Ross And Dearman Earn Honors In Spring

March 28, 2012 · Filed Under Football · 1 Comment 
Dearman and Matthews

Offensive lineman Drew Dearman, his father and Offensive Coordinator Robert Matthews after the annual Red & Blue Spring football game.

If you were at the Red & Blue Spring Game and went onto the field for autographs, you may have noticed a player wearing the honorary #5 jersey. The Jaguar players chose Brandon Ross to wear that number in honor of Anthony Mostella, who passed away in the summer of 2010.

Mostella’s number 5 jersey is given to a graduating senior that is chosen by his teammates to honor his memory.

Also Drew Dearman was chosen as the Most Improved Lineman for the spring. Dearman has solidified the left guard position as he has moved into the starting lineup heading into the fall.

Jaguars First Practice Of 2010 Preseason Camp

August 7, 2010 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

South Alabama hit the field early Friday morning for their first day of preseason practice. With more returning players, the Jags have more leadership and more organization in their first practice. Not that last years practice was disorganized by any means. These returning players have a determined focus and knowledge of the South Alabama system that they can help guide the incoming freshman through their initial paces.

In a little over two hours of practice time, it quickly became obvious to both the new transfers and the incoming freshmen that the Jaguars mean business. After coming off of an undefeated inaugural season, it would be easy to begin preseason camp with ease. But that would not make their road to FBS any shorter.

Practice began with about 15 minutes of special teams punt coverage before the offense and defense split to opposing sides of the field. The quarterbacks went through pass plays beginning with wide receivers, then running backs and finally tight ends. While the defense worked on pursuing ball carriers down the sidelines.

After about 35 minutes of split offensive and defensive drills, or about 50 minutes into the practice session, linebackers and defensive backs grouped up and began going through pass play coverage while the offense continued going through passing plays but they also added running plays.

The next 15 minutes had 7-on-7 skeleton passing drills while defensive linemen and outside linebackers faced the offensive line and attempted to pressure the quarterback.

After that session, the offense and defense split again. The offense went back to working on its plays while the defense focused on formations, coverages and rushing the passer.

A 10 minute period had 11-on-11, offense versus defense, drills. The offense was able to complete three of ten passing attempts, including the last two attempts by Brennan Sim. The only other to complete an attempt was Raymond Cotton who found Erling Riis on a screen play.

The returning players came out and were definitely bigger and stronger. Coach Jones attributed their first day effort to their weight and conditioning training over the summer. During the summer, only the strength and conditioning staff are allowed to work directly with the student-athletes. Coach Jones commented, “One thing I noticed in walking around with the other coaches is that we look a lot better than we did last year physically on the field. Now, we have to translate that into playing well. Just because we look good doesn’t mean we’re going to play good. The challenge for the guys is that they have to transfer some of that weight they’ve gained into being great players.”

Linebacker Justin Dunn, one of ten returning defensive starters, was quoted saying, “The talent level has improved, and so has our depth.” Not only are more players are on the team in the way of freshmen, but five transfers from  FBS (formerly Division I-A) should make an immediate impact for the Jaguars.

Raymond Cotton, one of the latest and definitely biggest press garnering transfers to the South Alabama program was quite impressed with his first practice. “They bring it out here, harder than I thought they would,” he was quoted saying.

Jake Johnson, linebacker transfer from Virginia Tech, was also impressed with his first practice with the Jaguars. “It was intense, especially compared to what I was used to at Virginia Tech. This is the hardest practice I have been a part of since high school two-a-days. It was non-stop, which made it tough, but it was a fun practice.”

Coach Joey Jones can see improvements in the size, strength and depth of his team as they hit the field in preparation for their second season. But one of his goals since the end of last season was to make sure that he and his staff take time to thoroughly examine the program to see where they could improve as well. Coach Jones said, “We spent the whole off-season trying to get better. The staff has done a great job of looking at what we did last year, seeing what people are doing around the country and trying to learn. We’re not going to make wholesale changes, but would like to add things that fit with us.”

With the unfortunate passing of Jaguar running back Anthony Mostella, Coach Jones announced that his memory was to be honored by having a distinguished senior wear his jersey in his honor. The team took a vote on Wednesday when the players reported to campus and Coach Jones announced that Justin Dunn would wear the number 5 jersey. “I’m excited about it,” Dunn said about the honor. “Mo was a close friend of mine, my next-door neighbor actually, and we played together at Birmingham-Southern for three years. It’s an honor, because he’s one of the best people I know, a great athlete, a great student and a good person. More people like him would make the world a better place.”

The Jaguars will return to the field at 7:10am Saturday morning for another two hour practice in shorts and helmets. On Sunday and Monday mornings, the Jags are scheduled to hit the field in shells before donning full pads on Tuesday.

Mostella’s Legacy At South Alabama

June 21, 2010 · Filed Under Football · 1 Comment 

Tommy Hicks wrote a nice piece about Anthony Mostella’s funeral and Coach Joey Jones in the Mobile Press-Register today.

He wrote about how Coach Jones, a very good public speaker who has done so countless times over the years, found it much more difficult speaking at the funeral for a player tragically killed in a motorcycle accident.

