JCJC defeats Southwest, 33-21

|Shawn Wansley, JCJC's Sports Information Director

ELLISVILLE, Miss. - It was a tale of two halves here Thursday night at Bobcat Stadium/Sim Cooley Field.

The 14th-rated Jones County Junior College Bobcats outscored Southwest 16-0 in the second half and defeated the Bears 33-21 in an MACJC South Division contest.

After being outgained 271-171 in total offense in the first half, JCJC turned the tables on the Bears 218-25 in the second half. The Bobcats limited the Bears to just three first downs in the second half.

JCJC running back Scott Phillips (South Jones) had another stellar game, rushing 27 times for 186 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Mason Blocker (Covington, Louisiana) completed 13-of-20 passes for 131 yards and a score.

There was a scary moment late in the first quarter when Bobcat safety Jonathan Abram (East Marion) was injured while making a tackle.

As a precautionary measure, medical staff at the game quickly called for an ambulance to be brought onto the field.

Abram was checked out and tweeted after the game, “Thanks everyone for checking on me, I don’t know what happened.. Just remember waking up in ambulance, but CT is good jst a major concussion.”

With the victory, JCJC is now 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the division. The Bears fall to 1-4 and 0-2.

JCJC began the game in splendid fashion.

DeShawn Smith (Brooksville, Florida) took the opening kickoff at his own 5-yard line, appeared to be bottled up near his own 25, but broke outside and ran away from the defenders for a 95-yard return for a touchdown. Brady Farlow’s (Purvis) extra point gave the Bobcats a quick 7-0 lead.

But moments later, Smith fumbled a punt and the Bears recovered at the JCJC 19.

Four plays later, Nakia Trotter scored on a 3-yard run. Ruben Maldonado’s conversion tied the game at 7-7 with 10:43 left in the first quarter.

Two possessions later, JCJC would move 51 yards in five plays and take the lead.

Phillips took a handoff, went up the middle, cut to his left and raced 36 yards for a touchdown. Phillips accounted all 51 yards in the drive. Farlow’s extra point gave the Bobcats a 14-7 lead with 7:24 left in the first quarter.

But the Bears would take advantage of a Bobcat mistake to tie it up.

JCJC punter Taylor Wallace (Jackson Prep) was tackled for a 9-yard loss on a fake punt attempt and the Bears took over at the Bobcat 12.

Three plays later, quarterback Neil McLaurin found Ravian Pierce for a 10-yard touchdown pass on a third and 8 play. Maldonado’s extra point made it 14-14 with 3:38 still remaining in the first quarter.

The JCJC defense would force a turnover and set up the next score.

Southwest quarterback Casey Haygood connected with Javian Jackson for a 23-yard completion into Bobcat territory. But JCJC cornerback Javien Hamilton (Bay Springs) stripped the ball from him and Travis Reed (Meridian) recovered at the Bobcat 39.

Seven plays later, Farlow booted a 49-yard field goal and Jones took a 17-14 lead with 9:12 left in the first half.

But Southwest came right back and marched 75 yards in seven plays to take the lead. Mikel Anderson scored on a 1-yard run and Maldonado’s extra point put the Bears ahead, 21-17.

Southwest had a chance to add to their lead late in the half.

The Bears drove from their own 9 to the JCJC 16 in 14 plays. But Maldonado’s 33-yard field goal attempt on the last play of the half was off to the left and the Bobcats still trailed by four points.

It did not take long for Jones to take the lead for good in the third quarter.

The Bobcats forced a three and out and Smith fielded a punt at his own 43. He returned it 22 yards to the Bear 35.

Seven plays later, Phillips scored on a 3-yard run. Farlow’s extra point gave JCJC a 24-21 lead with 11:28 left in the third quarter.

The Bobcats stopped the next Southwest drive when Tyrek Moody (Petal) tipped a pass and Travis Reed (Meridian) came up with the interception at the JCJC 26.

JCJC was unable to move the ball on that drive, but on their ensuing possession, the Bobcats would drive 55 yards in five plays.

Blocker connected with Jeriko Morris (Crystal Springs) on a 17-yard touchdown pass on a third and 5 play. Farlow’s extra point attempt hit the right upright and was no good, but JCJC now led 30-21 with 4:40 left in the third quarter.

The Bobcats added more points on their next drive when they drove 39 yards in eight plays. Farlow’s 29-yard field goal with 14:29 left in the game ended the scoring.

Two possessions later, Jones ended the game when they started a drive at their own 12 with 6:03 left. They proceeded to run 12 plays – with Phillips carrying the ball nine times – pick up four first downs and run out the clock.

The Bobcats travel to East Central for a 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 6. Southwest visits Pearl River next week.

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