By KATIE WIGGINS
News Sports Writer
The J.U. Blacksher Bulldogs whipped the Florala Wildcats 59-7 Friday night in their first home game of the season. The Bulldogs had 210 rushing yards and 170 passing yards to help give them their first win of the season. The offensive captain for the night was Lane Sims and the defensive captain was Dillan Baldwin.
The Bulldogs ran the score up 22-0 in the first quarter. Several seniors made key plays. Running back Tanner Weaver had a 20-yard rushing touchdown. Cooper Dean, quarterback, ran the ball in for an extra 2 points. Running back Jacob Bowman was able to put 6 more points on the board when he ran 32 yards for a touchdown. Bowman also forced a fumble on defense which Baldwin scooped up and ran in for a touchdown.
The Wildcats put their only points on the board in the second quarter. Weaver added more points for Blacksher when he fumbled then recovered the ball during kickoff and ran the ball back 80 yards for a touchdown. Bowman was able to score again after rushing 14 yards for another touchdown. Baldwin added a 13-yard rushing touchdown. Logan Crosby helped the defense out when he got an interception and ran for 6 yards. At halftime the score was 42-7.
On the first play of the third quarter, Landon Mura rushed for 55 yards for a touchdown, but it was taken back by a penalty. Dean was able to connect with Baldwin on a 5-yard pass for another touchdown. Sophomore Justin Heffington recovered a Wildcat’s fumble that senior Taylor Graham forced.
Jackson Reid, sophomore, came in at quarterback in the third quarter. Dean’s kick from the 16-yard line for an extra 3 points was good. Weaver got an interception with 3:38 left in the third quarter. The score at the end of the third quarter was 52-7.
In the fourth quarter, Reid threw a 39-yard pass to Heffington for the Bulldogs’ final touchdown, making the final score 59-7.
Dean completed 5 of 6 passes for a total of 91 yards. Reid completed 3 of 4 passes for 94 yards. Dean completed a 19- and a 5-yard pass to Baldwin, a 26-yard pass to Heffington, a 34-yard pass to Mura, and a 7-yard pass to Crosby. Reid completed a 31- and a 24-yard pass to freshman KD Rabb, and a 39-yard pass to Heffington.
Bowman rushed for 94 yards, Weaver for 45 yards, Dean for 31 yards, Jadaniel Nettles for 22 yards, and Baldwin for 13 yards.
On defense, Baldwin and Graham led the team with 9 tackles each. Crosby was right behind them with 7 tackles. Bowman had 5 tackles, while Weaver had 3 tackles.
Baldwin gave a brief statement after the game.
“I think we played very hard tonight. We had some young kids step up and make plays, but we always have room for improvement.”
Bowman added, “Florala was a lot better than they were last year. They had a good running back and a good quarterback. We stuck it out and played a great game.”
Our school and community continue to pray for a speedy recovery for the Blacksher player who collapsed on the field Friday night.
J.U. Blacksher plays an area game at home against Southern Choctaw, Friday, September 8th.