Jags Stay Undefeated With Another Impressive Victory

November 13, 2009 · By · Filed Under Football 

South Alabama sporting their all-white uniform and the offense debuting a new wrinkle. We’ll call it the ‘Wild Jag’ instead of the Wild Cat formation.

Thursday night the Jags capped off their first season of football the way they wanted, with a win. But this win wasn’t like any other win, this was a very special victory. It marked the end of an undefeated season for the Jags. The Jags had several things to overcome in the game, but they worked hard and won 35-0 over a very good Huntingdon team in front of their second largest crowd of the season at 23,683.

Last week the Jags saw starting quarterback Myles Gibbon go down after a pass play and had to be helped off the field by the trainers. He was quickly looked at and sent to the locker room on crutches to dress out. This week it was discovered that his injury was not a serious as first thought. Instead of a broken ankle it was just a bad sprain. So Junior Brennan Sim got the start in his place.

But Myles was not the only injured player missing the game for the Jags. Actually a couple missed the game due to various injuries.

Huntingdon College arrived in Mobile ready to play and for the first half they gave the Jags all they had. They held the Jaguar offense in check on their first drive forcing a punt, but it would be the Hawks that would get the first big play to make a difference in the game.

The Hawks would get the ball on their own 23 yard line after a Jaguar punt and would eventually connect on a 78 yard pass on a broken play to get the ball down to the Jaguar 2 yard line. With the Jags defense facing allowing the first score in the first quarter for the season and also possibly trailing for the first time in a game, the defense stepped up. The first play from the two the Jags stopped the runner one yard short of the end zone. Then the following play the Jags would force a fumble and recover it near the two yard line.

Then the Jaguar offense found their gear and methodically marched down the field in 8 plays to cover 98 yards to score the first points of the game. Brandon Ross capped off the drive with a 5 yard run for the score with 5:28 left in the first quarter.

The ensuing Hawk possession saw a Jaguar interception but the ball was turned right back over to the Hawks two plays later. From there there were several punts. Then with 3:21 left until halftime the Jags attempted a field goal however Michel Chapaseaux’s kick missed wide right.

The second half was much different from the first for the Jags. After a good return of the second half kickoff, the Jags drove 54 yards in 7 plays to open the second half with a touchdown drive. Again, Brandon Ross capped it off with a 1 yard touchdown run.

Huntingdon’s next possession ended with an interception which the Jags could not capitalize on and was forced to punt themselves on a three and out. Forced to punt again on the next Huntingdon possession, the Jags then put their offense into high gear. Scoring on their next three consecutive possessions on drives of 62 yards in 10 plays, 85 yards in 8 plays and 37 yards in two plays. The first drive was capped off by a pass to Santuan McGee but the next two saw him carry it in from 1 and 12 yards out.

Brandon Ross gained 144 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns for this third 100-yard game of the season. Santuan McGee ran 11 times for 93 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Brennan Sim ran 8 times for 50 yards. Several other jags also carried the ball.

Brennan Sim was 13-for-20 for 150 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Nick Owens only threw one pass which was incomplete.

Courtney Smith was the leading receiver with 4 catches for 73 yards. Corey Waldon caught 3 for 39. Five other Jags caught passes as well.

In total, the Jags had 22 first downs with 345 yards rushing and 150 yards passing for a total of 495 yards. The Jags also had 9 penalties for 85 yards in the game.

Huntingdon College had 11 first downs with 54 yards rushing and 182 yards passing for a total of 236 yards. The Hawks had 11 penalties for 72 yards. The Jags defense shut Huntingdon down in the second half by only allowing 83 yards during those 30 minutes of play.

Coach Jones praised his players after the game. “It feels great of course, and we had that as a goal, but we really concentrate on the little things,” he said. “That’s what gets you to 7-0 – those little things you do every day in practice that the coaches keep harping to the players, and that’s just nothing but a reward for your hard work each day. I never thought we’d be 7-0.”

The Huntingdon College coach also had good things to say about the Jaguars. “We haven’t played anyone like that has frustrated us that much defensively,” he said. “They were able to really shut down the things we were trying to do and make us go places we’re not accustomed to going as far as the game plan. A lot of credit goes to coach Jones and his staff. They are doing a fantastic job, and they obviously outcoached us tonight. It was obvious to me that they had their guys a lot more prepared for us than we were for them.”

Zach Brownell mentioned that the Hawk offense was a little surprising to the Jaguar defense. “They were a good offense.They came out and hit us in the mouth. Their receivers were physical and they showed us some stuff we didn’t see on film.”

Brennan Sim, who filled in for an injured Myles Gibbon, spoke after the game. “It means a lot to the team to finish the season 7-0, to face a little adversity for the first time, and to come out with a really strong second half. For me, it was exciting to be able to end the season on a high note.”

Coach Jones also spoke about the challenge the Jags faced in Huntingdon. “We kind of wanted a challenge. Of course I would’ve rather scored a few more points, but the bottom line is Huntingdon came out and played great. Those guys are scrappy, and I knew it. When I watched them on film I knew they would present a challenge. Hats off to them for coming out and playing well.
We needed a game, we needed to be able to come in at halftime and regroup, refocus and make some changes. We did that, the staff did a great job at halftime, and we came out and played a great second half.”

The Jaguars halftime adjustments were excellent. But their determination and hard work really payed off. The Jags are a very physical team, just like Coach Jones wants, and it showed in the second half. They just wore Huntingdon out down the stretch of the second half.

The Jags have alot of build on over the next several months to prepare for next season. The coaches will be recruiting hard over the next several weeks leading up to National Signing Day in early February.

The excitement has reached new heights this football season in Mobile. Even though Alabama is undefeated, it is very encouraging to see so many people wearing their South Alabama merchandise to various places.

Another exciting thing is that the students and fans can keep wearing their “Still Undefeated” shirts for the next nine months leading up to the 2010 season. This can only help recruiting. But if Alabama happens to slip up anytime during their last few games of the season, those shirts can take on new meaning.

What does next season have in store for the Jags? Only time will tell, but one thing we can clearly see right now is that the sky is the limit. To take the words from Casey Kasem, “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”

Go Jags! Still Undefeated!

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