation, taking the snap and the Aggies QB had the ball pop out like a muscadine seed. A lineman’s dream came true on this play as Joe Lewis pulled the ball out of the air for his second fumble recovery, scampered the final 25 yards into the end zone to put this game on ice. PAT good – Jackets led 33 – 13.
With this one just waiting on the clock to run out, the Aggies put in their freshmen quarterback to close out the night. A fumbled snap on the fourth play finally put the last nail in this one as the wonderful sound of the final horn sounded.
Jackets win 33 – 13, now 2 – 0 on the season, sending the Aggies home 0 – 2.
“Pass adjustment in the second half stopped the pass attack of the Aggies – they were confused and didn’t know what to do – penalties kept them in the game. You played hard last half … but not smart – 24 minutes of good ball in the first half.
Much better on being consistent – all mental at this point.,” Mancuso told the team after the game.
The Jackets offense produced when needed, putting together another 300 yard performance over all – 307 total yards. 41 in the air and 266 on the ground, led by Ron Thompson with 19 carries for 145 yards and one touchdown plus a two point conversion. Kevin McNair 21 yards on 3 carries and one touchdown. James Washington 39 yards on 4 carries and one touchdown. Jafharis McKines 1 catch for 34 yards and one touchdown.
The entire defense played hard, but Kevin McNair with a sack and an interception and 3 tackles one for loss, Joe Lewis had two fumble recoveries, one for a touchdown.
The Jackets travel to Purvis to take on the Tornadoes this week. Purvis fell to the Bulldogs of Seminary this past weekend 24 – 10 and are 0 – 2 on the season, having lost to North Pike week one.
The Jackets are still ranked #2 in the State in 2A behind Bay Springs.
Just as a reminder, I proudly ate my words against Seminary, but my prediction for FCAHS was 32 – 16, the final was 33 – 13, just sayin’! Purvis prediction as a reminder was Jackets win 26 – 12! I’ll be proud if it’s by one, as long as it’s a victory – FOREVER BASSFIELD!