The Grundy County Yellow Jackets traveled to Jamestown last Friday night to battle the Dragons of Alvin C. York Agricultural Institute in a Region 4-3A matchup. The Jackets hung tough throughout the first half before losing 36 – 21 to their hosts.
The game began with an all too familiar theme that has plagued the Jackets all through the 2016 campaign. The Jackets turned the ball over with a fumble on the third play of the game at their own 22-yard line. This gave the Dragons a short field that took them five plays to go up 7 -0 with a two yard plunge for the touchdown and the PAT kick.
The Jackets settled down and after a touchback on the ensuing kickoff, marched 80 yards in 12 plays to tie the game. The Jacket offense used a balance of pass and run to move down the field. Josh Wingo scored the first of his three touchdowns on the night with a five-yard dash. Johnny Adkins added the PAT boot and we were tied 7 – 7 at the end of one quarter.
The Jackets took their only lead of the game in the second quarter with a two yard run from Wingo. The pass for the two-point conversion was no good. This drive was primarily generated with the ground attack and went 91 yards in 10 plays. Sophomore QB Hagen Cash highlighted the drive with a 55-yard run.
The lead was short lived as the Dragons took the Yellow Jacket kickoff to the house for six. The kickoff return was good for 86 yards and the PAT kick gave the hosts a lead they would never relinquish at 14 -13.
The third quarter belong to the Dragons. The home team scored two rushing touchdowns, a two point conversion, and a PAT kick for a 29 -13 lead after three quarters. They scored on runs of nine and 39 yards provided the touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Jackets were limited to six plays in the quarter that included an interception.
York added an 11-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter along with the PAT kick to wrap up their scoring on the evening.
The Jackets, as they have done all year, refused to quit. Wingo added his third touchdown on a 55-yard jaunt. Sophomore Ethan Nunley hit senior Matt Burrows for the two point conversion to make the final score 36 – 21.
The Jackets were led offensively by Wingo with 93 yards on 10 carries to go along with his three touchdowns. Cash added 72 yards on 14 carries before leaving the game with an injury. Freshman Evan Nunley led the Jackets in receiving for the second consecutive game with 40 yards on three catches before he left with an injury.
Defensively, Burrows had nine stops, while senior Dewayne Grooms and Wingo added eight tackles each. Senior James McDaniel and Cash added five tackles each. Cash also had an interception.
Head Coach Casey Tate had this to say following the Jackets fifth consecutive loss. “I thought the team played well in the first half, but injury and depth issues caught up with us in the second half. We have been fortunate in terms of injuries this year, but the last two games have been tough. Late in the DeKalb County game and now in this game we have had some injuries to limit us in what we would like to do.”
Coach Tate looked ahead to Sequatchie County. He said, “We will go back to work to correct our mistakes and work on the fundamentals.”
The Jackets hit the road again tomorrow night as they travel to Dunlap to play longtime rival Sequatchie County. The Indians sit atop the region standings and are 8 – 0 on the season. Game time is 7 p.m.