After reeling off 11 straight wins, the Jasper Vikings season came to an end Friday in a 41-21 loss to Mortimer Jordan in the third round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 5A …
After reeling off 11 straight wins, the Jasper Vikings season came to an end Friday in a 41-21 loss to Mortimer Jordan in the third round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 5A playoffs.
The Blue Devils (12-1) rolled to more than 300 yards on the ground and controlled the clock for most of the game, including holding Jasper to only three offensive plays in the third quarter — a quarter that saw Mortimer Jordan take its first lead of the night and never look back.
“This isn’t what we wanted,” Jasper Head Coach Bryan Moore said. “We knew Mortimer Jordan had a quality program, and this was going to be a tough game. I thought we would take over the game in the second half after being tied at 14 going into halftime. That didn’t happen. They controlled the ball with their offense and I can’t take anything away from them.”
Jasper’s offense struggled on the ground, failing to run for more than 100 yards for the first time this season. The Vikings’ passing attack found success early, but once rain set in late in the first quarter, the yards were also hard to come by in the air. Michael Crear led Jasper with 235 passing yards and two touchdowns on 19-of-27 passing. Cole Bonner was his favorite target, catching nine passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns.
Jasper (11-2) opened the scoring on the night on its first drive when Crear hit Bonner on a 38-yard touchdown on a fourth down play. Jasper led 7-0.
The Blue Devils answered quickly with a 22-yard pass from quarterback Kourtlan Marsh. The extra point was missed. Jasper led 7-6 with 5:06 left in the first quarter.
On the ensuing possession, Jasper drove 82 yards with another Crear to Bonner touchdown, for 20 yards this time, to cap the drive. Jasper led 14-6 with 3:04 left in the first.
Mortimer Jordan answered the Jasper score again, with Garrett Helm scoring on a 27-yard run. Marsh connected with Garek Hall on the 2-point conversion try to tie the game at 14 with 2:18 left in the first quarter.
The two teams traded punts throughout the second quarter with the score remaining 14-14 at halftime.
Mortimer Jordan received the second half kickoff, going on a more than 6-minute drive that was capped when Hall scored on an 11-yard run. The extra point gave the Blue Devils a 21-14 lead.
That lead was increased only a couple of plays into the fourth quarter when Marsh scored on a 2-yard run to give Mortimer Jordan a 28-14 with11:25 left in the game.
The Vikings put together a good drive in response to the Blue Devils’ touchdown, but a fumble by Kaden Shelton on a screen pass was returned 86 yards by Helm to increase the Mortimer Jordan lead to 34-14.
Jasper managed another score with five minutes left in the game when Crear scored on a 3-yard run. Mortimer Jordan also added a late score on a 20-yard run by Marsh to make the final deficit 41-21.
Mortimer Jordan will move to the Class 5A semifinal round where the Blue Devils will host Central-Clay County next week.
Jasper season ends, but Moore said he is proud of the strides his team made this year.
“This team has a lot to be proud of, and these seniors have worked so hard for everything this year. I am so proud of them,” Moore said. “I can’t say enough about how this entire team has worked this year. Nobody should be hanging their heads. We didn’t get where we wanted to get, but this has been a great season.”