Jeff Davis High’s football team showed it could come from behind as they maintained their poise despite trailing twice to the Brantley County Herons. The result was a 34-22 win to move Coach Lance Helton’s Jackets to a 4-0 record.
The Jackets’ offensive line, consisting of guards Chaston Googe, Ty Padgett and Mitchell Jones, tackles Steven McKever, Jaylen Grady and Lucas Waters, tight end James Wood and center Christian Ray, were the foundation for 444 rushing yards, earning themselves a ranking of “Lines of Distinction” on Tuesday’s edition of Georgia High School Football Daily web site.
Chief beneficiary of the linemen’s work was Emanuel Rumph who rushed for 216 yards.
JD fell behind 15-7 in the first half and were on the short end of a 15-14 score at intermission.
After going up 21-15 in the third quarter, the Jackets fell behind again, 22-21. But the defense put a stop to the Heron offense and then the Jacket offense put two more scores on the board to win 34-22.
Brantley took the Jackets’ onside kick to start the game and quickly moved into JD territory. But a penalty followed by Lucas Waters’ pass rush pressure on the Heron quarterback, forced Brantley to punt.
Starting at their 29, the Jackets marched 71 yards in 10 rushing plays to get on the scoreboard. The big plays iwere 12-yd. and 10-yd. runs by Rumph and a 10-yd. pickup by Chandler. Chandler capped the drive with a 2-yd. run and Rici Rubio kicked the extra point.
But the Herons came right back, going 75 yards in eight plays, mostly through the air. A 23-yd. pass pulled the visitors to within 7-6. They threw for the 2-pt. conversion to go up 8-7.
On the ensuing kickoff, Brantley recovered an onside kick but they went nowhere thanks in part to a 3-yd. sack by Waters.
In the second quarter, Brantley recovered a JD fumble at the Jeff Davis 39 to set up their next score. It took them six playse, scoring on a 6-yd. run. The P.A.T. kick made it 15-7.
The Jackets responded with a 75-yd., 7-play drive.
Chandler was the workhorse, rushing four times for 49 yards, including a 23-yd. jaunt up the middle for the score.
On the scoring run, Ray, Padgett and McKever carved out a huge hole in the center of the line and the Brantley linebacker gambled that Rumph was going to get the ball around the Heron’s left side. That left nothing but daylight up the middle for Chandler.
Rubio booted the P.A.T. to make it 15-14.
With time running out in the second quarter, the Herons moved to the Jacket seven. But Nyjai Gillis intercepted a pass in the end zone and ran it out to the 20 as the first half came to an end.
The Jackets’ go ahead third quarter march was a pretty oneand it stretched 93 yards.
Five plays into the drive, Rumph got outside on the right side, followed his blocking for 20 yards then broke tackles and carried tacklers another 10 yards for a 30-yd. run. Three plays later, Wood went around the left side, following for 21 yards to the Brantley 13. Using the same play again, Wood carried 12 yards to the one. From there, a Metts quarterback sneak gave Jeff Davis a 20-15 lead. Rubio made it 21-15.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Jackets executed an onside kick to perfection, but sometimes the pigskin takes some unexpected bounces. With three yellow jerseys grouped together to recover the kick, the ball slipped away and Brantley recovered at their 38.
From there, the Herons began an 8-play drive to go back in front. After scoring on a 10-yd. run, they kicked the extra point to take a 22-21 lead. But that would be the end of the scoring for Brantley.
Jeff Davis then moved 72 yards in 11 plays, eating up the remainder of the third quarter clock. The big plays were all Rumph runs around the right side. He picked up 27, 11 and 11 yards, the last carrying the ball to the two. On the next play he ran around the right side again for the score. Rubio kicked the extra point to put Jeff Davis up 28-22.
The next time the Jackets got the ball they rolled 65 yards. Rumph, Chandler, Wood and Metts all had carries in the 9-play drive, all on the ground.
From the Brantley 27, Rumph took the ball to the right side as guards Googe and Jones pulled to lead the blocking. Rumph cut inside the guards’ double team block of the defensive end and it was clear sailing all the way to the end zone. Rubio kicked the P.A.T. to up the tally to 34-22. On the point after attempt, Rubio hooked the ball to the left and missed his first P.A.T. kick of the season after hitting his first 12 attempts.
Brantley drove to inside the Jacket 25 but, on fourth down, Aahizus Allen and Doston Bailey sacked the Heron quarterback and JD took over on downs.
On the Jackets’ first play, they ran the same play that Rumph scored on behind the blocks of Googe and Jones, and this time it was good for 35 yards. From there, the Jackets ran out the clock.
The Jacket offense racked up 458 yards of total offense, 444 on the ground and 14 through the air.
Rumph got his 216 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. Chandler ran 23 yards for 135 yards and two more TDs. Austin Wood netted 74 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. And Mett had six carries for 20 yards.
While the defense gave up 313 yards to the Herons, they were able to stop Brantley when it counted. The visitors had 123 rushing yards and 185 passing.
Caleb Parlor led the defense with seven tackle and James Wood had five. Gillis had an interception and it was a big one as the pickoff came in the end zone as the Herons were threatening to score.
Score by quarters:
BCHS 8 7 7 0 -22
JDHS 7 7 7 13 -34