Jackets down Lincoln County 24-14

Defensive Coordinator Jay Cravey talks to his players

Aahiyus Allen scores the go ahead touchdown off a block from Nate Lewis (66)

James Wood gets some tough yardage up the middle

Quarterback Conner Rea (16) takes off on a keeper as Andrew Aycock (67), Landon Roberson (38), Chasten Googe (71) and Charles Stegall (79) clear the way.

Jeff Davis High’s 24-14 win over Lincoln County Friday in Lincolnton could have been more lopsided.
A rock solid Jacket defense held the Red Devils in check for most of the evening and the Jacket offense kept shooting themselves in the foot with penalties that nullified a number of good gains.
Junior running back Aahiyus Allen rushed for 147 yards and had 213 all-purpose yards but his totals could have been substantially higher without holding penalties that nullified several of his efforts.
The Jackets dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football. Lincoln County’s two second quarter scores came in quick succession as the JD secondary had a few lapses in the season opening game. But the rest of the night, the JD defense kept the Red Devil offense bottled up.
The Jackets jumped out to a 10-0 first half lead as the Jacket defense held Lincoln without a first down in three first quarter possessions.
Punter Cade Walters put Lincoln in a hole late in the first quarter with a punt to the Devil 9-yd. line. With 4th-and-5 from the 14, Lincoln punted and Tyson Alls returned the kick 17 yards to the Lincoln 29 to set up the season’s first score.
On 3rd-and-4 from the 23, senior quarterback Conner Rea ran a keeper around the right side, cut back to the middle of the field and ran untouched into the end zone.
Audiel Placencia kicked the extra point and the Jackets led 7-0.
Placencia, a senior, played a key role in the game, booting all but two of his kickoffs into the Lincoln County end zone, going 3-for-3 on extra points and kicking a 35-yd. field goal, all out of Walters’ holds and Matthew Glass’ snaps.
Placencia’s field goal came early in the second quarter after a Jacket drive stalled, thanks to a penalty, at the Lincoln County 18.
After Placencia’s ensuing kickoff sailed out of the end zone, things got ugly. After the Red Devils got their initial first down of the game at their 35, a 28-yd. pass completion between a pair of returning All-State players put the Red Devils at the Jacket 32. On the next play, the duo teamed up again for a scoring pass and, like that, Lincoln County had rolled 65 yards in just two plays to get on the scoreboard. The kick made it 10-7.
A fumble on the ensuing kickoff return was recovered by Lincoln and the Devils were in business at the JD 24. On the first play, a 24-yd. pass covered the distance and, suddenly, Lincoln was in front 14-10.
A series of penalties the remainder of the half kept the Jackets in check but the defensive secondary corrected some errors and kept Lincoln from scoring again.
Late in the half, Jeff Davis got another opportunity as a Devil punt snap sailed over the punter’s head and the Jackets had the ball at the Lincoln 40.
On the first play, Rea broke loose again, this time picking up 10 yards to the 30. But a holding penalty moved the ball back to the Lincoln 46 and the Jackets couldn’t recover.
Lincoln County led at halftime 14-10.
The Jackets took the second half kickoff and the offensive line began to dominate the Devil front line. And later, the Jackets’ superior numbers began to take a toll on the Devils as the clock was stopped a number of times for trainers to attend to fallen Devil players, most with cramps.
Senior fullback James Wood had three straight carries for a 4th-and-1 at the JD 36. Walters then retreated to punt but ran the ball instead to pick up a first down at the 39.
Wood then carried for runs of 3, 2 and 12 to make it six straight carries, all into the heart of the Red Devil defensive front.
But a 10-yd. gain to the Devil 34 was nullified and another 5-yd. walk off left the Jackets with a 1st-and-27 at the JD 39. It was more than they could overcome.
On Lincoln’s next possession, on 3rd-and-1 at the Lincoln 47, the Jackets got a scare as Lincoln County went for broke, sending a receiver down the middle of the field with no one within 10 yards of him. But the quarterback’s throw overshot the receiver and the Jacket faithful breathed a sigh of relief.
Lincoln punted the ball away and the Jackets began a 75-yard march to take the lead.
Things got off to a rough start as yet another penalty erased a good gain. On 3rd-and-8, Allen broke loose for a 22-yd. run to the JD 49. Then Allen picked up eight more as the 3rd quarter came to the end with Lincoln up 14-10 and the Jackets facing a 2nd-and-2 at the Devil 44.
It took the Jackets six plays to cover the distance with the big plays in the drive being a 27-yd. pass from Rea to Allen, followed by 7- and 5-yd. runs by Allen for the score. Placencia made it 17-14 as the Jackets were back in front again.
The Red Devils didn’t quit. After Placencia’s kick went into the end zone, Lincoln got a couple of quick first downs when, on 3rd-and-4 near midfield, freshman defensive back Carter Mullis came up with the defensive play of the game. He nailed the Devil runner for a 3-yd. loss and Lincoln faced 4th-and-7. A pass to an open receiver on the next play would have picked up the first down but the ball was dropped and Jeff Davis took over at the Lincoln 46.
After Rea picked up a fumbled snap to get a 9-yd. game, Walters came in at quarterback as Rea was injured on the play. Walters kept for eight yards and a first down after which an 8-yd. Allen run was nixed by a penalty. From there, senior wingback Austin Wood took a handoff in the backfield, went through a huge hole on the left side, and raced 44 yards to paydirt. Placencia’s toe made it 24-14.
Lincoln County found the going rough from there. After three incomplete passes, junior defensive back C.J. Parker, playing his first year of high school football, picked off a pass and the Jackets were able to run out the clock.
With the win, Yellow Jacket Head Coach Lance Helton, in his fourth season at the JD helm, is 4-0 in season opening games.
This week the Jackets travel to Pearson to face Atkinson County. Last week, the Class A Rebels opened their season with a 25-6 win over Class AA Bacon County in Alma.
Score by quarters:
JDHS    7    3    0    14    -24
LCHS    0    14    0    0    -14

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