For the second year in a row, the game came down to the wire, and one point proved to be the difference between winning and losing.
The J.Z. George Jaguars walked away with a 9-8 win over Winona Christian last week at Stars’ field before a record crowd. Last season, it was the Stars that came away with a 13-12 win on the Jaguars home turf.
The jaw dropping action took place in the fourth quarter, near the game’s end. With only a few minutes left on the clock, the Jags were barely holding on to a 3-0 lead. In the second quarter Jags quarterback Toby Brown booted a 27-yard field goal.
With a little over a minute to go, the Stars scored the first touchdown of the game behind a Justin Burkett run. Quarterback Morgan Mills hit Evan Wood for the two-point conversion, and the Stars took an 8-3 lead with under 50 seconds remaining.
After the kickoff, the Jaguars marched down the field and threatened the Stars. With only six seconds left on the clock, Brown hit senior receiver Julius Cook in the back of the end zone for the Jaguars score, as time expired.
“This was one of the biggest wins for this school in the last four or five years,” Jaguars head coach Ben Burton said. “It’s probably the most unorthodox win ever, too. I’m really proud of our guys, they showed a lot of potential. This was a big win.”
The Jaguars had 208 rushing yards on 26 carries, and the Stars had 129 yards on 48 carries.
For the Jaguars, Brown led the way with 77 yards on 13 carries and threw for 94 yards, going 8 for 15. Deangelo Jobe had a monster performance with 11 carries for 123 yards, and LeJarvis Jenkins had 23 yards rushing. Cook had three catches for 66 yards to go with that game winning score, and Issac Hodges had two grabs for 14 yards.
Defensively for the Jaguars, Joe Russell had a big game with nine tackles. Andre Williams had seven stops, and De’Angelo Quarles added six tackles.
The Jaguars will head back to North Carrollton this week for their season opener against Philadelphia, the 3A team that went 12-1 a season ago. The Tornadoes whipped South Delta 35-0 last week.
“How we respond this week will determine what we do Friday,” Burton said. “If we play to our potential, we’ll come out alright.”
Head coach Ken Chandler said he could not have been more pleased with the effort his Stars put forth Friday night, and he gave J.Z. George a lot of credit.
“They’re a different team from last year,” Chandler said. “They really cleaned up mistakes, and other than a few off-side penalties, they were sound.”
Burkett led the way for the Stars on the ground with 64 yards on 13 carries. Stuart Dickerson had 16 carries for 35 yards, and Waye Watkins had nine carries for 21 yards. Watkins also threw 5 for 7 for 55 yards.
Evan Wood caught three balls for 36 yards, and Luke Pittman had 2 receptions for 22 yards.
On the defensive side, Burkett led with eight tackles. Walker Pearson, Cameron Pyron and Dickerson each had five tackles. Blake Green and Luke Pittman had four stops.
Up next for the Stars will be a road trip to Columbus to take on Columbus Christian (formerly known as Immanuel Christian).
“They have a lot of athletes, and three big linemen,” Chandler said. “This week we’ve worked on blocking and tackling, basically back on the little things.”
Chandler said he wanted the Stars to put last week behind them and look ahead to Columbus Christian.