Jaguars snap losing streak with decisive victory
By Paul Keane
MERIDIAN — Wayne Academy didn't just end a 20-game losing streak here Friday night; the Jaguars annihilated it.
After losing all of its games over the past two years, the Jaguars came out fast and furious on a wet turf to take a 50-8 victory over Russell Christian Academy. For the first time since the 2013 season, W.A. has tasted victory at the varsity football level.
"This game was huge for our players," Head Coach Sean Harrison said. "This gets the monkey off their backs and gives them some confidence heading into the rest of the season. I have to give all of the credit to our players because they came out and took control of things and never looked back.
"The guys came out and gave it great effort from the start of the game, and giving great effort all of the time is something we've been preaching about all preseason long. I'm just so proud for our seniors because that is a group of kids who had not won a varsity football game in their careers until tonight."
Harrison said there will be a little bit of celebrating the victory, but not too much.
"The kids need to go out and enjoy this, but come midnight we all need to put it behind us. We've got to start getting ready for Bowling Green next week."
The Jaguars came out hot from the start of the game, as Kyle Sanderson recovered a fumble at the RCA 26-yard line on the third play of the night. On first down, the Jags lined up Quasi Myers at left tackle but did not cover him up, meaning he became an eligible receiver. On the Jaguars' first offensive snap of 2015, quarterback Zach Hutchison hit Myers in stride for a 26-yard touchdown. The Grayson Livingston kick made it 7-0 with 10:51 remaining in the opening quarter of play.
On the ensuing kickoff, Steven Keane kicked it onside and Matt Landrum landed on the loose ball, giving W.A. possession at its own 49-yard line. Nine plays later, Hutchison scored the first of his three rushing touchdowns, this time on a 1-yard plunge up the middle, and the Livingston kick made it 14-0 with 8:04 remaining in the period.
The defense held but on a third-and-16 from its own 34-yard line, RCA was able to hit a short pass that turned into a 54-yard gain. Considering the Warriors would end the night with 80 yards of total offense, the play was the highlight of the night for the home team. A roughing the passer call on the play moved the ball down to the W.A. 6. Even from that short distance, it took the Warriors four plays to score, with the final play being a 1-yard run on fourth-and-goal. The two-point conversion cut the deficit down to 14-8 with 4:55 left in the first.
A fumble on the ensuing series gave the Warriors possession at their own 43-yard line. The defense held again, though, despite RCA reaching the 7-yard line of the Jaguars at one point. Consecutive sacks and an intentional grounding call on the second sack allowed W.A. to take over on downs at its own 38-yard line.
Seven plays later, Hutchison would score on an 18-yard run, and the Livingston kick opened up a 21-8 lead with 9:28 left in the half.
A fake punt on Russell's next possession failed to reach the first-down marker, giving the Jaguars possession at the 36-yard line of the Warriors. Two plays later, Hutchison would score his third rushing touchdown of the night, this time on a 35-yard scamper up the middle. Brayden Doss ran in a two-point conversion and the Jaguars held a commanding 29-8 lead with 6:49 remaining before the intermission.
But the visiting team was far from done for the half.
Three plays and a punt later, the Jaguars took over at their own 38-yard line. On second down, Hutchison hit a wide open Livingston up the middle and the senior easy pulled away from three defenders en route to a 55-yard scoring strike. Just for good measure, Livingston booted the extra point and it was a 36-8 contest with 2:58 remaining.
Another three-and-out for the home team allowed W.A. to set up shop at its own 23-yard line. Two plays later, Hutchison hit Doss with a 38-yard touchdown pass, and Livingston hit the extra point to open up a 43-8 lead with 1:13 remaining in the half.
At halftime, the Jaguars had rushed for 157 yards and passed for another 164 while holding the Warriors to 25 yards rushing and 62 passing. Both coaches agreed to a running clock in the second half, allowing the final two quarters to be played in just over 30 minutes of actual time.
