Jacksonville upends Sardis

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By Shannon J. Allen/Sand Mountain Reporter

Four turnovers, a safety and a breakdown in special teams doomed Sardis’ chances of upsetting seventh-ranked and unbeaten Jacksonville.

The Golden Eagles capitalized on the Lions’ mistakes to post a 23-7 triumph Friday night in the Class 4A, Region 6 matchup at SHS. It was the first meeting between the programs.

Jacksonville improved to 4-0, 2-0, while Sardis dropped to 1-2, 0-2. 

Sardis junior Drew Scott recovered a Jacksonville fumble at his 32-yard line, and the Lion offense responded with its only scoring drive of the night. Sardis marched 68 yards in 13 plays behind the passing of freshman quarterback Logan Gaskin, who was 5-of-6 on the drive.

Gaskin converted fourth-and-nine from the Jacksonville 29 by hitting Austin Hallmark for 22 yards to the 7.

Keenan Lewis swept around right end and outran the Golden Eagles’ defense 7 yards for a touchdown with 4:33 left in the first quarter. Sawyer Cahela’s extra point made it 7-0.

The momentum shifted on the ensuing kickoff, as Jacksonville’s Sid Thurmond returned it 79 yards for a touchdown. Jose Ortiz’s point-after tied it 7-7 with 4:17 remaining.

Sardis lost a fumble at its 27 on the second play after the kickoff, but the Lion defense stopped Jacksonville on a fourth-down conversion at the 5.

Jacksonville’s defense pushed the Lions back to the 3, from where they fumbled into the end zone and recovered, giving Jacksonville a safety at the 11:15 mark of the second quarter.

The Golden Eagles’ offense took over at the SHS 44 following the free kick. Seven plays later, Delvin Veasley hit Evan Shook with a 20-yard scoring pass. Ortiz kicked it to 16-7 with 8:34 left.

Jacksonville’s Makyah Curry picked off a pass on Sardis’ second play of the third period.

The Golden Eagles took over at the Sardis 23 and scored in five plays. Breunta Ackles powered his way into the end zone on a fourth-and-goal run from the 3 with 8:01 left. Ortiz’s PAT made it 23-7.

Jesse Hubbard led the Lions with 60 yards rushing on 19 carries. He saw time at quarterback after Gaskin was sidelined for part of the second half. Tristan Scroggins had a fumble recovery.

Sardis travels to Hokes Bluff for a Region 6 contest on Friday.

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