Big plays spark ‘Jags
CREEKSVILLE – With the Jaguar marching band sporting new uniforms, the Northampton County football team took their cue and used big plays to stop the Gates County Red Barons, 35-13, here Friday night.
The Barons got on the board first after a 3-and-out by the Jags, marching 72 yards in 5 plays as workhorse Brandall Riddick carried the ball on four of those plays and rushed for 68 of the yards. He had runs of 32 yards and 26 yards with the final resulting in the score. Following the PAT, Gates held a 7-0 lead.
It didn’t take the Jags long to respond. On the first play from scrimmage following the kickoff, quarterback Keion Crossen hit Brian Lassiter in the flat and the running back cut back inside and rambled for a 61 yard score. The PAT by junior Fisher McInville tied the score at the 8:20 mark of the first quarter.
On the next drive a Baron fumble was recovered by the Jags Joshua Monroe, setting up the Northampton squad at the ‘Barons 44 yard line. Unable to move the ball, the Jaguars turned the ball over on downs and Gates County took possession at their own 46 yard line.
On fourth down from their own 49 yard line, the Red Barons pulled off a fake punt. Punter Brandon Stifflemire hit wide receiver Joshua Cross with a 33 yard pass to the Jaguar 28. Riddick scampered into the end zone on the next play for the Baron touchdown. The PAT was no good, but the Red Barons held a 13-7 lead.
Again the Jaguars responded with a quick drive of 64 yards. Crossen and Lassiter again hooked up on a 51 yard scoring play as the quarter came to a close. McInville’s kick was good and the Jaguars held a 14-13 lead going into the second period.
And that was all the points they needed as the Jaguar defense settled in and allowed no more scores the rest of the game. However the Jaguar offense was not finished.
With 4:27 left until halftime, the Jaguars took over possession at their own 20. Following a procedure penalty that backed them up to the 15, the Jags scored on a 4 play 85 yard drive. After two running plays, senior running back Tyrell Powell rumbled up the middle for a 31 yard gain. Then on the next play from scrimmage, Crossen scampered on a keeper around left end for a 59 yard scoring run. McInville’s kick gave the Jaguars a 21-13 lead at the half.
The second half saw Gates take the kickoff and mount a 10 play drive that ended at the Northampton goal line. Jags’ senior defensive back Jabari Hargrove intercepted an Andrew Wiggins pass on the goal line and returned it to the Jaguar 17 yard line.
A fumble and recovery by the Red Barons at the Gates 10 yard line stopped the ensuing Jaguar drive. Gates moved the ball to midfield, but the drive stalled as Powell broke up a pass and the quarterback Wiggins was sacked on fourth down.
The Jaguars then took over at the Red Baron 39 yard line, scoring on the 3rd play from scrimmage. Following a holding penalty against the Jags, Lassiter scampered around end for a 49 yard touchdown run. McInville’s PAT was good and the Jaguars held a 28-13 lead entering the fourth quarter.
The final score came with 11:34 remaining in the game. Following a 4th down incompletion, the Jaguars took over at the Red Baron 34 yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, Crossen went around left end, breaking tackles and scoring from 34 yards out. McInville’s 5th PAT of the night was again true and the Jaguars claimed the 35-13 victory.
The Jaguar defense had a big night, even though they allowed Riddick to rush for 222 yards on 35 carries. They stiffened when they had to, intercepting two passes and recovering a fumble. The second half saw some big stops made at crucial times.
The offense was led by junior quarterback Crossen who passed for 120 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 104 yards and two touchdowns. Also joining in the running attack was Powell who gained 112 yards on 10 carries. The offensive line did their part as the Jags rushed 33 times for 317 yards.
Gates record falls to 3-3 and 1-1 in conference play. The Red Barons return home next week to face Rocky Mount Prep in a non-conference game.
The Jaguars also stay home seeking their second conference win againstNorth Edgecombe. The Jags record improves to 5-1 overall and 1-0 in the Tar-Roanoke Conference.