A bad snap on a punt gave the Jaguars possession at the RCA 39-yard line with 7:08 left in the third quarter. On first down, Matt Landrum burst up the middle for the touchdown, with the Livingston kick making it 50-8.
With a clock that was running very fast, neither team was able to produce much more offense as time quickly faded away into the night sky. Harrison was able to empty his bench and give a number of younger players some much-needed playing time.
At the end of the game, players doused their head coach with a bucket of ice water, making his close only slightly more damp than they were after standing outside in a steady drizzle the entire night.
For the game, the Jaguars rushed for 211 yards and passed for the same 164 they had in the first half, as there was no need to attempt to throw in the second half. The defense stiffened in the final two quarters, holding the Warriors to minus-16 yards rushing and only 9 yards passing in the final two stanzas. For the night, RCA finished with 9 yards rushing and 71 passing for a total of 80 yards.
Hutchison led the offense, rushing for 131 yards on nine carries and passing for all of the 164 yards on a 5-of-6 performance. Myers hauled in a pair of passes for 65 yards to help lead the receiving corps.
Defensively, Kyle Sanderson led the way with 16 tackles while Keane recorded 11 tackles, three sacks and a quarterback pressure.
The Jaguars come home this Friday night to face Bowling Green, La., in a non-district game. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at T.F. Giles Field.
WAYNE ACADEMY 50, RUSSELL CHRISTIAN 8
SCORE BY QUARTERS
WA 14 29 7 0 — 50
RCA 8 0 0 0 — 8
WA — 10:51, Quasi Myers 26-yard pass from Zach Hutchison. Grayson Livingston kick.
WA — 8:04, Hutchison 1-yard run. Livingston kick.
RCA — 4:55, 1-yard pass. Run for extra point.
WA — 9:28, Hutchison 18-yard run. Livingston kick.
WA — 6:49, Hutchison 35-yard run. Brayden Doss run.
WA — 2:58, Livingston 55-yard pass from Hutchison. Livingston kick.
WA — 1:13, Doss 38-yard pass from Hutchison.
WA — 6:07, Matt Landrum 39-yard run. Livingston kick.
FIRST DOWNS: WA 13, RCA 5
RUSHES-YARDS: WA 25-211, RCA 31-9
PASSES: WA 5-6-0, RCA 4-7-0
PASSING YARDS: WA 164, RCA 71
FUMBLES-LOST: WA 4-3, RCA 6-2
PENALTIES-YARDS: WA 5-31, RCA 4-16
PUNTS-AVERAGE: WA 0-0.0, RCA 3-31.0
RETURN YARDS: WA 0, RCA 45
THIRD DOWN CONVERSIONS: WA 0-of-4, RCA 1-of-9
FOURTH DOWN CONVERSIONS: WA 3-of-3, RCA 1-of-3
TIME OF POSSESSION: WA 19:36, RCA 28:24
Zach Hutchison 9-131, Matt Landrum 10-75, Jarred Loper 4-6, Steven Keane 1-0, Brayden Doss 1-(-1).
Zach Hutchison 5-6-0 164 yards.
Quasi Myers 2-65, Grayson Livingston 1-55, Brayden Doss 1-38, Steven Keane 1-6.
Kyle Sanderson 16, Steven Keane 11, Quasi Myers 6, Luke Mills 5, Cameron Brewer 5, Cole Hutto 4, Kaiden Perry 4, Matt Landrum 4, Jaymin Hudson 3, Richie Anderson 2, Jarred Loper 2, Grayson Livingston 1, Brayden Doss 1, Zach Hutchison 1, Cody Brewer 1, Heath Harvison 1, Jax Smith 1.
Steven Keane 3, Jaymin Hudson 2, Jarred Loper 1.
Steven Keane 1, Kaiden Perry 1, Cole Harris 1, Andrew Boyles 1.
Brayden Doss 1, Kyle Sanderson 1.
War Eagles top Vikings in late night battle
By Sean Dunlap
VICKSBURG – To open its 2015 varsity campaign, Wayne County – behind a potent offense and stifling defense -- pounded Warren Central High School in a 42-28 win over the Vikings in the annual renewal of the Red Carpet Bowl.