Mostella played for Coach Jones at Birmingham-Southern and eventually for him at South Alabama too. The article touches on how Mostella contacted Coach Jones and convinced him to accept him as a transfer.

As a way of remembering Mostella’s importance in South Alabama’s first season of football, Coach Jones announced how his presence will continue to be a reminder each year. Mostella’s #5 jersey will not be retired or put on display. It will be awarded to a Senior who earns the honor of wearing the #5 jersey.

A fitting honor for an outstanding gentleman.

Read the article here.

South Alabama Lose One Of Their Own

June 13, 2010 · Filed Under Football, News · Comment 

Anthony Mostella: May 10, 1988 – June 13, 2010.

The South Alabama Jaguar family lost a member today. 22 year old Anthony Mostella died in a one-vehicle accident in St. Clair County according to a report from Alabama State troopers.

The accident occurred about three miles south of Ashville. No other details were available and the accident remains under investigation.

Friends and family have been bombarding his facebook page with notes to him and his family. A shining light that was extinguished too early. Rest in peace Mo, your #5 will not be forgotten.

Article on AL.com.

**EDIT**

Following up on last night’s terrible news that Anthony Mostella passed away in an accident, some specifics were released later last night. It seems that it was a motorcycle crash around 3:40pm about three miles south of Ashville.

At Birmingham Southern he was a second-team All-Southern Collegiant Athletic Conference pick at running back in 2007. He rushed for 222 yards with two touchdowns on 57 rushes while catching 30 passes for another 297 yards and a touchdown. He was also named to the Sun Belt Conference Academic Honor Roll at the end of the Spring semester in 2009.

In high school at Oneonta, Mostella set a school record with 38 touchdowns while rushing for 2,055 yards. During his four years, Oneonta had a mark of 52-3.

South Alabama’s Head Football Coach Joey Jones actually coached Anthony Mostella at Birmingham Southern as well as South Alabama and gave the following quote on usajaguars.com.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Anthony’s family right now. I’ve been fortunate to have worked with Anthony at two schools, he was the epitome of a true student-athlete and a tremendous role model to his peers. His character and leadership skills will always be an example for everyone in our program to follow.”

Link here

Jags Run Record To 6-0 With Another Blowout Victory Over Milford Academy

November 8, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jags homecoming saw yet another impressive showcase of South Alabama talent. The Jags score four touchdowns in the first quarter, score a total 64 points and win by 50+ points for the second consecutive game.

Big Brandon Ross opened the scoring when his 15 yard run up the middle finished the 6 play 73 yard drive with less than two minutes gone in the first quarter. The defense would force a three and out punt to set up the Jags second touchdown drive of 5 plays covering 77 yards. Myles Gibbon capped it off with a 15 yard run to put the Jags ahead 14-0 with 9:47 to go in the first quarter.

A second consecutive defensive stand forced the Falcons to go three and out again. Brennan Sim then came in to lead the offense in its third drive and quickly showed his stuff by hitting Courtney Smith (AKA Quick 6) on a 73 yard touchdown strike to extend their lead to 21-0 with 7:02 left in the first quarter still.

The Falcon offense finally got their first first down of the game on their third drive but could only manage to go 28 yards in 5 plays before being forced to punt to the Jags again. The Jags started at their own six yard line but Brennan Sim showed his poise and led the Jags on a 94 yard march in seven plays to score. Brandon Ross carried it in for this second touchdown of the first quarter. This 94 yard drive was the longest by the Jags so far this season. The Jags led 28-0 with 2:11 left in the first quarter.

The Jags then forced the Falcons to punt on their next possession and pinned the Jags back within their 20 yard line again. But the Jags would drive again. Moving the ball 76 yards in 10 plays they settled for a Michel Chapaseaux from 25 yards out to run their lead out to 31-0 with 11:49 left in the first half.

The Jags defense held again and forced their third three and out punt of the game. However a mental error in special teams play gave the ball back to the Falcons at the Jaguar 31 yard line, which they would take advantage of by scoring on a 30 yard pass but failing to convert the PAT left them at 31-6.

A big return on the ensuing kickoff put the Jags at the Falcon 19 yard line. Five plays and 19 yards later, Anthony Mostella took the ball in for a touchdown from one yard out to extend the Jaguar lead to 38-6 with 6:32 left in the first half.

The next Falcon possession was another three and out punt. However the Jags would give the ball right back on the next play with an interception at the Milford 12 yard line. Forced to punt from their own endzone, the punter mishandled the low snap and the Jags pounced causing a safety to put the Jags up 40-6 with 4:35 left in the first half.

With the safety, the Falcons were forced to kickoff to the Jags from their own 20 yard line with a free kick. The Jags would march 44 yards in 5 plays to cap off the first half scoring. This time Eli Smith carried the ball in from 8 yards out to run their lead to 47-6 with 2:18 left until halftime.

Milford would get the ball on the kickoff and put together their best drive of the game, moving the ball 67 yards in 8 plays only taking 1:38 to do it. Their drive ended with a 7 yard touchdown pass with 40 seconds left in the half. Would kneel on the ball to go into halftime with a 47-12 lead.

The Jags rolled up a dominating 456 yards of offense in the first half with 322 of them coming on the ground.

