Junc­tion City ad­vances past Jaguars 37-8

El Dorado News-Times - - Sports - By Ja­cob Pumphrey

JUNC­TION CITY, Ark. – Class 2A No. 3 Junc­tion City had no prob­lem on Fri­day night in the open­ing round of the Class 2A State Play­offs as the Dragons quickly put away McCrory 37-8 at Paul H. Muse Field in­side David Car­pen­ter Sta­dium. The win over the Jaguars, the fifth seed of the 3-2A, sends the Dragons to the sec­ond round of the state play­offs, im­proves the pro­gram to 18-0 in first round play­off games and is the 42nd home play­off win in school his­tory.

The Dragons (8-2) ran 34 plays on Fri­day night and held the foot­ball for less than 14 min­utes as the of­fense struck in mul­ti­ple facets en route to 353 yards of to­tal of­fense.

Se­nior run­ning back Dhante Gib­son racked up 177 yards on the ground in 16 car­ries and scored twice as he av­er­aged 11.1 yards per at­tempt. Ju­nior quar­ter­back Brady Hutch­e­son gained 29 yards rush­ing on the ground, but the ma­jor­ity of his pro­duc­tion came through the air as he con­nected with se­nior Kevon­tae Haynes three times for 125 yards and two scores.

Junc­tion City also scored on spe­cial teams in the vic­tory as ju­nior JaK­iron Cook fielded a Jaguar punt at mid­field with less than two min­utes re­main­ing in the first half and raced un­touched down the McCrory side­line be­fore leap­ing a de­fender at the goal line to give the Dragons a 24-0 lead at the in­ter­mis­sion fol­low­ing the two-point run by Gib­son.

Fri­day night’s first touch­down came cour­tesy of Gib­son as he scored on a 49-yard touch­down run with 1:59 re­main­ing in the first quar­ter. Less than two and a half min­utes into the sec­ond quar­ter and on Junc­tion City’s first play of their third drive of the evening, Hutch­e­son found Haynes on a 76-yard touch­down pass. Both scor­ing drives were capped off by two­point plunges from de­fen­sive stand­out Sema-j Lev­ingston, who added five to­tal tack­les, which in­cluded 3.5 for loss with one sack.

Fifty-seven sec­onds into the sec­ond half, Gib­son found the end­zone again; this time from three yards out, fol­low­ing two car­ries for 44 yards which set Junc­tion City up in­side the Jaguar five-yard line.

Haynes caught his sec­ond touch­down pass of the game, a 48-yard toss from Hutch­e­son, on the first play of the fourth quar­ter to put Junc­tion City up 37-0 fol­low­ing the ex­tra­point from se­nior Jack Smith. Sopho­more Tan­ner Bar­nett led the de­fense with 11 to­tal tack­les se­nior J’Va­cye’ Cook fol­lowed with nine, while the younger Cook chipped in with six. McCrory threw eight times in their 58 of­fen­sive plays and com­pleted just two of those at­tempts for 13 yards. The Jaguars tal­lied 226 yards on the ground in 50 rush­ing at­tempts with 65 of those yards com­ing on their fi­nal drive that saw the Jaguars find the end­zone for the only time on Fri­day night.

Junc­tion City ad­vances in their Class 2A State Play­off run and will re­main at home as they play host to Moun­tain­burg; the sec­ond seed of the 4-2A. Moun­tain­burg de­feated the 8-2A’s Park­ers Chapel 46-28 on Fri­day night to ad­vance. Kick­off from Paul H. Muse Field at David Car­pen­ter Sta­dium is set for 7 p.m. Fans can fol­low the Dragons live each and every week on the Dragon Sports Net­work via UStream and 101.5 The Hog.


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