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Jaguars’ defense holds against Tigers

REGINALD CUNNINGHAM
Times Sports Correspondent
Friday night lights featured a clash of the East Gadsden High Jaguars and the Jefferson High Tigers.
The first play from scrimmage Jarrell Reynolds exploded on a 57-yard touchdown run. The Tigers controlled the ball for 9 minutes of a 12-minute quarter to create an excellent test for the defensive coordinator of the Jaguars. By halftime, the Jaguars’ Pedro Popoca had nailed a 37-yard field goal and the special team capitalized on a miscue by the Tigers’ punt return player, giving the Jaguars an easy recovery in the end zone.
Though the Tigers had possession of the ball 16 minutes before the half, the mighty Jaguars were still able to go into halftime up 17-0. The Jaguars’ defense proved to be steadfast, stopping anything the Tigers tried to accomplish.
After halftime, senior quarterback Treeze Robinson connected on a 15-yard strike to senior wide receiver Janorriss Cunningham for a touchdown that gave the Jaguars a 24–0, and it looked like a shutout. By the end of the game, Robinson had completed 9 of 15, for 52 yards.
The fourth quarter proved the Tigers time of possession would begin to wear on the Jaguars defense as the Tigers scored an unanswered 14 points. Although the Jaguars defense stayed on the field more than 75 percent of the game, they were still able to hold on to a 24–14 victory.
The Tigers’ strategy to keep the Jaguar offense off the field by controlling possession time was answered clearly by Jerrell Reynolds’ racking up seven carries for 95 yards and Trini Charlton had 11 carries for 82 yards. The defense was led also by Jarrell Reynolds with 15 tackles and JaJuan Perkins with eight tackles.
“Our players need to understand the urgency of having a team down and not letting up the entire game,” said Jaguars’ head coach Corey Fuller. “The Tigers time of possession was a factor, but our senior defensive players should have demanded that the game end in a shutout.
“Overall, we have a team that must learn to play a complete game, so when film is exchanged, our opponents can look perplexed as to, ‘How can we match up with the East Gadsden Jaguars?’”
The Jaguars improved their record to 3–1 and is making a strong statement in their quest for a State Championship.
The East Gadsden Jaguars will travel Friday, Sept. 28, to Jacksonville, for a 7:30 p.m. to clash with Andrew Jackson High.