The third quarter saw a lul in the scoring with only Michel Chapaseaux adding a 39 yard field goal with 8:57 left in the third quarter for a 50-12 lead.

Early in the fourth quarter Clifton Crews picked off a Falcon pass and returned it 49 yards for a Jaguar touchdown. Lawson McGlon added the PAT for a 57-12 lead. Then on the next Jaguar possession, Ryan Scott scored on a one yard run to end the 11 play 64 yard drive for the last Jaguar touchdown for the final score of 64-12.

Unfortunately Myles Gibbon went down with a foot injury late in the game after a long pass completion. He was helped off the field by the trainers and immediately went to the trainers table where they worked on his ankle. He walked off on crutches and later came back to watch the remainder of the game with the South Alabama students. The initial prognosis is that its a broken ankle but X-rays are scheduled on Monday to confirm.

Twelve different Jags carried the ball for a total of 396 yards, led by Brandon Ross’ 6 carries for 82 yards and two touchdowns. Myles Gibbon ran 3 times for 59 yards and a touchdown.

Passing Gibbon went 2-of-5 for 33 yards, Brennan Sim was 2-for-3 for 90 yards including the 73 yard strike to Smith for a touchdown. Nick Owens was 2-for-6 for 40 yards and an interception. Gabe Graham was 0-for-1.

Receiving Courtney Smith was the only Jag to catch more than one pass with 2 for 76 and the only touchdown. Erling Riis caught one for 30 and Taylor Noon caught one for 29.

Clifton Crews led the way with 7 total tackles but Ken Barefield led the team in solo tackles with 4.

The Jags totaled 538 yards of offense (the most this season) with 397 of them on the ground. The Defense only gave up 185 total yards with only 35 of them rushing.

The Jags were penalized eight times for 89 yards and the Falcons were flagged seven times for 67 yards.

After the game Coach Jones had this to say: “It was a big win again. I’m proud of the kids for playing well. It’s just a matter of executing well and playing hard. We’ve got a short week coming up, and we’re going to start getting ready early in the morning for the game on Thursday. We’re looking forward to it because they’re going to be one of the best teams we play. They’re leading the nation in offense in Division III, so we’ve got a great game to look forward to this week.”

Brennan Sim thought the offense did its job. “I think we moved the ball well. We executed, which we need to continue to do,” he said. “What we saw on film is what we got. We hit them big on a couple of plays because they played a lot of cover zero, so they didn’t even have a safety out there.”

Ryne Baxter, an offensive lineman who got his first start in place of an injured Cory Pitman, said, “The coaches prepared us well. We worked hard all week, so I was ready to step up when I was called on. I was a little nervous at first, but after the first play I knew I was going to be alright.”

Milford Academy head coach Bill Chaplick joined the ranks of opponents coaches who spoke highly of the Jaguar team. “This was a great experience for my guys to come down here. We are normally a blitzing defense and South Alabama was able to take us out of that. We weren’t able to get to the quarterback until we were down 28 points and that killed us. Offensively, we just weren’t able to do anything either.”

The Jags will have a very quick turnaround with their next game coming up on Thursday night. The weather over the next couple days may cause the coaches headaches in preparing for Huntingdon College with the potential for heavy rain for Monday and Tuesday. The Hawks will come into the game with an 8-1 record after downing Coach Jones’ former team, Birmingham-Southern, on Saturday.

Kickoff Thursday night is scheduled for 6pm at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

Go Jags!!

Jags Continue Their March Towards An Undefeated Season With Win Over Fork Union

November 1, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jags continued their march towards an undefeated inaugural season with a big victory over Fork Union on Saturday with a spectacular display of passing. Coach Jones said over the last two weeks that they wanted to be able to pass the ball more effectively and be a more balanced team and it showed.

After stopping the Blue Devils on their first possession, the Jags did not hesitate to put on a display. The first Jaguar play from scrimmage saw freshman quarterback Myles Gibbon find Courtney Smith open for a 64 yard touchdown pass. Then the Jaguar defense stopped the Blue Devils on their ensuing possession forcing a second three and out punt. Again Gibbon threw to Smith who would take it 60 yards for a second touchdown and putting Courtney Smith in the record books as the first Jaguar to have over 100 yards receiving in only two plays.

The Jags defense would hold the Blue Devils to a third consecutive three and out punt. With the offense moving the ball again, covering 36 yards on two plays, the Jags would lose a fumble at the Blue Devil 19 yard line. But the Blue Devils would not have the ball long after being force to punt for the fourth consecutive possession of the first quarter.

The Jags would score their third touchdown of the opening quarter when Brandon Ross took it in from two yards out. Michel Chapuseaux would miss the PAT attempt so the Jags lead would be 20 with about four and a half minutes left in the first quarter. Ross’ run was set up by the previous play when Brennan Sim found Lamontis Gardner for a 40 yard gain.

Even with a 20 point lead in the first quarter, the Jaguar defense could smell blood. On the ensuing Blue Devil possession, Zach Brownell pounced on an interception and returned it 30 yards. This set up a field goal by Michel Chapuseaux of 24 yards to extend the Jags lead to 23.

