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JCMS ends season with two victories

The JCMS Football Team defeated the Chuckey-Doak Black Knights 22-12 on Thursday, Sept. 2.
Payton Fenner, Samuel Icenhour and Dustin Jenkins all scored touchdowns with Alex Roark having both two-point conversions.
The Longhorns have had to overcome a lot this year and that continued against the Knights, but in end they prevailed.
“This team has been knocked to the ground more than once,” JCMS head coach Matt Bray said. “What makes this group special to me is that regardless of their record, they fought. Each time they fell, they wiped the blood off their face and got back up. I have as much pride in our team for winning that battle as I had for the championship team of last year. Courage and perseverance are what is important when it is all said and done, because this is not the final act.”
Bray is seeing a lot of improvement on both sides of the ball, especially on offense.
“We have struggled moving the ball all year long, which surprised me; as prior to the season I believed that offense would be our strength,' he said. “We have made a few changes in personnel and changed our style to one of simplicity, consistency and repetition. We are starting to gain some momentum as we have scored more in the last two games than in previous four combined.”
The Longhorns even had to overcome something out of their control last week, something that they can laugh about now.
“The clock was being kept a twelve year old during the first half, which only lasted about 20 minutes,” Bray said. “I believe that may be some kind of record. It was so bad it was almost funny, but it could have cost us the game.”
RUSHING: Samuel Icenhour 4-43, Payton Fenner 4-16 Cody Bailie 1-1, Alex Roark 4-26, Robert Guinn 1-10, Dustin Jenkins 3-25
RECEIVING: Cody Bailie 2-29, Brandon Vannoy 1-35.
PASSING YARDS: Justin Pardue 20, Dakota Wright 9, Cody Bailie 35
INTERCEPTIONS: Cody Bailie, Alex Tressler
TACKLES: Payton Fenner 9, Cody Bailie 7, Alex Roark 6, Brandon Vannoy 1, Samuel Icenhour 3, Alex Tressler 3, Dustin Jenkins 3, Nick Lewis 2, Bradley Wright 1, Brycen Norris 7, Robert Guinn 1, Justin Pardue 2, Hunter Greene 1, Jose Guzman 1, David Rozier 1.Thursday's Game
Hampton 14
The Longhorns were down 14-0 at the break, but then played an outstanding second half that JCMS fans will never forget.
Alex Tressler and Justin Pardue scored touchdowns with the help from an offensive line that played a great second half.The difference were two-point conversions from Samuel Icenhour and Brandon Vannoy that sealed the deal.
On defense, Payton Fenner, Cody Bailie and Alex Roark all were dominant and took the bite out of the Bulldogs.
“I was proud of the team for clawing back from a 14 point deficit. The players took charge and quit making the small mental mistakes that have plagued us all year. We finally executed our plays in a way that allowed me to strategically break apart their defense. I didn't call this game any better than our other games, the players just executed better,” Bray said.The second half showed how much this team improved from the beginning of the season to Thursday's last contest.”We had two groups of eighth graders: ones who played down in pee-wees and ones that played on the middle school JV, both teams were part of a different Championship program . Combining them into one Varsity team took a lot of work as not single one of them had played single down in a Varsity game and not to mention that at first they didn't care much for each other. It was truly like starting from the ground up, regardless of their past experiences. In the end, it took a team like Cloudland slapping us in the face before we accepted the fact that we did need to improve. Afterward, the team dedicated themselves to longer practices and harder work. I am so proud of each player on the team because they never became satisfied with “good enough” again, and in the end all the players were one,” Bray said.
“We were like a cornered animal and we were faced with two choices: fight or die. We chose to fight. The fact that this team drew blood instead of rolling over has won them a special place in my heart. The greatest thing of all though would be that in our final battle together, they were finally “my” team. They never gave up on me…I love them all.
The Longhorns JV lost 20-14 to Ashe County in a game that saw the Longhorns show great fight. Brian Duperry, Devin Lewis and Bradley Wright all had big games for JCMS.
“The JV game was almost a mirror image of the Hampton game and the important thing again, was that we “chose to fight”. The JV has played with heart all year and I am proud of them and their coaches, it will make transitioning to varsity next year much easier,” Bray said.
Bray and his staff will be sending the eighth graders over to Scott Plyler in hopes of molding the kids into great players, but the future for JCMS looks bright with a strong seventh-grade group coming back and a strong sixth grade class that has been taught very well.
“The middle school should see a great upswing next year as all the 7th graders will benefit from our off-season weight program and they got more playing time then ever before thanks to our JV program. There is no longer a reason to “play down” as has been done in the past, due to lack of playing time, which should make our program stronger. We will have probably the largest number of returning players in our history and there is no doubt that it will be a game changer,” Bray said.”The upcoming freshmen display the courage and tenacity that I saw in their final game; they should be competitive in high school. Yet to be great, they must lift weights in the off-season. They are the masters of their own destiny now.
The following are the Johnson County representatives on the all-conference team
First Team
Cody Bailie
Payton Fenner
Samuel Icenhour
Alex Roark
Honorable Mention
Dakota Wright
Brycen Norris
Robert Guinn