Ron Thompson record night-Jackets lose

Published 1:50 pm Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Most waking up Saturday morning to see that the Jackets had lost to the Tornadoes of Purvis were probably just thinking, well Purvis is a 4A team and just let it roll of their shoulders.

In the end, the game has no meaning for the playoffs at the end of the season – or does it?

The Prentiss Headlight / Tony Waits—Yellowjacket Malik Shorts #9 stiff arms a Purvis defender in Friday night's loss against the Tornadoes.

The Prentiss Headlight / Tony Waits—Yellowjacket Malik Shorts #9 stiff arms a Purvis defender in Friday night’s loss against the Tornadoes.

There are wins that have and will have less impact on the emotional make up of this team now and in the future, but this game could have huge emotional impact.  It is said a lot that some losses are a victory in ways that cannot be seen for days to come.

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What happens to this team starting Friday night against Collins and beyond will tell if the Jackets team learned anything from the lessons put to them all night against the Tornadoes.

It was not Purvis who served up the lessons, but the way the game was played out, or allowed to play out.

“Look back at your week – it was a reflection of tonight”, Mancuso told team after game.

Purvis should celebrate their win, but what they need to reflect on is the fact that they played on a short field all night.

The Jackets defense was against the wall all night, especially the second half.  Purvis started at the Jackets 33, 35 back to back.

On the flipside, the Jackets started at their own 16, 37, 20, 21 and 27 – that was just the first half.

Purvis received the opening kickoff and moved the ball 12 yards on 5 plays before punting to the Jackets.

A good punt of 35 yards set the Jackets starting at the 16.  The first drive was all too easy for the offense, or should I say Ron Thompson, since for the most part, he was the offense.  All 84 yards of the drive, 3 plays total, one of them a pass, belonged to powerhouse number 27, Ron Thompson.

PAT was good and Jackets were up 7 – 0!

With the week that was, this turned out to actually add fuel to the belief this team had, that all they needed to do was show up, and the game was theirs.

After two consecutive penalties, a long delay, the Jackets finally kicked off from the 20, giving Purvis good field position at the 40 yard line.  Ten consecutive run plays and the Tornadoes were on the board.  PAT was no good, Jackets still lead 7 – 6.

The Prentiss Headlight / Tony Waits —Carneilus Booth #57 leads the way as Chris Thompson #12 makes his way down the field in the Jackets' game against Purvis Friday night.

The Prentiss Headlight / Tony Waits —Carneilus Booth #57 leads the way as Chris Thompson #12 makes his way down the field in the Jackets’ game against Purvis Friday night.

Giving is the Bassfield way, unfortunately on the football field, it is not the thing to do, thou the Jackets, year after year, in early games love to give the ball back to the opponent.

Purvis got its’ first gift thanks to Kenterio Smith on the second run of his on the second drive of the evening.  After an eight yard gain, he put the ball right into the hands of Purvis at the 49 yard line.

Capitalizing almost immediately, Purvis was poised to take advantage of the gifts and poor play of the Jackets, the mental errors; basically willing to take anything the Jackets had to give and the Jackets were willing to give.  On the 5th play of the drive, the final 18 yards was a simple run that hand slaps couldn’t stop.  Purvis two point PAT pass was good to a trailing receiver in the back of the end zone and Jackets trailed 7 – 14.

Ron Thompson once again with a pass catch and four runs, finished off an 80 yard drive from 3 yards out, walking into the end zone giving the Jackets an opportunity to tie this one up, which they did, with Ron kicking the point as well, then kicking off.  Game tied 14 – 14.

Purvis starting their next drive at midfield, but moving backwards with at least one good defensive stand, had to punt again, this time a 34 yard punt, Jackets starting deep at the 21.

Not being able to move the ball the Jackets coaching staff decided to go for a 4th and 3 at the 26 yard line.  Unable to convert, Purvis takes over with less than 30 yards to go to the end zone.

The Jackets defense stepped up again and stopped the Tornadoes cold, allowing 3 yards on 4 plays.

Ron Thompson went back to work finishing off the half with 129 yards rushing on 11 carries, two PAT’s and one pass for 10 yards and 2 touchdowns.

The Jackets started the second half exactly as they started their first drive of the game.  Three plays and Ron Thompson went 47 yards to go ahead 20 – 14.

Purvis looked across, whatever you do, I can do better – 2 plays and 67 yards, PAT good – Purvis back on top 20 – 21.

All this and only two and one half minutes had passed.

Jackets seemed to run at will, then the defense of Purvis would take over, going for it again on 4th and 1 at their 35, the Jackets run was stuffed as Jafaris McKines gained nothing and Purvis had another short field.

Defense played hard, bent but did not break, holding off Purvis, but penalties at crucial times always seem to creep into the Jackets play somehow.  With a 3rd and 9 at the Jackets 10, a pass attempt was stopped, but the field goal was not – 26 yard attempt split the uprights and the Tornadoes took a 20 – 24 lead.

With both teams weary, a boggy field that had been soaked for hours before the game, was taking its’ toll on all.  A punt fest ensued – Jackets a 33 yard punt, Purvis a net 26 yard punt, then finally a break for the Jackets – a 30 yard punt hit the Purvis returner, Jackets recovered, advantage Bassfield.

Finally good field position at the Purvis 30 and the offense had to grind this one out, using up four minutes on eight plays, along with two crucial motion penalties on the same player, but finally Ron Thompson took over and scored from 5 yards out, giving the Jackets the lead at the 4:56 mark of the 4th quarter.

The two point conversion was good on first try, but again, a motion penalty brought the ball back, this time two point no good, instead of a 4 point lead, the Jackets only had a 2 point lead 26 – 24.

Finally, a negative starting field position for Purvis, but not for long – a 33 yard run on the first play, and Purvis was back in control, set to take the lead as the clock was running out.  Using another 5 plays to get the ball to the 6 yard line setting up a field goal attempt to take the lead.  23 yards out, the kick was perfect and once again the Jackets trailed 26 – 27, with 1:21 to play and one time out, the Jackets back was against the wall.

Starting at the 35 after a pooch kick, short runs, short passes, was not enough. With limited opportunity to go deep, the Jackets clock ran out, and lessons abound were left, question is, did they learn anything.

“Neither you  or I was the best we could be tonight – we learned tonight that we cannot come in unprepared…learn from this lesson or go down from here,” Mancuso said with humility to the team after the game.

Bassfield stays home to face the Collins Tigers this week against the 3A State Champion of 2015.  In most cases this would be a major match up, but the world knows Collins is starting over, losing a ton of seniors, its’ head coach who tucked tail and ran.  Bassfield native Eric Booth, new head coach is finding his offense is struggling, and his defense non-existent in the first three games.

If the Jackets learned any lessons from last weeks practice and play, Collins is in for a long night, and the Jackets starters should be in for a much needed rest in the second half before heading to Florida the following week.

Ron Thompson finished the game with 21 carries for 213 yards, 4 rushing touchdowns, caught two passes for 23 yards,  two PAT’s, kicked off every kick, played defense and on punts, Mr. YellowJacket for this week, bar-non.  The offense ran 45 times for 326 and passed 4 of 8 for 33 yards.

Jackets still ranked #2 in Region 2A by MaxPrep still trailing Bay Springs after week 2.