But the defense wasn’t done yet. Just two plays later the Jags forced a fumble which Montavious Williams scooped up and returned for a 24 yard touchdown to round out the Jaguar scoring in the first quarter. The Jags would outgain the Blue Devils 217-8 on their way to the 30-0 first quarter score.

The Jaguar defense would forst another three and out on the next Blue Devil possession. After getting the ball on the Blue Devil 15, the Jags only took three plays to punch it into the endzone with Santuan McGee’s 2 yard touchdown running capping off the short drive for a 37-0 score.

The Blue Devils would finally get get a first down and move the ball on their eighth possession going 31 yards in seven plays before turning the ball over on downs at the jaguar 34 yard line. Sim would then lead the Jags on an 8 play 66 yard scoring drive which saw Brennan Sim throw his first career touchdown pass to Anthony Mostella for a 44-0 lead with 6:57 left until halftime.

The Blue Devils would then see their longest possession of the game get cut short just before halftime when the Jags Jerron Mitchell intercepted a pass and returned it 36 yards with 1:07 left until halftime. The Jags would run two plays and go into halftime with a 44-0 lead.

The Jags would open the second half with another first in Jaguar history. Ralph Turner would open up the scoring in the second half with an 85 yard kickoff return for a touchdown to put the Jags up 51-0 when Lawson McGlon tacked on the PAT.

However the Jaguars shutout would be disrupted on the ensuing Blue Devil drive. Fork Union would go 76 yards in 5 plays to score their only points of the game. They attempted a 2 point conversion which fell incomplete to leave the score 51-6 with 12:49 left in the third quarter.

The Blue Devil defense would finally find a way to stop the Jaguar defense on their next possession by holding them to three yards and forcing a punt. Fork Union, forced to start deep in their own territory, had a fumble on a bad snap that Clifton Crews fell on in the end zone for a touchdown with just under 10 minutes left in the third quarter for a score of 57-6.

Again the Blue Devils were forced to punt on their next possession. Then the Blue Devil defense forced the Jags to a three and out and a punt. Fork Union then moved the ball 34 yards in nine plays before turning the ball over on downs at the Jaguar 47 yard line.

On the Jags first offensive play, Nick Owens found an open Kelly Vail for a 53 yard touchdown pass to end the scoring at 64-6.

The Jags would end the game with 60 yards rushing and 321 yard passing and 13 first downs. while Fork Union finished the game with -22 yards rushing and 213 passing.

Santuan McGee and Ryan Scott were the only Jaguar running backs to have double digit yards with 39 and 25 respectively on five carries each. Myles Gibbon would go 2-for-4 in the game for 124 yards and 2 touchdowns while Brennan Sim went 9-for-9 for 130 yards and a touchdown and Nick Owens went 3-for-4 for 67 yards and a touchdown.

Courtney Smith was the first Jaguar receiver to go over 100 yards in a game with 131 on 3 receptions with two of them for touchdowns. Lamontis Gardner would catch 2 for 73 yards and Kelly Vail would have one reception for 53 yards. Six other Jaguars caught passes as well.

Erling Riis would return 4 punts for 50 yards, one going 44 yards to set up a Jaguar score. Ralph Turner would return one punt for 23 yards as well as his 85 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Scott Garber would only punt twice with a 40 yard average and both punts ended up inside the Blue Devil 20 yard line.

Ken Barefield led the defense in tackles with five. Romelle Jones and Bryson James were credited with forcing a fumble each.

Coach Jones spoke after the game about the Jaguars performance. He said, “We came out and executed very well. The protection got better, and that’s where it all starts in the passing game. We had some wide open guys down the field on the first two passes, and Myles did a good job hitting Courtney. We just executed well.”

Courtney Smith commented about the offensive production, “We practiced it all week and I knew the first play was going to be to me, so I expected the ball and Myles threw a good one. After the first one they told me they were going to throw it to me again, so I expected it again.”

Myles added the following after the game as well, “Coach stressed to us that he wanted to open up the passing game. On the first two plays, I knew they wanted to hit something deep. They played the perfect defense for it, and it worked out. It’s one of those things where you drop back and everything just slows down. Although it was wide open, those are the passes quarterbacks hate throwing because you don’t want to overthrow them.”

Ralph Turner had this to say when asked about his kickoff return, “It’s been a stressful last four games for me because I haven’t really been touching the ball,” he said. “Once I got the ball the hole was wide open and I just ran.”

Again the Jaguars received high praise from the opposing teams coach after the game. Fork Union head coach John Shuman had this to say, “We had seen in the paper that South Alabama was working on its passing game. As we got here and watched the pregame warm-up, we knew that they would try to take advantage of the long ball early, and they did. They came back out and did it again. Once you get down 14 points, you become one dimensional – we couldn’t run the ball. South Alabama did a great job on the defensive side, they called some great blitzes and used a good scheme against us. On offense, it was obviously men against boys here. It just didn’t go our way today.”

Coach Jones commented about the Jaguars overall performance and Fork Union’s team by saying, “I’m proud of the guys today. After the last two games, we’ve really stressed coming to work every day. We’re trying to teach these kids a life lesson, and if they’ll approach their work the right way then good things happen. We probably out-manned the team we played, and we know that, but we played well – we didn’t play sloppy. The other team came in here and had a 15-hour bus ride, which I’m sure was a tough thing to do, so my hat is off to them for that. They had some really good athletes and good coaching. I think it was just a matter that our kids played well.”

