Homecoming loss creates region logjam
by Lori Tippets
Oct 15, 2013 | 715 views |  0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Players and fans at Jacksonville’s homecoming football game were disappointed when Lincoln handed the Golden Eagles a 28-21 loss.

The loss puts the Eagles in a four-way region tie with Alexandria, Cleburne County, and Lincoln, all with 3-2 records. Munford stands alone at the top of the region with an unblemished 5-0 record.

Jacksonville is in a must win situation now to get to the playoffs needing wins over Cleburne County this week and then Alexandria.

Lincoln did something that no other team has been able to do so far this season, they clamped down on Jacksonville’s premier running back Dominique Thomas, who was held to just 65 yards rushing on 21 carries, way below his average.

As a team, the Golden Eagles could muster only 108 yards rushing. Quarterback Jackson Bell picked up 30 yards rushing with two touchdowns. Bell was also 15-of-26 passing for 168 yards and one touchdown.

Jacksonville was behind the entire game but had a chance to pull the game out in the end only to fall short.

The Golden Eagles found themselves behind 22-7 at the end of the first half.

Lincoln wasted no time getting their first points on the board marching from their own 40-yard line to score from seven yards out on a keeper from quarterback Chance Byrd. Byrd finished the game with 66 yards rushing.

Jacksonville was able to put together an impressive drive on the next series as they Eagles drove downfield to the 14-yard line where Bell hit Nick Gangwer on a 14-yard pass for the touchdown. The extra point by Mason Tompkins was good and the scored was tied at 7-7.

Lincoln’s Zavian Caldwell, only a sophomore, scored again for Lincoln before the end of the first quarter when he took the ball around the left end and ran 28-yards to pay dirt. Caldwell finished the game with 83-yards receiving, 56-yards rushing and an interception.

Moments later the Golden Bears were again knocking on the door when Justin Knight returned a Jacksonville punt to the Golden Eagle five-yard line. Lincoln scored quickly on a touchdown by Jaunta’vius Johnson and with a two-point conversion was up 22-7 at the half.

Byrd connected with Caldwell on a 64-yard pass in the third quarter to the two-yard line setting up another touchdown by Johnson and the Eagles had their backs against the wall down 28-7.

Jacksonville cut the lead in half when Bell scored his first touchdown of the night from a yard out. Runs by Thomas and a Bell to Payton Sims pass to the 12-yard line had keyed the drive.

Jacksonville scored again in the fourth quarter. Starting on their own 16-yard line Bell kept the ball running to the Eagle 33. After two runs by Thomas and Bell, Bell hit Sid Thurmond on a pass to the 41-yard line. Bell kept the drive alive running the ball to the Lincoln 27, and then hit Sims on a pass to the eight-yard line. Bell called his own number and ran the ball in for the touchdown and the Eagles were down by only a touchdown with 8:06 remaining in the game.

The Eagles had their chances but just came up short. After falling on an onside kick, the Eagles went three and out and had to punt the ball away.

The Eagles had their last chance when they held Lincoln and had the ball at their own 15-yard line with 2:18 remaining.

Bell hit Thurmond on a pass to the 21-yard line and then on a third and four Bell found Sims who made an acrobatic catch to move the ball to the Eagle 37. After a run by Bell the Eagles were once again faced with a third down situation and Bell hit Thurmond for a first down to the Lincoln 45-yard line with 1:07 left on the clock.

The Eagles hopes of getting another touchdown and tying the game were dashed when Caldwell intercepted the next pass and Lincoln ran out the clock for the win.
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Homecoming loss creates region logjam by Lori Tippets

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