Minor hands Jasper fifth straight loss

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ADAMSVILLE — Minor downed Jasper 38-17 in the Tigers’ homecoming game Friday night, extending the Vikings’ losing streak to five games.

Jasper (1-5 overall, 0-3 in Class 6A, Region 6) fought hard throughout the game but couldn’t overcome several penalties at key moments in the game. The most devastating call was a holding penalty that brought back a touchdown run which would have put the Vikings up 17-13 late in the third quarter. Instead, Minor (4-2, 2-2) scored four plays later to take a 20-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

“I’m so proud of this team for how hard they fought,” Jasper Coach Philip Bailey said. “I wouldn’t want to coach another other team at all. That is how much these guys mean to me. We were right there. If a couple of things go our way in the second half, that is a different ball game.”

Preston Reed, a junior, started the game at quarterback for Jasper, his first start of the season. That move seemed to jumpstart the Vikings’ offense early in the game. Reed finished the night with 66 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. He also completed 6-of-14 passes for 32 yards.

Jasper opened the game with a 12-play drive that took nearly five minutes off the clock. Reed connected on a 32-yard field goal to give Jasper a 3-0 lead.

The teams traded possessions until early in the second quarter when Minor scored its first points of the night. An offsides call on Jasper on 4th-and-3 gave the Tigers a first down from the 15, allowing Alex Glass to connect with Jason Gaddis on a touchdown pass. The extra point was blocked, but Minor led 6-3 with 11:46 left in the second quarter.

Minor finished the first half with a 75-yard, 13-play drive, which was capped by a short run from David Gardner Jr. to give the Tigers a 13-3 lead at halftime.

Jasper opened the second half scoring when Mayson Slaughter picked off a Minor pass, stumbled for a few yards before finding his footing and returned it 57 yards for a touchdown. The PAT from Reed cut the deficit to 13-10.

After holding Minor on 4th down, Jasper looked to have taken the lead on its next possession when Slaughter took a pitch from Reed and burst down the sideline 49 yards to the end zone. Unfortunately, a holding call brought the score back. The Vikings punted and four plays later Minor scored on a 63-yard pass to take a 20-10 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Tigers added two touchdowns, before Reed scored on a quarterback keeper. Minor scored once again the fourth to make the final 38-17.

After four weeks away from home, Jasper will host Jackson-Olin (3-3, 1-2) next Friday in another region game. The Mustangs lost via forfeit to Clay-Chalkville on Friday. It is the second time this season Jackson-Olin has been forced to forfeit due to a positive COVID-19 test.

“Our schedule has been tough. The first five teams we played were ranked. Minor could very well be a ranked team. We are happy to be getting back to home next week,” Bailey said.