The Jaguars will host Milford Academy next Saturday, November 7 for homecoming. Kickoff is set for 4pm at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

Commentary: Jaguars Winning Ways Similar To National Championship Contender

October 24, 2009 · Filed Under Commentary, Football · Comment 

There is no doubt the Jaguars first season of football has already exceeded many peoples initial vision. They thought that if the Jags could win a couple games, it would be a pretty good season. But with the Jags 4-0 and dominating every opponent in all phases of the game, this was unexpected by many local observers.

South Alabama is starting to get noticed around the state too. UAB and Troy fans are already talking up their programs and talking down to the Jaguars. This started after the first game and again after the second game. Are they already worried about their place in the state’s college football pecking order? If not, then maybe they should.

Looking at the Jaguars and the current #1 team in the state, the University of Alabama, you can see some parallels between the two teams (overlooking the last two or three games by Alabama). The Jags and UA are both led by good defensive play based on stopping the run.

The Jags Justin Dunn would probably be the Jags closest player to parallel the impact of Dont’a Hightower. Hightower played (out for season with a knee injury) inside linebacker and made lots of tackles and stuffed the run. Charlie Higgenbotham would be the closest Alabama’s Rolando McClain. He does a good job helping to stop the run and is able to drop into coverage as well. Although Josh Chestang could also be tagged as a possible McClain parallel too.

In the secondary, Jerron Mitchell is probably the closest cornerback to the skill and ability to match Javier Arenas in coverage and tackling. Althought I haven’t seen him blitz the quarterback like Alabama does with Arenas. While Zach Brownell seems to have the same nose for the football as Alabama’s Mark Barron. They seem to put themselves into the right position to pick off an opponents pass.

Even the Jags and Alabama seem to have somewhat similar strengths and weaknesses on offense. Both teams run the ball very well with a good stable of running backs, but both are somewhat struggling in the passing game. The Jags don’t utilize the ‘pistol’ formation nor do they use the ‘wildcat’ formation either. Coach Jones and Coach Gregory feel that freshman quarterback Myles Gibbon is athletic enough that they do not need to use those formations. So they are too different to be compared to each other beyond the fact they are both starting quarterbacks.

Courtney Smith is big, fast and is a threat to score anytime he gets the ball, which is exactly what you would say about Julio Jones. Its hard to compare the rest of the receiver corps because of how few passes have been thrown and how many receivers have caught passes.

Again, both teams are very strong in the rushing game. Obviously Alabama’s Mark Ingram is quite a spectacular player, but so is Trent Richardson too. There are many traits that are shared by Ingram and Richardson for Alabama and Brandon Ross, Santuan McGee and Anthony Mostella.

I strongly urge you not to misconstrue these comparisons. It’s not meant to further praise Alabama or to proclaim the Jaguars just as good as Alabama. It’s merely meant to go towards showing what a good job coach Jones and his staff are doing here in Mobile. Alabama is currently ranked in the top two spots in all of the polls and rankings. Both teams are winning with fundamentals, strong defenses and a lots of rushing yards.

As mentioned in the Coach Joey Jones Radio Show, the Jags need to work on their passing game to be a more complete team. They are definitely dominating by running the game, but a football team wants and really needs to be able to move the ball by passing or running the ball.

Something else the Jags need to work on lately are their penalties. In the first two games the Jags did not commit many penalties. Against Hargrave they committed 4 for 30 yards and against Army prep they committed 5 for 40 yards. But against Georgia Military they committed 10 for 158 yards and against Louisburg they committed 6 for 52 yards. The Jags improved against Louisburg by reducing their number of penalties and yards but it is still more than the first two games. The Georgia Military game is obviously the low point of the Jags season thus far. If you subtract their penalty yards from their offensive production, they only gained 93 yards.

With this type of play out of such young players the Jaguars have quite a bright future ahead of them. With increasingly better opponents coming in the near future, the Jags will be in the position to play competitively and win.

Jags Roll Up Another Impressive Victory To Stay Undefeated

October 18, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jags posted another big win on Saturday with their 41-7 victory over Louisburg JC. Brandon Ross scored a season best three touchdowns in the win with 138 yards on 13 carries.

The Jags started out slow on this windy, chilly day. The Jags and the Hurricanes traded possessions and both sides were less than stellar punting the ball. But finally the Jags got their offense in gear after holding Louisburg to a three-and-out situation. Brandon Ross found a hole and broke free for a 60-yard run before the Hurricanes stopped him five yards short of the goal line. Anthony Mostella scored up the middle on the very next play to give the Jags a 7-0 lead.

Ross’ big run would be the only premiere play of the first quarter as both teams would combine for less than 100 yards of offense and seven punts.

The second quarter was a much different story. The Jags would rack 173 yards to 46 yards for the Hurricanes in the second quarter alone. With 7:50 left until halftime, the Jags would march 50 yard in five plays which was capped off by a 10 yard touchdown run by Brandon Ross for a 14-0 advantage.

