NOTE: THIS STORY SHOULD HAVE BEEN PRINTED ON PG. A-9 OF THIS WEEK’S PRINT EDITION. THE JCHS FRESHMAN ARTICLE WAS ERRONEOUSLY USED INSTEAD. WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE ERROR.
The JCHS Junior Varsity Football Team saw victory slip away from them in the closing moments and in heartbreaking fashion.
The Longhorns led 16-0, but then gave up 22-straight points in a 22-16 defeat to Hampton at McEwen Stadium.
The ‘Horns play outstanding in the first half, but every little bit of momentum that started going Hampton’s way snowballed and the Bulldogs were able to overtake JCHS.
Jordan Grubb and Blake Phillippi both had scores in the first half and a special surprise was given to the ‘Horns fans as freshman Austin Kurtz, who has devoted himself to kicking full-time, came through with a field goal and as a result gave JCHS a 9-0 lead that was later extended to 16-0.
However, the Longhorns were shocked in the second half as Hampton went to the passing attack and JCHS was unable to hold off the Bulldogs.
With the score 16-14 in favor of JCHS, the Longhorns threw an interception and then Hampton went down the field and scored on the last play of the day on a touchdown pass to win it.
Hampton threw the ball extremely well down the stretch and that led to the victory.
“We played a good first half, the second half we kind of played down and the pass defense has been bad in varsity and junior varsity, but it’s something we’ll work on,” JCHS head coach Mike Atwood said.
There were a lot of mistakes made in the second half both on offense and defense, but Atwood says the blame in on everyone.
“It comes down to a lot of different plays and you can’t blame one person or one play, it’s the coaching staff, the team and everybody. We’ll do whatever takes to get the boys to understand what we need to do. Our speed is down, so it takes a little longer and it’s takes awhile to teach someone how to play there. We don’t have the speed we need there.
“We should have won this ball game. Our boys need to learn how to win. We should have had this game over in the third quarter.”
A pleasant surprise for JCHS was running back Blake Phillippi and the outstanding contest he had.
Phillippi hasn’t played football in a couple of years, but he showed on Monday that he has a chance to be a solid player.
Another positive was the field goal from Kurtz and the play of the freshmen in their first game against older kids.
“We’re happy with what the freshmen team did,’ Atwood said. “We let them play four or five series together and we were happy with that. We want to get our freshmen some snaps against older kids because some of them are going to have to play next year if not this year.”
Atwood appreciates the fan support and for the ethics club providing concessions.
“It was a good crowd and they were selling hamburgers and hot dogs so that’s good,” Atwood said.