JACKSON – Behind an impressive defensive performance, the Jackson Ironmen forced three turnovers and held Eastmoor Academy to 124 yards of total offense in a 17-6 win on Friday night at Alumni Stadium.

Clinging to a 10-6 lead in the fourth quarter, Jackson cashed in on an eight-play, 47-yard scoring drive to close out the victory against the Warriors in a Region 11 quarterfinal at Alumni Stadium.

Then Mohamed Conteh’s 81-yard return on the ensuing kickoff was called back for a holding penalty, and thanks to Jackson’s stalwart defense, Eastmoor was held to a three and out and forced to punt.

From there, Jackson was able to pick up three first downs and run the final 7:05 off the clock to end the game.

After the win, Jackson head coach Andy Hall said of his team’s defense, “They played lights out. We held them to just 124 yards in total offense. It was a hard-fought game, but we scratched, and we clawed, and we found a way to win. “They are well-coached and very disciplined. They are very physical and big, and they had speed.”

“Offensively, it was a struggle, but we played against a great defense. We turned the ball over a couple of times, which we didn’t like, but the biggest thing for us was our play on defense and special teams tonight.”

Eastmoor Academy has some famous alumni, who played in the NFL, including two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin.

“They have some pretty impressive alumni,” said Hall.

The Ironmen (10-2) dominated the time of possession in the fourth quarter, as they had the ball 10-minutes, 52-seconds, compared to one minute, eight seconds for Eastmoor, which ends its season with a 7-4 record.

Jackson held Eastmoor to two first downs and 40 yards of offense in the second half.

Overall, the Ironmen outgained Eastmoor 239-124 in total offensive yards, including a dominant 168-29 margin in the run game.

The Ironmen also held a 13-6 advantage in first downs and won the turnover battle 3-2 with two interceptions by Cade Wolford, and A.J. Denny recovered a fumble in the second quarter.

Eli Broermann led the Ironmen with 61 rushing yards on 12 carries, while Jacob Wood caught two passes for 32 yards and a touchdown.

Jacob Winters finished the game with 71 passing yards and two touchdowns, completing 6 of 13 attempts in the win.

Jackson punched its ticket to a rematch with Western Brown in the Region 11 semifinals next week with the victory. Western Brown defeated the Ironmen 33-28 in the fourth week of the regular season.

“I told our kids after the loss at their place, there was a shot we could play them again in the playoffs. When the brackets came out, I was thinking if we can get to round three, and they can do the same, we could play against them again,” said Hall. “We got what we wanted, and it is going to be a tough task.

“Their quarterback (Drew Novack) is nationally ranked in passing, and he is only a junior. But our kids are excited about the rematch.”

Novak threw for 411 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 72 yards and a score in the win over Jackson earlier in the season.

After a scoreless first quarter on Friday, Jackson got on the board with 9:55 left in the half on a 27-yard field goal by Ethan Crabtree for a 3-0 lead.

However, Devin Lloyd connected with Matthew Washington on a 49-yard touchdown pass to give Eastmoor a 6-3 lead with 6:48 remaining in the second quarter.

“That was a great play. That kid threw a moon shot,” Hall said. Tristan Prater had good coverage on the receiver, but it dropped over his head for a touchdown. It was a perfect throw and catch.”

After a turnover by Eastmoor, the Ironmen capitalized on a fourth-and-14 play when Winters found Wood standing alone in the back of the end zone to put Jackson ahead for good on a 33-yard touchdown pass with 2:12 left to play before the half.

Jackson sealed the game in the fourth quarter with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Winters to Tristan Prater. Prater caught the pass at about the three-yard line and dove to the pylon for the score.

“Tonight was hard-fought,” said Hall. “They were as fast as we were, but they were bigger, so we had to take whatever we could get. We weren’t going to break a 40-yard run or complete a 70-yard touchdown pass. We had to earn what we got.

“Tonight, we found a way to win.”

The site for Friday’s regional semifinal game between Jackson and Western Brown will be played at Waverly’s Raidiger Field. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.