Ross would get his second touchdown run of the game with 4:26 left in the half with a two yard run to top off a four play 60 yard drive in 1:21 to put the Jags up 21-0.

The Jags would drive once more before halftime to add to their lead. Lead by Myles Gibbon, the Jags went 77 yards in seven plays taking 1:49 off the clock. Gibbon would find Kevin Helms wide open in the left corner of the endzone for a 6-yard touchdown reception. Michel Chapuseaux would miss the PAT leaving the Jags up 27-0 with 53 seconds until halftime.

A good kickoff return to start the second half would set up the Jags at the Louisburg 34 yard line and it would only take the Jags 43 seconds to find the endzone. Brandon Ross would get his third touchdown of the day to top off the three play 34 yard scoring drive with a 20 yard romp for the score. Chapuseaux would make the PAT to put the Jags up 34-0.

The Jags would kickoff after the touchdown and the Louisburg return man would bobble the ball and retreat back trying to find a hole to advance but would be tackled at the one yard line. This would lead to the Hurricane’s longest sustained drive of the game. Going 11 plays for 33 yards in 6:52 before punting away to the Jaguars.

The Jags would start at their own 20 yard line and drive 80 yards in nine plays. Santuan McGee would finish up the scoring for the Jags with a one yard run for the touchdown, putting the Jags up 41-0 with 3:13 left in the third quarter.

The Hurricanes would avoid the shutout though. Driving 60 yards in seven plays in 3:03. The big spark was a 30 yard pass play to the Jaguar one yard line to set up the touchdown. It was the one and only time the Hurricanes made it into the red zone all day. The touchdown capped the scoring for the game with the final score being 41-7.

The next two Jaguar drives would end with fumbles before the final possession ran out the clock to end the game.

The Jags had 474 total yards for the game, 310 rushing and 164 passing with 22 first downs. Louisburg had 222 total yards, 52 rushing and 170 passing with 12 first downs.

A total of 10 Jaguars carried the ball for the 310 yards. Brandon Ross led the way with 13 carries and 138 yards, Ralph Turner had 2 carries for 49 yards, Santuan McGee 6 carries for 41 yards were the highlights.

Myles Gibbon was 6-of-9 for 89 yards and a touchdown, Brennan Sim was 6-for-7 for 70 yards and Nick Owens completed his only attempt for five yards.

Nine Jaguars combined for the 13 receptions. Courtney Smith had 2 for 25 yards, Drew Ezell had 2 for 23 yards, Kevin Helms had 2 for 15 yards and the only touchdown reception of the game, and Corey Besteda also had 2 for 13 yards to round out the multiple catch receivers.

Josh Chestang, Anton Graphenreed and Justin Dunn all had five tackles for the Jags.

Brandon Ross spoke after the game about his performance. “I always practice keeping my feet moving. I’m still trying to get better at it,” he said. “I do not want to get tackled by one person. If I’m going to get tackled, I’d rather get tackled by a group of defenders.”

Coach Jones mentioned Ross’ running in the post game press conference. “We challenged him to run like that every play. He’s starting to understand that he’s got a 230-pound body that’s hard to tackle,” coach Jones said. “When you lower your shoulders and a free safety is coming up to tackle a guy like that, that’s a tough thing to tackle. When he learns to run like that all the time, he’s got a chance to be a great one. He’s got a chance to be a very special running back and probably play beyond college.”

Gibbon also commented on Ross’ running ability as well as the entire running back stable. “Brandon is a great running back; everyone has seen that,” Gibbon said. “Even when he gets tired and we take him out, we have another three running backs that can get in the game and get the ball rolling. Having good running backs makes our lives a lot easier.”

Coach Jones further commented about the Jags play. “I thought we came out and played fairly well. The biggest thing we’re challenging our kids with is no matter who we’re playing, we’ve got to play with character,” Jones said. “We’ve got to practice with character, we’ve got to work hard to study our opponents film, and we’ve got to not change anything about the way we prepare for a game. That was our challenge this week. I thought the kids did that, they were prepared.”

Louisburg head coach John Sala gave a glowing commentary about the Jags in the post game press conference. “We came into this game with the mind-set to win it. We had a great chance and thought we could do a really good job,” he said. “Give a lot of credit to South Alabama. When they are that sound fundamentally and you have those types of players, that is a hard combination to beat. We go against better players all the time, but none that are that well-coached. That combination is just hard to beat at any level.”

The Jags will have next Saturday off before hosting Fork Union Military Academy on Saturday October 31 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium with kickoff set for 4pm.

The Jaguars Defense Set The Tone Against Georgia Military

October 11, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jaguars defense smothered Georgia Military at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Saturday. One name, Zach Brownell, became pretty familiar to the 15,178 fans in the stands as he had three interceptions and returned one of them for a touchdown.

The Jaguar defense held the bulldogs in check for the most part. They only gave up 10 first downs and 234 yards of total offense. Including a mere 88 yards rushing and holding them to only 1 of 15 in third down conversions. However the Jags bid for a second straight shutout was thwarted in the final minute of the third quarter on a 31-yard field goal by Evan Kay.

