Jackets win county championship

Published 12:43 pm Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Bassfield Yellowjackets have won their 12th straight County Championship. A game that went as predicted, even down to the officiating, the Bassfield Yellowjackets once again prevailed in a hard fought, great sportsmanship game from all involved. Everything started and ended on the field.

Bassfield could have put this game away early, but was not able to capitalize on Bulldog errors. But, that’s what you expect from a game like this, both playing well, and both playing poorly. It always comes down to which one can overcome mistakes and capitalize and which one does not.

This is the 9th straight County Championship win for Coach Lance Mancuso.

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The Jackets dominated statistically on both sides of the ball. Offensively, the Jackets ran the ball 39 times for 315 yards and 6 TDs. Prentiss ran 30 times for 52 yards and zero TDs.

Bassfield passed for 14 yards on two of five passes and one interception.

Prentiss threw six of 16 for 71 yards one TD, one two point conversion, but four interceptions. Bassfield had 329 total yards while Prentiss had 123 total yards.

Player and MVP of the game has to go to Ron Thompson of Bassfield . Thompson had18 carries, 152 yards, three TD’s, one two-point run, three PAT kicks, three solo tackles, and all kickoffs.

The game started with no clock of any kind, first advantage Bulldogs.

Prentiss took the opening kickoff with bad field position at their own three yard line after a backwards kickoff return by the Bulldogs. A three and out, a bad punt and the Jackets were in business at the Bulldog 25 to start their first drive.

The Jackets didn’t capitalize on this gift due to a rare fumble by Ron Thompson after a one-yard run.

Then the flags starting flying like confetti for a Prentiss personal foul, encroachment Bassfield, off sides Prentiss. Two negative runs, and on 3rd and 32 at the one-yard line, Zion Hathorn intercepted an errant pass at the 20 yard line, another gift. This time it took 3 more plays with a Bulldog penalty and the Jackets led 6 – 0 after a missed PAT sometime in the first quarter.

Another gift by Prentiss as a good kickoff return to the 40 was dropped and the Jackets picked it up there. Believing that turnabout is fair play, the Lyric Hall threw his first pass, unfortunately to a Prentiss receiver at the Jackets 11 yard line.

Managing a first down, Prentiss tried a fake punt, coming up one yard short on the attempted run.

Taking over at the Bulldog 36, it took only five plays before Ron Thompson finished the drive from 25 yards out, giving the Jackets a 14 – 0 lead after Jafharis McKines two point conversion, still sometime in the first quarter.

A quick three and out by the Bulldogs, thanks to a stiff fired-up defense of Bassfield, Prentiss should have been heading to the sideline, but Kenterio Smith fumbled the punt, giving another gift to the Bulldogs. Going for it again on 4th and six after a Bulldog delay of game, the Jackets defense stuffed the would be runner for a one yard gain at the Jackets 35.

Prentiss showed that they could play defense as well on the Jackets next series, but the biggest loss in this series was Lyric Hall hitting the turf untouched as his leg gave way, putting him out of the game and for undetermined time frame at this point.

A good 35 yard punt by Cade Perrin, I believe the first in district play, turned into a re-kick as the hankies started falling against the Jackets in a one sided affair. The re-kick was partially blocked and traveled only 7 yards giving Prentiss great field position at the Jackets 32.

The Bulldogs took advantage with a good pass, a pass interference against the Jackets, and scored from two yards out. Two point try was dropped and Jackets kept the lead at 14 – 6 in the second quarter.

On the next drive, the officials lost total control of themselves and the game. A holding on a long run by the Jackets brought the ball back to the 26 yard line. A, pass believed to have been tipped,

was caught by a Jacket lineman. The officials ruled that it was not touched and Jackets were assessed an illegal touching penalty. The ball marked 3rd down, punt team came off the field, and the Jackets threw an incomplete pass.

The referee then gave possession to the Bulldogs, claiming it was 4th down, not 3rd, though the down marker showed 3rd and officials told the world it was 3rd.

The Jackets were set back further with an poor sportsmanship penalty for the coaches arguing the point, nonetheless, Bulldog ball at the Jacket 14 yard line.

Prentiss took advantage and scored on the 5th run, again, the two point conversion was no good. The Jackets lead now 14 – 12, still sometime in the 2nd quarter.

The Jackets went to work, and on the second play, Ron Thompson took his handoff to the house from 52 yards out, PAT was good, Jackets up 20 – 12.

The timekeeper on the field informed the Jacket bench that at the start of the Bulldog drive that there was 1:15 seconds left in the game. A run by Prentiss that resulted in a four-yard sack, remember clock running, huddle, back to the line, then a six yard pass, and clock running. The time keeper informs the Jacket bench that there are 50 seconds to play, huddle, then another pass, this one picked off by Gerobe Peters at the 30 and returned 10 yards to the 40. Suddenly there are only 10 seconds when Jackets take possession.

The Jackets took the opening second half kickoff and went 82 yards in four plays, the last 77 by Ron Thompson straight down the gut, two-point PAT was good and the Jackets are up 28 – 12 at the 10:37 mark of the 3rd quarter.

A pass interference was called on the Jackets, but Jackets didn’t let that bother them as Tracey Easterling picked off the Jackets third interception of the night.

Not able to do anything with this defensive turnover, the Jackets had to punt; this time a high short punt netted 12 yards, giving Prentiss field advantage at their 47 yard line.

Prentiss used passing, then pass interference call against the Jackets, before hitting a good pass in the end zone from 23 yards out. The two-point pass attempt was good cutting the Jackets lead to 28 – 20.

Now it was time to put this one away, as the Jackets went to the run with one pass added in, and Ron Thompson scored his third TD of the evening, this time from 33 yards out. The PAT good and Jackets lead was extended back to 14 points at 34 – 20.

The Bulldogs went to the air, straight to Tracey Easterling for his second interception of the evening. Ten seconds into the 4th quarter, the Jackets went into clock management, and ate up six minutes and 17 seconds of the quarter, Ron Thompson getting his fourth TD of the night, PAT was no good. Jackets were in control 41 – 20.

Gerobe Peters took in his second interception of the evening tipping the ball around before landing it and returning it 13 yards. The Jackets took a knee for the final play of the game.

Both teams are now headed to the first round of playoffs, with Bassfield at home against the 1 – 9 East Marion Eagles, the number 4 seed in 8-2A. The Bulldogs will travel to Taylorsville to play their first game, the 8 – 2A number 2 seed

If there has ever been a really bad district, region 8 – 2A is the definition of bad. North Forrest won its last four games, all divisional, and with a record of 4 – 7, wins the district. Taylorsville is also 4 – 6, but lost to North Forrest, and Mize is the third seed with a 3 – 7 record. East Marion is the fourth seed with a 1 – 9 record. The South is weak with the exception of a couple of teams, and I’ll let you decide which ones you think fit the definition of stronger than Bassfield.

It is a one and done game format, and anything can happen. With a Jacket win, Bassfield will either travel to Madison St. Joe, or Newton will come to Bassfield.

In round three, it could be possible to be traveling to a losing record team’s facilities to play. The other teams in the Jacket bracket are Loyd Star traveling to North Forrest and Heidelberg traveling to Puckett.

Game time 7 p.m. at Willoughby Field in Bassfield. All teams are now 0 – 0 and it’s win or go home.