No. 1 Jasper gets ugly win over Lawrence County

By JAMES PHILLIPS, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 10/11/19

The No. 1-ranked Jasper Vikings came into Friday night leading Class 5A in nearly every statistical category, including being the top scoring offense and scoring defense. Unfortunately, those numbers did not scare the Lawrence County Red Devils, who played Jasper close until the fourth quarter, eventually falling 42-20 in a Region 7 matchup.

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No. 1 Jasper gets ugly win over Lawrence County

Posted

The No. 1-ranked Jasper Vikings came into Friday night leading Class 5A in nearly every statistical category, including being the top scoring offense and scoring defense. Unfortunately, those numbers did not scare the Lawrence County Red Devils, who played Jasper close until the fourth quarter, eventually falling 42-20 in a Region 7 matchup.

“I coached a terrible game. That’s the worst football game that I’ve ever coached in my life, and I take full responsibility,” Jasper Coach Bryan Moore said. “We are going to get back to work. Sometimes we need to humble ourselves, and we need to take a hard look at our program and our coaching.

“That’s what we are going to do this weekend,” Moore continued. “We are going to have a hard look at the Jasper coaching staff to figure out what we need to do to get better as well. We didn’t put our kids in the best chance today. We are going to wear this and grow from this.”

Lawrence County did not score an offensive touchdown in the game, scoring on a fake punt, a kick return and an interception return.

“We gave up three non-offensive touchdowns, and that just cannot happen,” Moore said. “We were not ready to play. We were disengaged, disinterested and whatever you want to say, but that is on me for not having us ready.”

Jasper (7-0, 5-0 in the region) did dominate statistically in the game. The Vikings had 472 total yards with 397 on the ground. Lawrence County (3-4, 2-3) finished with 254 total yards, but only ran for 21 yards. Taris Rudolph and Harrison Saunders led the Vikings in tackles with 10 each. Kentavious Catlin picked up eight tackles, while Kaedyn Marchbanks had six tackles.

Jasper’s offense was led by the senior running back duo of Kaden Shelton and J.C. Collins. Shelton ran for 209 yards and four touchdowns on 17 carries, while Collins had 161 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries.

“They picked us up,” Moore said. “When things don’t go well, you’ve got to have kids step up, and they did that tonight.”

Neither team scored in the first quarter. Jasper put itself on the scoreboard first with 8:53 left in the second quarter on Shelton’s first touchdown of the night, a 9-yard run. Lawrence County tied the game at 7 with 4:46 left in the first half when Lane Blankenship took a fake punt 44 yards for a score. Jasper then went on a 12-play drive that took four minutes off the clock to take a 14-7 lead when Collins scored on a 4-yard run. The ensuing kickoff was returned 65 yards by Lawrence County’s Kaden Edwards, tying the game at the half 14-14.

The two teams traded possessions for most of the third quarter with Jasper finally scoring on a 46-yard run by Shelton at the 3:25 mark. The extra point by Preston Reed gave Jasper a 21-14 lead.

The Vikings were looking to increase the lead, driving deep into Lawrence County territory, but the Red Devils answered back when Lowen Borden picked off a Jasper pass and returned it 94 yards for a score. Jasper blocked the extra point to cling to a 21-20 lead.

Three plays later, the Vikings scored on a 21-yard run by Collins to go up 28-20. Shelton added touchdown runs of 16 and 19 yards later in the fourth quarter to push the final score to 42-20.

Jasper will travel to face Russellville next week. The Golden Tigers were previously undefeated before losing on Friday night to Hamilton 17-0.