Three games. Three very easy victories. Three games with a running clock. So far, so good.

The Jackson Ironmen came home for the first time in the 2020 season and celebrated Senior Night with a 40-7 trouncing of visiting Washington Court House in a game that could have been more lopsided than the final score indicated.

The victory continued Jackson’s early-season dominance as they have rolled to a 3-0 record with an average victory margin of 40 points. The Ironmen led 33-0 at halftime and most of the second half was played with a running clock and with reserve players on the field. Of course, it’s also true that the Ironmen’s combined opponents so far this season have a combined record of 0-9.

Most certainly, Jackson figures to face its first major test next Friday night when the Miami Trace Panthers come to Alumni Stadium for what may very well be a mid-season battle for the Frontier Athletic Conference (FAC) championship. Like the Ironmen, the Panthers also sport a 3-0 record and a 2-0 FAC record.

As they have in all three victories, the Ironmen overwhelmed the Blue Lions (0-3 overall and 0-2 in the FAC) early by scoring five touchdowns in the first half while completely bottling up the potentially dangerous Blue Lions’ offense led by talented quarterback Ethan Rogers-Wright. Such was the Ironmen’s domination that they racked 17 first downs in the first half to only one for the Blue Lions.

Once again, the depth of Jackson’s playmakers on offense was evident as the Ironmen had a host of players doing the damage both on the ground and in the air as the home team racked up 461 total yards (283 rushing and 178 passing). Nine different Ironmen ran the ball, and six different receivers caught balls which were thrown by two different quarterbacks. The leading rushers for Jackson’s starters were Quarterback Jacob Winters (11 carries for71 yards and 2 TDs), running back Evan Spires (8 carries for 71 yards and 1 TD) and freshman Cade Wolford (seven carries for 43 yards and 2 TDs). Junior Hunter Webb came off the bench to run for 61 yards on only five carries and accounted for Jackson’s only second-half touchdown.

In the aerial game, the sophomore Winters connected on 11 of 19 passes for 163 yards with no touchdowns and had his first interception of the season. Junior split end Tristan Prater led the pass-catchers with five receptions for 85 yards while making two very nice catches off his shoe tops.

Senior Blake Cross, a two-way starting lineman, was named as the Gillum Insurance/Stockrooms 601 Player of the Game for his outstanding overall play.

However, on this night, Jackson head coach Andy Hall saved most of his praise for the defense. Court House, who was a failed two-point conversion away from beating a good Minford team while generating 418 yards of total offense, was held by the Ironmen to only one first down and 30 total yards in the decisive first half. The visitors finished with five first downs and 101 total yards, but scored their only touchdown and gained 71 of their yards came in the second half with the substitutes on the field.

“Our defense was lights out,” said a very pleased Coach Hall. “Our defense was swarming and we took control of the game from start to finish.”

Thanks to the defense, the Jackson offense lived in Blue Lion territory most of the first half and could have actually scored more had it not been for their own penalties and mistakes. As it was, the Ironmen never punted in the game.

Hall felt the key to the defensive gem was containing Rogers-Wright, who is a bona fide double threat with his running and passing abilities.

“The kids were dialed in what to do to stop the quarterback,” Hall commented. “We pressed him and made him throw it up because he can hurt you on the run.” As it was Rogers-Wright was limited to minus 12 yards on five carries and had no runs for positive yards. When he did throw, the defensive pressure and the superb pass coverage resulted in him completing only five passes in 18 attempts for a meager 34 yards.

Three of the Ironmen’s defensive highlights were the fourth interception of the season for senior cornerback Macon Perrill, a forced fumble by senior linebacker Treylan Davis which was recovered by defensive lineman David Norris, and a fumble recovery by junior linebacker Grant Mastin that he returned to the Blue Lion 1-yard line. Both of the recovered fumbles came on hard hits and led to quick touchdowns for the Ironmen on short fields.

Hall credited the relatively inexperienced Jackson defensive line for continuing to improve and playing a key role in Jackson’s defensive success as its impressive play allowed the more experienced linebackers and secondary to shine.

Even though Jackson’s offensive statistics were gaudy, Hall was not all that pleased with the offense as mistakes short-circuited some of the drives and opportunities.

“We played real sloppy on offense and left too many points on the field,” Hall judged. “We had too many penalties, missed assignments and missed reads.”