“Despite a number of injuries – four on defense and one on offense – coming into the game, we were able to do what we had to do to win,” said Wayne County Head Football Coach Todd Mangum. “I thought we made some good strides on offense and had some key stops on defense … still, there are some things we’re going to be working on coming into our short week.”
The War Eagles are scheduled to play on Thursday, Aug. 27 at Oak Grove in a contest slated to start at 7 p.m. The game had originally been scheduled to be played on Friday, Aug. 28.
Against Warren Central, the WCHS offense flexed its muscles thanks in large part to 279 yards on 29 carries while the War Eagles spread their wings to pick up 184 yards on a 15-21-0 passing effort. Meanwhile, the Vikings gained a meager 56 yards on 24 carries thanks to a stingy WCHS defensive front and produced 185 passing yards in an 11-21-1 effort.
Wayne County spotted Warren Central seven points in the first quarter where the Vikings found the end zone on a four-play drive that was capped 18-yard pass with 3:25 remaining in the opening frame. The successful PAT put Warren Central on top, 7-0.
The War Eagles’ offense found its groove in the second quarter – first on a three-play drive that saw Freddie Jordan Jr., take the handoff from quarterback Reggie Stewart and he would race 64 yards for the score with 9:40 left before intermission. The Brett Reynolds’ point-after try was good to knot the game at 7-all.
Wayne County scored twice more before the mid-game break – on a seven-play that ended when Jordan Jr., raced in from a yard out for a touchdown with 5:50 showing on the clock and then, two minutes later, Schdarius Chambers scored on a 27-yard run. Reynolds kicked back-to-back PATs to give WCHS a 21-7 lead at intermission.
Warren Central took advantage of the big play to start the second half – running back the Wayne County kickoff for a 74-yard touchdown that drained eight seconds off the clock. The successful PAT pulled the Vikings to within a touchdown of Wayne County’s lead.
The War Eagles’ offensive mojo began flowing again with back-to-back scores. A four-play, one-minute drive saw Stewart hit RaMeik Wallace for a 25-yard score with 7:14 remaining in the frame. Reynolds’ PAT opened a 28-14 lead for WCHS.
Then, three minutes later, Stewart hit Wallace – in full stride – again for a 40-yard touchdown pass and the successful Reynolds’ kick opened a 35-14 Wayne County lead.
WCHS hoped to add to its lead before the end of the third quarter with a 36-yard field goal attempt by Reynolds that missed with 1:13 remaining in the frame.
In the fourth quarter, Warren scored to open the final frame with an eight-yard touchdown run with 9:36 remaining in regulation. The PAT narrowed Wayne County’s lead to 35-21.
The War Eagles responded immediately with an 11-play drive that drained four minutes off the clock. Chamber capped the series with a 12-yard touchdown run and the Reynolds’ PAT put Wayne County out to a 42-21 advantage.
The final score of the night came on Warren’s last drive – a series that was mired in controversy as a pass interference call against Wayne County in the end zone set up a five-yard touchdown with 1:45 left to play in the game.
The controversy came when a Warren receiver and WCHS defender were trading jabs going up for a pass and the War Eagles were flagged on the infraction to give the Vikings a first and goal at the WCHS 5 yard line.
The subsequent Warren score and PAT set the final margin of victory for Wayne County at 42-28.
The victory gives the War Eagles an early 1-0 record to start the season, a milestone that was noted by Mangum following the game. “We’re glad to come out of this game with a win and hopefully we will be able to keep getting those wins,” he said.
On offense, the War Eagles were led by Jordan Jr., who amassed a game-high 147 yards on the ground on 17 carries while teammate Chambers rushed five times for 65 yards. Cooley had 11 carries for 48 yards and Stewart carried nine times for 16 yards.
In the receiving department, WCHS was led by Wallace, who had four snares for 9 yards while Will Mangum pulled down three passes for 43 yards. Jonathan McDougle had four receptions for 32 yards and Chauncey Carter gained 20 yards on four carries.
