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Jags take big win on Senior Night; Panthers lose to Hawks

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By Caleb Lanier

Head Coach Scott Anderson was in pain all day last Friday but not the pain of defeat since the East Gadsden High School Jaguars were coming off a win a week ago. Anderson was having stomach pains but he put them aside to take on Union County in this season’s final game.

After the game the pain was worse and at around 2 a.m. he was taken to the hospital, where doctors discovered his appendix had burst, but not before his team burst the Union County Tigers’ hopes of a win.

On the game’s first series the Jaguar defense recovered a Tiger fumble and took advantage with a Donterrius Garrett 35-yard pass to Antwain Matthews for a touchdown. Union County's second possession also went the Jags’ way as they put the ball on the ground for a second time and Jerrell Reynolds punched it in to give the Jags a two-score lead.

The defense was not done getting the football back as the Union County quarterback was pressured, which led to a Javerius Cunningham interception that he returned 25 yards for another score. Cunningham had two interceptions on the night.

Garrett kept it himself from 1 yard out for the Jags’ fourth touchdown in the first half and then a drive capped by a Wiley Williams touchdown run closed out the half.

The Jaguars went in to the locker room with a commanding 34-7 lead.

For the second straight week the East Gadsden defense controlled the second half, holding Union County for only one score on a big play. The Tigers were trying to play catch-up by throwing the ball and the Jags defense took advantage, led by Bryan Robinson and Adam Powell, who each had two sacks and the Jags’ third interception of the game by Caleb Cook.

The Jags ran the ball effectively in the second half, which kept the Tiger offense off the field. Jerrell Reynolds led all rushers with 70 yards and a touchdown.

"We have had several close games this season where the ball just didn't bounce our way. We were on the right side of the turnovers in this game," said assistant coach Jeremy Lynch. "Coach Anderson has been saying all season that this was the team to beat in the district."

The Jaguar defense forced five turnovers.

Anderson's pain was eased a little as his Jaguars won 40-14 on Senior Night. They finish 4-6 overall and 2-3 in the district.

"We finally put everything together and the ball bounced our way. Everyone is real proud of the seniors. We had a good week of practice and this is good for the younger guys going in to next year. The seniors showed a lot of character to come out and fight the way they did," said Lynch.

Senior Jaguars include Montez Fryson, John Price, Bryan Robinson, Marquis Lewis, Cedrick Atkins, Donterrius Garrett, Robert Hover, D'erick McCray, Wiley Williams, Al-Xavier Barnes, Kelvin Ray, Antwain Matthews and Ernest Nixon.

The West Gadsden Panthers were in action last Friday night as the 3-5 Franklin County Seahawks were in town.

Panthers lose to Seahawks

The West Gadsden High Panthers struck first on a 25-yard pass to take an early lead but the Seahawks answered quickly on a 12-yard rushing touchdown.

The two teams traded touchdowns in the second quarter but Franklin County scored on a 2-point conversion to take a 14-12 lead into the half.

The Panthers failed to get on the scoreboard in the second half and the Seahawks hit a 53-yard touchdown pass to take the 21-12 win over the winless Panthers.

West Gadsden, 0-9 overall, travels to Florida High this Friday for the final game of the season.