By JOSEPH ODOM
News Sports Writer
J.U. Blacksher High School vs Excel High School has been one of the biggest rivalries in Monroe County for decades. Many of the games in the past have been great showdowns and this past Friday was no exception.
To kick off the game Blacksher received the ball in the down-pouring rain. After only 6 plays, the Blacksher Bulldogs turned the ball over to Excel on downs. Excel was unable to take advantage of this, however, and turned the ball back over to the Bulldogs with 8 minutes on the clock.
Blacksher took advantage and scored on a 7-yard run by #2 defensive back and quarterback sophomore KD Rabb. The extra point attempt was no good making the score 6-0 with 6:07 left in the first.
Excel received the ball again but turned it over on an interception picked off by #4 defensive back and wide receiver junior J.T. Tucker. The next play a 58-yard pass was made to Tucker for a touchdown. Blacksher made the 2-point conversion making the score 14-0 with 4:58 in the first. Both teams struggled for possession for the rest of the quarter.
At the beginning of the second quarter, Excel received the ball and after an 11-play drive they were able to put up their first points of the game. The extra point attempt was no good making the score 14-6 with 7:25 left in the second quarter. Both teams fought over the ball for the rest of the half but both were unable to score making the score 14-6 at the end of the half.
At the beginning of the third quarter Excel started with possession of the ball and both teams fought over possession. No points were scored but there were 2 interceptions by the Bulldogs in the third quarter. One by Rabb and one by Tucker.
Early in the fourth quarter Excel managed to tie up the game with a touchdown making the score 14-14 with 9:14 left on the clock.
Both teams again struggled for possession until the Bulldogs were finally able to score with a 28-yard pass into coverage to #18 linebacker and running back junior Tucker Spence late in the fourth quarter. The pass made the score 21-14 with 1:09 left on the clock. Excel held possession of the ball for the last minute of the game until on the last play of the game the ball was intercepted by Rabb.
The final score of the game was 21-14.
Defensively the team was led in tackles by #17 linebacker and running back freshman JaDaniel Nettles with a total of 18 tackles. He was followed in tackles by #19 linebacker and running back junior Jaylin Hunt with a total of 17 tackles. Offensively Blacksher had 170 total rushing yards, 114 of which were made by Rabb. Blacksher totaled 108 passing yards. Blacksher had a total of 278 offensive yards and 3 interceptions.
Head Coach Wes Sims said he was “very proud of how our team played. We played a complete game, but still have work to do this week against
Washington County which is an important region game for us.”
Blacksher’s next game is this Friday at Washington County at 7 p.m.