Jags use 28-0 halftime lead to win big

Published 11:05 am Monday, October 6, 2008

By By Adam Robinson- Sports Editor
In a battle of winless teams in class 4A region 1 Friday night in Evergreen, the Hillcrest Jaguars scored 21 second quarter points en route to claim their first region win of the season, 55-18 win over the W.S. Neal Eagles.
Hillcrest improved to 2-4 overall and 1-3 in the class 4A region 1 standings while W.S. Neal fell to 2-4 overall and 0-4 in region play.
The 37-point loss for the Eagles to the Jaguars was the worst loss W.S. Neal had ever received against Hillcrest. The Eagles' previous worse loss was a 27-7 loss in 2000 at home.
W.S. Neal now stands with an 8-6 overall record against Hillcrest.
After the loss to the Jaguars, W.S. Neal Eagle head football coach Blaine Hathcock could only say one thing:
The one bad thing about the Eagles and the remainder of the season is that UMS-Wright comes to town next week and the following week the Eagles have to travel to Jackson.
Jackson defeated UMS-Wright 39-14 Friday night in Jackson giving Jackson a 5-1 overall record and a 4-0 region record. UMS-Wright fell to 4-2 overall and 3-1 in region play. It was the Bulldogs first 4A region 1 loss since 2000. The Bulldogs had won 45 straight region 1 games prior to the loss.
After Jackson, the Eagles take on 2-4 overall and 2-2 B.C. Rain at home before taking on rival T.R. Miller in the annual Battle of Murder Creek. Miller is ranked No. 1 in 3A.
In the game Friday night against Hillcrest, the Eagles could not muster much offense in the game, especially in the rushing game. The Eagles were held to just 30 yards rushing, but the passing game came to life in the second half after a miserable first half.
While the Eagle run game struggled, the Jaguars picked up 208 yards on the ground and picked up some big passing plays from quarter Justin Nared to Malcolm Rudolph. The duo hooked up for two passing touchdowns on the night.
While Nared had two passing touchdowns he also had two rushing and Justin Watson burned the Eagles with a 78-yard kickoff return and a 52-yard punt return.
The Jaguars got on the board at the 5:42 mark left in the first quarter after an Eagle punt. From there, Hillcrest went eight plays and Nared scored from 1-yard out to put Hillcrest op 7-0 after the Destin Gross PAT.
On the Eagles second offensive possession, W.S. Neal could only get three yards on offense and had to settle for another punt. After the Eagle punt, Hillcrest used four plays courtesy of a 43-yard pass reception from Justin Watson to score from 2-yards out and go ahead 14-0 just two plays into the second quarter.
After another stalled offensive possession for the Eagles, Hillcrest just needed one play on its next possession to go ahead 21-0 with 8:56 left in the half as Thomas scored from 39-yards out to add to the Jaguar lead.
On W.S. Neal's next possession, the Eagle offense picked up its first first down when Taylor Cash connected with Jeremy Nicholson for a 30-yard pass play to give the Eagles the ball at their own 43-yard line.
From there, two incomplete passes and a 12-yard quarterback sack gave the ball back to Hillcrest who then used a fake punt to set up a 7-yard pass reception touchdown for Malcolm Rudolph to give Hillcrest a 28-0 halftime lead.
At the half, W.S. Neal had only 50 yards of offense, 62 passing and -12 rushing, to Hillcrest's 222 total yards.
After the half, W.S. Neal tried on onside kick, but the ball was touched early to give the Jaguars the ball at the Eagle 46-yard line. After the kick, Hillcrest used five plays to go up 35-0 with 10:07 left in the third quarter.
W.S. Neal finally cracked the scoreboard when the Eagles used 11 plays and Cash scored from six yards out to put W.S. Neal within 35-6 after the missed PAT.
But after the Eagle score, the Jaguars used a 40-yard touchdown reception from Rudolph to go ahead 42-6 with just .04 seconds left in the third quarter.
W.S. Neal cut the score to 42-12 with 10:42 left in the game after a 50-yard reception from Jeremy Alexander set up a 15-yard Cash-to-Nicholson touchdown. The two-point conversion failed for the Eagles and the score was 42-12.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Jaguars got a 78-yard kickoff return form Justin Watson to take a 49-12 lead with 10:24 left in the game.
Hillcrest added their last touchdown with 2:27 left in the game when Watson returned a punt 52-yard to put Hillcrest up 55-12.
On the last play of the game, Maurice Samuels scored on a 56-yard pass reception from Cash to cut the lead to 55-18. No PAT was attempted as the Eagles fell by 37 points, 55-18.
W.S. Neal will take on UMS-Wright next week at home at 7 p.m.

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