After two games against out-of-area teams, it’s time for East Gadsden to face a familiar foe.
The Jaguars take on the Rickards Raiders Thursday night, Sept. 15 at Gene Cox Stadium on Tallahassee.
East won their regular season game last year, 14-10, and won this year’s preseason jamboree game, 7-0. Game time is 7 p.m.
Jaguar spirit filled the air on Friday Sept. 9 when the East Gadsden High School football team took on the Crescent City High School Raiders, hailing from Putnam County. Many showed up to witness the first home game of the season as hopes are high for this year’s Jaguars despite the loss to Niceville.
At the start of the first quarter, defensive end Zemaric Holt blocked the punt, picked up the blocked punt and ran into the end zone scoring the first touchdown of the game. The extra point failed, so the score remained at 6-0. Crescent City’s quarterback Bennie Norris completed a pass to wide receiver Laron Moore, resulting in a Raiders first down. However, Crescent City’s fourth down came up short and the ball was turned over to East Gadsden.
With advantage of size and numbers, the Jaguars offense was alive in the first half, scoring one touchdown in the first quarter and three touchdowns in the second quarter. Running back La’Javier Turner ran an approximately 50-yard drive for the Jaguars. A defensive pass interference was counted against Crescent City, giving East Gadsden an automatic first down. Jaguars running back Jarrell Reynolds ran 8 yards, scoring an East Gadsden touchdown. The Jaguars decided to go for a two-point conversion instead of the extra point. Wide receiver Jaron Reynolds scored the two-point conversion, making the score to 14-0. Minutes later, East Gadsden recovered Crescent City’s kick off fumble at the 36-yard line.
Three minutes later, Jaguar running back senior Curtis Alexander scored on an 8 yard run. The extra point was good and the score was 21-0.
At 2:01, East Gadsden wide receiver Chris Daniels caught an 8-yard touchdown pass. The extra point was good and the score increased to 27-0. Jaguars line backer Geomarey Smith made a big sack against Crescent City’s quarterback and Jaguars defensive lineman Darius Johnson recovered the ball, which resulted in a 1st and goal for East Gadsden. Jaguars running back Jarrell Reynolds scored on an eight yard run, which boosted the score to 33-0. The extra point was good, so the score increased to 34-0.
There was a slow start to the second half of the game. The third quarter saw a lot of mistakes by both the Jaguars and the Raiders. Both teams were unable to generate any sparks due to the number of penalties. Crescent City wide receiver Varsha King scored the lone Raiders touchdown. The team decided to go for a two-point conversion but failed, so the score remained 34-6.
And the Jaguar defense was not giving Raider quarteRback anytime to look receivers, who likely as not were covered by taller defenders.
Minutes after the start of the fourth quarter, Jaguars wide receiver/defensive back Janorris Cunningham scored on a 35-yard interception return. The extra point was good and the score was 41-6. After four quarters of action and drive, the Jaguars prevailed over the Raiders with a final score of 41-6.
La’Javier Turner led the Jaguars with 68 yards rushing. Jaleel Reynolds led the Jaguars in receiving with five receptions for 50 yards. Jaron Reynolds had three receptions for 31 yards and a touchdown. Jaguars quarterback Treveze Robinson completed 13 out of 14 passes for 150 yards.
“East Gadsden is a very good team,” said Raider coach Quintin Lewis after the loss. “They will be good for years to come.”
“This is probably best team we will play all season,” he said. “I just tested our guys to see how they were going to fight and compete – that’s all it was about tonight – we’ll be better next week.”
Lewis added that despite the loss, the trip to Gadsden County has given the Raiders a taste for Panhandle football, They meet FAMU High in Crescent City Oct. 11 and will face them in Tallahassee next year.
“We got the win – that’s good – we move back up to a bigger team next week,” said Jaguar coach Corey Fuller. “That team was pretty good, they’re a good small team, they’ve got some good players.”
“But next week (Sept. 15) is rivalry week, we’ve got a lot of work to do in a short time,” he said.
Fuller acknowledged that with comfortable first lead they slacked off enough in the second half to let the Raiders score. However, he had praise for his defense and said they’ve playing good.
The Jaguars next home game will be on Sept. 30 against West Gadsden High School.