Jags Stay Undefeated With Another Impressive Victory

November 13, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

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!

Jags Media Day During Short Week Prep For Huntingdon College

November 10, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jags opponent in just two short days may be the teams biggest challenge of the year. The Jags are coming off of back to back 64 point games then will follow it up with a short week for the Thursday night match up. But Huntingdon College may not be like most of the schools the Jags have faced this season.

Huntingdon has experienced players, they will have juniors and seniors. They are averaging around 550 yards of offense and about 44 points per game. Although they are a Division III school, they have experience and they have talent. What they may lack would be size on the offensive and defensive lines.

Here are some comments from Coach Jones during Monday’s media day on Huntington College. “When you look at Huntingdon you see a very good football team,” said Coach Jones. “We may have played some other teams with better athletes, but this is by far the best team we’ve played. They’re extremely well coached, and they do all the right things. They’re very good on offense, averaging 44 points per game, with 550 yards a game. They’re leading the nation in Division III offensively. We realize they’re a very good football team, and we’re really looking forward to Thursday night.”

Huntingdon’s quarterback, Justin Ridgeway, has made some plays this year. Coach Jones had this to say about him. “He’s very athletic. He has a good arm, is a big quarterback with size to him, and he rolls out of the pocket and throws the ball really well. One thing I notice about him is he makes plays when things seem to go awry. If the protection breaks down he will scramble and make a throw, and that always scares you as a coach because you do everything right, things break down and you feel like you’ve got him, and then all of a sudden he makes a big play.”

Again, the other elephant that was in the room about this weeks game is the short turnaround time from Saturday to Thursday. “It is different. We’ve cut back two days of preparation from the normal week to week cycle,” Coach Jones answered. “We came in on Sunday and worked, and the coaches have been here nonstop getting ready for this ballgame. The biggest thing is our coaching staff has to have time to put a game plan together, put it in a simple way for the kids to understand it, and we’ve done that. I told the team yesterday that we’ve got to be ready to play. We’ve only got two more practices left, and so we’ve got to get everything done. I’ve challenged them to do that, and they’ve responded to it.”

The Jags kick off against Huntingdon College on Thursday at 6:00pm at Ladd-Peebles Stadium for their last game of the season and a chance to go undefeated in the Jags inaugural season of football. They are billing the game as a white out. The Jags will wear their white helmets with their white jersey’s and white pants. They encourage their fans to wear white as well to support the Jags.

GO JAGS!!

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!!