On defense, the War Eagles saw Deandre Gandy excel with 10 tackles to pace the team and he also had a sack and a quarterback pressure to his credit. Teammate Jesquavius Leggett recorded eight tackles and had a sack in the affair.
Denzel Bonner also had a strong night with seven tackles while Benito Jones finished with six tackles and picked up a pair of quarterback pressures.
Deon Smith had the lone War Eagles interception on the night while Zavier Lampley and Devin Washam each had a pass break-up.
WCHS 0 21 14 7 42
WARREN 7 0 7 14 28
SCORING BY QUARTER
3:33 – Warren, 6-yard touchdown pass. PAT good. Warren 7, WCHS 0.
9:40 – WCHS, Freddy Jordan Jr., 64-yard touchdown run. Brett Reynolds PAT. WCHS 7, Warren 7.
5:50 – WCHS, Jordan Jr., 1-yard touchdown run. Reynolds PAT. WCHS 14, Warren 7.
3:01 – WCHS, Schdarius Chambers 27-yard touchdown run. Reynolds PAT. WCHS 21, Warren 7.
11:52 – Warren, 74 yard kickoff return for touchdown. PAT good. Warren 14, WCHS 21.
7:14 – WCHS, Reggie Stewart to RaMeik Wallace 25-yard touchdown pass. Reynolds PAT. WCHS 28, Warren 7.
4:41 – WCHS, Stewart to Wallace 40-yard touchdown pass. Reynolds PAT. WCHS 35, Warren 14.
1:13 – WCHS, Reynolds 36-yard field goal attempt fails. WCHS 35, Warren 14.
9:36 – Warren, eight yard touchdown run. PAT good. Warren 21, WCHS 35.
5:12 – WCHS, Chambers 12-yard touchdown run. Reynolds PAT. WCHS 42, Warren 21.
1:45 – Warren, five-yard touchdown pass. PAT good. Warren 28, WCHS 42.
First Downs: Wayne County 27, Warren 12
Rushes-Yards: Wayne County, 29-279; Warren, 24-56
Passes: Wayne County, 15-21-0; Warren, 11-21-1
Yards: Wayne County, 184; Warren, 185
Fumbles-Lost: Wayne County , 1-1; Warren, 1-0
Punts-Average: Wayne County, 4-34; Warren, 4-27.75
Third Downs-Conversions: Wayne County, 2-of-8; Warren, 4-of-11
Fourth Downs-Conversions: Wayne County, 2-of-3; Warren, 0-of-1
Penalties: Wayne County, 3-17; Warren, 6-56
Return Yards: Wayne County, 109; Warren, 177
Time of Possession: Wayne County, 25:16; Warren, 22:44
Rushing: Freddie Jordan Jr., 17-147; Schdarius Chambers, 5-65; Chris Cooley, 11-48; Reggie Stewart, 9-16; W.C. Washington, 3-3.
Passing: Reggie Stewart, 15-21-0, 184 yards.
Receiving: RaMeik Wallace, 4-89; Will Mangum, 3-43; Jonathan McDougle, 4-32; Chauncey Carter, 4-20.
Tackles: Deande Gandy, 10; Jesquavius Leggett, 8; Denzel Bonner, 7; Benito Jones, 6; Jamarcus Fisher, 5; Cody Taylor, 5; C.J. Chambers, 3; Quindarius Bivens, 3; Roy Arrington, 2; Kendrick Fuqua, 2; Devin Washam, 2; Kaleb Pitts, 1; Deon Smith, 1; Corey Polite, 1; Malik Jordan, 1; Vernon Sumrall, 1; Clinton Jordan, 1; Zavier Lampley, 1; Schdarius Chambers 1;
Sacks: Deandre Gandy, 1.
Pressure: Benito Jones, 2; Deandre Gandy, 1.
Pass Break-ups: Jesquavius Leggett, 1; Devin Washam, 1; Zavier Lampley, 1.
Interceptions: Deon Smith, 1.