South Alabama’s offense started off slow against Georgia Military. The first three possessions ended with a punt, a fumble and a punt. But the Jaguars would put the first points on the board with a seven yard touchdown run by Brandon Ross early in the second quarter to cap off a ten play 67-yard drive.

The Jags next possession would end with an interception on an ill advised pass by Myles Gibbon. However the Jaguar defense would give the ball right back to the offense with an interception three plays later. The offense moved 37 yards in six plays but were forced to punt themselves which they downed on the nine yard line.

With the Bulldogs deep in their own territory, the defense turned up the pressure again forcing another interception. Brownell would return it for a touchdown with 1:35 left before halftime to put the Jags up 14-0.

The second half continued the with the Jaguar defense playing strong. They forced the Bulldogs to go three and out and punt on their first possession of the second half. They Jags offense would go three and out as well but would pin them inside their own 15 yard line on the punt. The South Alabama defense would come up big once more when they forced a fumble at the Bulldog 10 yard line which Clifton Crews would pick up and return for another defensive score for the Jags. This put them up 21-0 with 9:05 left in the third quarter.

After the kickoff the Bulldogs started to move the ball, going 29 yards in eight plays before the third and final Brownell interception with 5:12 left in the third quarter at the South Alabama 20 yard line. The Jags would be forced to punt again a few plays later.

The Bulldogs would mount their only other scoring threat of the game at their own 38 yard line. The Bulldogs connected on a long pass to move them into Jaguar territory. But the defense held strong and forced the Bulldogs to settle for a field goal with 47 seconds remaining in the third quarter for a score of 21-3.

Both teams would go three and out on the two ensuing possessions. Then the Jaguar offense found another spark and covered 54 yards in four plays for another Brandon Ross touchdown. On the extra point, the bulldogs would be flagged for a personal foul and would leave the first team kicker, Michel Chapuseaux injured and have to be helped off the field. The trainers took him to the sidelines and was examining his right knee. Shortly they took off his pads, gave him crutches and sent him to the locker room to get out of his uniform. He rejoined the team on his crutches as they gathered for the alma mater after the game.

Both teams would, again, see three and out possessions. The next Bulldog possession would cover 25 yards in six plays but went for it on fourth down and came up short. The Jags would take the ball from their own 40 yard line and drive 38 yards in eight plays eating 3:45 off the clock before Lawson McGlon nailed a 39 yard field goal to cap the game off at 31-3.

Brandon Ross lead the way for the running backs with 15 attempts for 79 yards and two touchdowns. Santuan McGee had 8 carries for 60 yards, Anthony Mostella had 9 for 34 yards, Myles Gibbon had 6 carries for 20 yards and Eli Smith carried the ball twice for 8 yards.

Gibbon went 6 for 13 for 44 yards and an interception for the game. His longest pass went for 32 yards. Nick Owens completed his only pass attempt for eight yards.

Courtney Smith was the only receiver with more than one reception at two for five yards. Kevin Helms, Paul Bennett, Corey Besteda, Erling Riis and Brandon Ross each had one reception each.

Scott Garber punted 7 times in the game and averaged 45.3 yards per punt and downed two inside the Bulldog 20 yard line.

Justin Dunn lead all Jaguars in tackles with 11 followed by Zach Brownell with six. Also Brownell had the three interceptions.

The Jags had 13 first downs with 199 yard rushing and 52 yards passing for a total of 251 yards (their lowest numbers of the season). The game was marred with lots of penalties. The Jags had 10 for 158 yards while Georgia Military had 14 for 136 yards.

After the game Coach Jones spoke about the defense. “Those guys want to get a shutout if they can, but they love scoring touchdowns as well – it’s always fun for them to do that. Those are game changers,” he said. “Obviously, we were great defensively and played a solid game against a very good football program. Zach has a nose for the football, he’s just a very smart football player. The one he ran back for a touchdown right before the half was certainly a big play in the game.”

Coach Jones also spoke about the Bulldog defense. “We knew that their defense was very good. They fly to the football and hit you,” he said. “They gave us some problems and we knew that would happen.”

Myles Gibbon also spoke about Georgia Military after the game. “We knew coming into this game that they were one of the best teams we’ll play all year,” he said. “You have to give credit to them, they’re a good team and a good defense. They were coming with pressure, but we studied their different blitzes and how to block them all week – our offensive line did a fantastic job today.”

Georgia Military head coach Bert Williams spoke about the game against South Alabama. “You have to take your hats off to South Alabama. They played well, played consistently and played hard,” he said. “We got what we expected out there. We just didn’t expect to be as generous with the ball as we were – we gave them touchdowns two and three on turnovers. Those two plays put us in a bad way.”

Justin Dunn had this to say about the game. “We were ready for everything they threw at us. That just goes back to coaching and team play,” he said. “We played our butts off today. What we did was nice, but we’re never satisfied as a defense. We have another opponent next week that we need to prepare for.”

The Jags will host Louisburg Junior College next Saturday with kickoff set for 4pm at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. This will mark the first time this season that the Jags will play games in back-to-back weekends.

Go Jags!

