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JCMS football team plays outstanding in loss

The JCMS Football Team played the stronger of the two Kingsport City Schools last Thursday night at McEwen Stadium and though the Longhorns just missed out on the win, it was a much better effort.
After being outscored 40-0 in the jamboree and first game combined, the 'Horns did a complete 180 degree turnaround in what was an 18-16 loss to John Sevier at McEwen Stadium.
After having everything going wrong early on in the season for JCMS, the Longhorns played an outstanding game and showed the potential everybody saw coming into this year.
“We're coming together as a team and we're making strides,” JCMS head coach Matt Bray said. “We played fairly good defense and they're scores came on special teams plays. We just didn't have the same speed to match up, but we were in the game until the end when we drove down the field and had an interception, but we were definitely in this ball game and I think it kind of surprised that team because that team was definitely a better team than Ross Robinson was. They were fast and big and we took some punches and landed a few and didn't back down and that's what I was proud of.”
The team is getting used to the speed of middle school football and the 'Horns received an outstanding performance from Payton Fenner at linebacker as he finished with 11 tackles.
Samuel Icenhour had two touchdowns and finished with a team-high 50 yards.
Cody Bailie had two incredible catches for JCMS and really played well.
“I think they're finally starting to realize the difference and they're adjusting to it,” Bray said. “They're not going to be able to run over somebody or be able to break 10 tackles. They've got to be sharper and I think they are. I think we're becoming closer as a team too. I didn't have to spend as much time coaching during the game and spent more time on strategy. It was good to have Justin Pardue back and he did well.
The Longhorns had not played a game in 14 days heading into last Thursday night and the layoff definitely was a positive for JCMS.
“We've worked really hard and it shows,” Bray said. “We didn't get a lot of penalties, we executed well and we pulled off some difficult plays on a higher level. I was proud of that.”
JCMS will have a rematch of last year's Little Watauga Championship Game against Cloudland Thursday at 6 p.m. at McEwen Stadium. Support from the entire community will be welcomed to cheer on the Longhorns in what has become a huge rival of JCMS.
“I think we're on a equal level with Cloudland now, but we still have work to do,” Bray said. “The kids are going to last and if they can rise above defeat and make themselves better like they have, it will only make us better.”
RUSHING: Payton Fenner 29, Cody Bailie 32, Samuel Icenhour 50, Alex Tressler 33,
RECEIVING: Cody Bailie 30
PASSING:4-of-6, 39 yards
TACKLES: Brycen Norris 6, Payton Fenner 11, Bradley Wright 1, Dustin Jenkins 2, Sam Allen 1, Alex Roark 3, Alex Tressler 5, Cody Bailie 4, Samuel Icenhour 2, Nick Lewis 1.