The Ironmen were penalized 9 times for 52 yards and had multiple illegal procedures infractions as linemen were sometimes jumpy against Court House’s blitzing and shifting on its defensive front.

But overall, Hall also realized his team is off to a 3-0 start in spite of having only eight seniors on the roster.

“We have a lot of young kids on this team and I was also happy with our second unit,” Hall commented. "They are growing up right in front of our eyes.”

****

JACKSON IRONMEN STATISTICS

(Washington Court House – Friday. September 11)

 

SCORING

Washington Court House     0   0   0   7   -   7

Jackson                                  12  21   0   7   - 40

 

JHS  - Jacob Winters, 16-yard run, EP kick failed, 1Q, 8:37, 0-6, (5-play, 57-yard drive after WCH punt).

JHS – Cade Wolford, 1-yard run, EP pass failed, 1Q, 7:32, 0-12, (1-play, 1-yard drive after fumble recovery and return by Grant Mastin).

JHS – Cade Wolford, 16-yard run, EP kick by Isaac Kuhn, 2Q, 11:54, 0-19, (2-play, 33-yard drive after 21-yard punt return by Jacob Wood).

JHS – Evan Spires, 3-yard run, EP kick by Ethan Crabtree, 2Q, 2:34, 0-26, (6-play, 55-yard drive after WCH punt).

JHS – Jacob Winters, 6-yard run, EP kick by Isaac Kuhn, 2Q, 1:43, 0-33, (2-play, 21-yard drive after fumble recovery by David Norris.)

WCH – Trevin Downing, 1-yard run, EP kick by Brandon Cubbage, 4Q, 5:29, (6-play, 37-yard drive after 60-yard interception return by Trevaughn Jackson).

JHS - Hunter Webb, 5-yard run, EP kick by Ethan Crabtree, 4Q, 2:20, 7-40, (6-play, 60-yard drive after 8-yard kickoff return by Andrew Davis).

 

TEAM STATISTICS

First Downs – JHS 24, WCH 5

Scrimmage Plays – JHS 62, WCH 42

Rushes-Yards – JHS 41-285, WCH 17-5

Passing Yards – JHS 178, WCH 96

Total Yards – JHS 463, WCH 101

Comp.-Att.-Int. – JHS 12-21-2, WCH 8-25-1

Punts-Yards – JHS 0-0, WCH 7-231

Fumbles-Lost – JHS 1-0, WCH 5-2

Turnovers – JHS 2, WCH 3

Penalties-Yards – JHS 9-52, WCH 4-39

 

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing – (JHS) Evan Spires 8-71 and 1 TD, Jacob Winters 11-71 and 2 TDs, Hunter Webb 5-61 and 1 TD, Cade Wolford 7-43 and 2 TDs, Holden Blankenship 2-18, Jacob Wood 2-15, Andrew Davis 3-13, Tristan Prater 1-3, Jake Malone 2 – (-8), Team 2-(-2). (WCH) Calum Brown 1-10, Trevin Downing 11-7 and 1 TD, Ethan Rogers-Wright 5-(-12).

Passing – (JHS) Jacob Winters 11 of 19 for 163 yards with 0 TDs and 1 interception, Jake Malone 1 of 2 for 15 yards with 0 TDs and 1 interception. (WCH) Ethan Rogers-Wright 5 of 18 for 34 yards with 0 TDs and 1 interception, Raleigh Haithcock 3 of 7 for 62 yards with 0 TDs and 0 interceptions.

Receiving – (JHS) Tristan Prater 6-93. Evan Spires 2-21, Holden Blankenship 1-18. Nate McManaway 1-17, Jacob Wood 1-15, Treylan Davis 1-14. (WCH) Calum Brown 2-72, Tanner Lemaster 2-4, Trevin Downing 2-(-1), Troy Thompson 1-14, A.J. Dallmayer 1-7.

Punting – (JHS) None. (WCH) Tanner Lemaster 7-231 (33.0 avg.).

Interception Returns – (JHS) Macon Perrill 1-(-4). (WCH) Trevaughn Jackson 2-60.

Kickoff Returns – (JHS) Jacob Wood 1-23, Andrew Davis 1-8. (WCH) Trevaughn Jackson 1-16, Traeton Johnson 2-8, Faris Abdulghani 3-3, Ethan Rogers-Wright 1-0.

Punt Returns – (JHS) Evan Spires 2-26, Jacob Wood 2-20. (WCH) None