Wildcats score big 37-14 win over Nashville Friday
The Anna-Jonesboro Community High School football team scored early and often on its way to a 37-14 win over visiting Nashville Friday night, Sept. 14.
“I thought our kids played really, really hard,” A-J coach Brett Detering said. “I’m proud of the way they played. It’s probably the best we’ve played all year.”
The Wildcats were hurt by three lost fumbles and only scored one extra point with the 7 touchdowns they scored.
“We’ll have to address those this week” in practice, Detering said.
The previously undefeated Hornets had outscored their opponents 122-6 heading into the game. Nashville fell to 3-1 and A-J improved to 2-2.
“Nashville was certainly a big concern coming in,” Detering said. “But, I think we had something they haven’t seen before.”
A-J’s option offense ground out 388 yards rushing.
The Wildcats’ offense began rolling on their opening drive.
Running back Reid Morrison scored on a 5-yard run to cap a 9-play drive.
Noah Treece kicked the extra point and A-J was ahead 7-0 with 7:38 remaining in the opening quarter.
After an incomplete pass from Nashville quarterback Nick Miller on a fake punt on fourth down, A-J took over deep in Hornets’ territory.
After one play, Damian Chrisp scored on a 32-yard run.
A-J didn’t get an extra point kick off after a bad snap but was still ahead 13-0 with 5:48 remaining in the opening quarter.
The Wildcats’ next drive was halted on a fumble near midfield.
After another Nashville punt, the A-J offense went to work again.
Chrisp scored on a 1-yard run after a 9-play drive that was fueled around two passes. Quarterback Conner Jerolds connected with Morrison on a 22-yard pass and with Garrett Fabec on a 27-yard pass. The drive was kept alive when Kyle McMahan recovered a fumble.
The conversion point run was halted and A-J led 19-0 with 7:28 remaining in the first half.
The Wildcats’ next two drives were thwarted by fumbles.
“We turned it over three times on fumbles. That can come back to haunt you,” Detering said.
At the end of the first half, A-J’s Devon Tolliver intercepted quarterback Cole Malawy’s pass.
The Wildcats then ran one play to end the first half.
The Hornet offense finally began clicking to open the second half.
After a 6-play drive, that was aided by a roughing the passer penalty against A-J, running back Jullian Metcalf scored on a 34-yard run.
Colin Laws’ extra point kick pulled Nashville to 19-7 with 10:19 remaining in the third quarter.
A-J responded quickly as Morrison scored on a 54-yard run after a 4-play drive.
Treece’s extra point kick was blocked and A-J pulled ahead 25-7 with 8:27 remaining in the third quarter.
The next Hornet drive was thwarted by Morrison when he tackled quarterback Daymeon Baugh for a 12-yard loss.
Both teams then traded punts and A-J pinned Nashville deep in their own territory on a booming 60-yard punt from Morrison.
The third quarter ended with Morrison keeping an A-J drive alive by catching a pass after he had fallen to the ground at the Nashville 2-yard line.
Chrisp then scored on the next play to cap the 7-play drive.
The pass for the extra point was incomplete and A-J pulled ahead 31-7 with 11:56 remaining in the game.
After the Hornets were halted midfield on a drive, A-J took over and Jerolds scored on a 1-yard run at the end of a 6-play drive. The extra point kick was off and A-J was ahead 37-7 with 5:58 remaining in the game.
Baugh then connected with Nick Miller for a 49-yard TD strike at the end of a 7-play drive. Laws’ kick closed out the scoring with 3:28 remaining in the game.
The Hornets were held to 102 yards rushing.
Morrison led A-J’s defensive effort with 13 tackles and several for losses.
Chrisp led A-J’s 388 yard rushing attack with 151 yards on 24 carries. Morrison added 125 yards on 7 carries. Jerolds had 89 yards on 17 carries. Nate Kisat had 22 yards on 5 carries.
Jerolds was 3 of 3 passing for 67 yards. Morrison led the way with two receptions for 40 yards and Fabec had 27 yards on one reception.
“Morrison’s game Friday was outstanding,” Detering said. “Jerolds played well and Chrisp had over 100 yards rushing. All three contributed. I was pleased the way we played on offense and defense.”