Jags Win Impressively Over Army Prep To Stay Undefeated

September 27, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Coming off of a three week layoff was nothing that the Jaguars could not overcome on Saturday. Not even a rain storm could slow them down too much. The Jaguar offense rolled up 500 yards of total offense while only surrendering 225 to Army Prep in an impressive 56-0 victory.

Of the 500 yards for the offense, 309 came from the running game but built their early lead via the passing game. On the games first series and facing a 3rd down and five, freshman quarterback Myles Gibbon found Courtney Smith on a wide receiver screen for a 63 yard touchdown pass 1:06 into the game.

Army Prep’s first series ended with a punt that was blocked by the Jaguar defense, however the Jags turned the ball back over on a fumble. After the defense forced another punt, Erling Riis returned the punt to the Black Knight 37 yard-line. The Jaguars only needed six plays to get the ball into the endzone when Gibbon hit Corey Besteda on an 18 yard slant play for the touchdown with 6:16 left in the first quarter.

After another Black Knight punt, the Jaguars used 1:31 in four plays to cover 36 yards for their third touchdown of the first quarter. It was capped off by Brandon Ross’s second and final carry of the game for the two-yard touchdown.

A fourth consecutive Black Knight punt set up the Jaguars for a third consecutive scoring drive, a four play 58 yard drive taking only 1:54 off of the clock put the Jaguars up 28-0 with 13:00 left in the second quarter. Brennan Sim came in for relief of Gibbon on this series. Sim found Ralph Turner for a 40 yard gain to start the possession and it was capped off with a nine-yard touchdown run by Anthony Mostella.

Army Prep took the ensuing kickoff on an 11 play 46 yard drive before fumbling at the Jaguar 10 yard line. The Black Knight defense tightened up and forced a Jaguar punt.

The Jaguar special teams pinned them back at their own six yard line when Jerron Mitchell scored on a 27 yard interception return with eight minutes left until halftime to extend the Jaguar lead to 35-0.

The second half saw the Jaguars continue their scoring when a fumble recovery would be converted to an 11 yard touchdown run by Ryan Scott with 12:50 left in the third quarter.

The Jaguar defense would force Army Prep to punt again on their next series leading to Scott scoring again on a five yard run for a 49-0 advantage.

Army Prep would then throw another interception on their first play from scrimmage which lead to the Jaguars final scoring drive. Eddy Cabrera would intercept the pass to set up the 5 play 61 yard drive was capped off by an 18 yard pass from Nick Owens to Nick Brunson with 3:10 left in the third quarter for the final score of 56-0.

Army Prep only threatened to score twice in the game, but came away empty handed both times. In the first quarter they completed a 66 yard pass but on the very next play Justin Dunn would force a fumble that Charlie Higgenbotham would recover at the South Alabama 10 yard line. The second threat had the Black Knights in the red zone but back to back sacks ended the possession.

Four quarterbacks saw action in the game for the Jaguars. Myles Gibbon finished 6 of 7 for 122 yards and 2 touchdowns, Brennan Sim went 2 of 5 for 46 yards and Nick Owens went 2 of 2 for 23 yards and a touchdown. Gabe Graham did not attempt a pass. In all the Jaguar quarterbacks went 10 of 14 for 191 yards and three touchdowns.

Courtney Smith led the receivers with two receptions for 59 yards and one touchdown. Nick Brunson was the only other Jag with multiple receptions with two for 23 yards and a touchdown. Corey Besteda was the other Jaguar receiver with a touchdown.

The Jaguar rushed 44 times for 312 yards and four touchdowns total while averaging seven yards per attempt. Eli Smith lead all with nine carries for 94 yards and a long of 31 yards. Ryan Scott had eight carries for 83 yards and two touchdowns. Jeremy Pacillo had seven carries for 40 yards, Anthony Mostella had five carries for 40 yards and Santuan McGee also had five carries for 19 yards.

On defense, three Jags had five tackles: Justin Dunn, Logan Bennett and Brett Hancock. Seven Jaguars had three tackles. Clifton Crews and Randon Carnathan both had a each.

Coach Jones was pleased with his team. “It was obviously a great effort. I thought we’d play well, but I didn’t know we’d play that well,” he said. “We had a lot of time to prepare, and that really made the difference today. That’s why we played as well as we did.”

Coach Jones continued, “The biggest thing I talked to the team about today was the way we prepared,” Jones said. “It would’ve been easy for our kids to let up in practice, and easy for our coaches to let up in practice. The kids didn’t lose their focus, they knew that we had an opportunity to be extremely prepared and that’s what happened today. What I learned about them is that they’re listening to what we’re saying, and they’re buying in. Just to see the looks in their eyes in the locker room after the game, you can see that things are starting to turn. You start to see the evolution of a team. We’ve certainly got a long way to go, but I think they’re starting to turn into a team and we’re only going to get better from there.”

Army Prep head coach Tom Simi had good things to say about the Jaguars as well. “We played what is going to be a very good team in South Alabama today,” Simi said. “USA is a program that is just starting, but they have some good players on their team already and I’m sure they are going to rise quickly. Obviously, today was extremely challenging for our kids.”

Coach Jones and the Jaguars will have two weeks to prepare for Georgia Military Junior College for their game scheduled on Saturday, October 10 at 11:30am

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