No. 1 Jasper cruises past Mustangs, 55-14

Central Clay County up next for Vikings

The Jasper Vikings earned a 55-14 victory over Madison Academy in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs Friday night at Ki-Ro Gambrell Field. After trailing 14-13 at the end of the first quarter, Jasper reeled off 42 unanswered points in the final three quarters. “We did what we needed to do,” Jasper Coach Bryan Moore said. “It just gets harder and harder from here. I cautioned everybody that’s a good team. I don’t care if it’s a one (seed) and a four (seed). In the playoffs, you’ve got to fight. These people have made the playoffs for a reason. They have a really good coach over there, and they gave us some trouble. “We are going to celebrate this,” he continued. “(My wife) Lindsey and I will go to Montgomery tonight. We will go to the (playoff) meeting tomorrow, and half the coaches won’t be there. Every week it gets like that, and you just appreciate the blessings that you have and the opportunities that God gives us to go and do these things.” The Vikings finished with 538 total yards (348 rushing and 190 passing) in the game. Senior running back Kaden Shelton scored three touchdowns on the night, rushing for 56 yards and a score on 12 carries, while also catching three passes for 76 yards and two scores. His senior backfield mate J.C. Collins returned from a two-week absence due to a knee injury to rush for 60 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. Freshman quarterback Spencer Rosenfeld carried the ball twice for 90 yards and a touchdown. Carson Alvis also caught a touchdown pass on the night. Jasper’s defense also bent but did not break in the game, giving up 316 total yards on the night. Harrison Saunders had 16 tackles to lead the team. Taris Rudolph added 14 tackles. Sheldrick Cherry finished with 11 tackles. Mason Slaughter, Jaden Vance and Kentavious Catlin had eight tackles each. Catlin also had a 68-yard fumble return for a touchdown.

The Vikings also scored on special teams when Averiun Berry returned a kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown. Moore said the difference in the game was a 99-yard scoring drive for Jasper late in the second quarter. With the Vikings leading 20-14, they went on a 13-play drive that was capped by a 1-yard touchdown run from Shelton. Jasper led 27-14 late in the second quarter, holding that same lead at halftime. “The 99-yard drive near the end of the first half was the difference in the game. Being able to knock it out from the half yard line and go 99 is huge. I’m proud of our kids. Playoff wins are big,” Moore said. Jasper will now host Central-Clay County in the second round. Central-Clay defeated Sardis 47-14 in the first round. The Vikings defeated Central-Clay in the regular season 35-34 in overtime on the road. “They are really good. We have our work cut out for us,” Moore said. “It is hard to beat a good team twice. We have to play better than we did over there. We were penalized heavily, and we can’t do that or we won’t win. It will be a lot of fun. These games are why you coach and why you play, because you want to play people like this. But I’m glad that we are here; glad we are at Ki-Ro. That is huge. This is the position that we want to be in. “I’m just proud of these kids and the way they fight every week,” Moore added. “They are not done. There is unfinished business here, and I’m excited to see them play next week. Go Vikes!”