A back-and-forth game at Saks turned against Jacksonville late as the Golden Eagles fell to Saks 34-27 in overtime Friday. Jacksonville’s Preston Harvey booted a 27-yard field goal with six seconds to play to deadlock the game at 27-27 and send it into overtime. The Wildcats scored first and then kept the Eagles out of the end zone on fourth down from a yard away.
The loss came in Jacksonville’s Class 4A, Region 5 opener.
“We played with winning effort. We played the way that good teams play Friday night against Saks,” Eagles coach Clint Smith said Monday. “It’s like I told the guys, they have nothing to be ashamed of – the way they played, the effort they played with. If we continue to play with that effort and that desire that we played with Friday night, we’re going to win our share of games.”
Jacksonville continues Region 5 action Friday, hosting Hokes Bluff. Hokes Bluff was last year’s Cinderella team in Class 4A, starting 0-3 and barely making the playoffs as the No. 4 team from Region 5 then winning three postseason games and just missing an appearance in the state championship game on a late loss to Madison Academy.
“They’re riding a lot of momentum coming off the semifinals last year and almost beating Madison Academy to go to the state championship then coming in this year and beating their rival 6A Southside30-6 and a big win over Cherokee County last week,” Smith said. “They’re playing with a lot of confidence.”
Smith said Hokes Bluff returns senior quarterback Landon Johnson, all-state running back sophomore Darrian Meads and junior wide receiver Braydon Hill among its skill players on offense. Hokes Bluff likes to run the football behind a big offensive line and continues to play physical, stingy defense.
Against Saks, a 56-yard touchdown run by Macey Carr and the first of Preston Harvey’s three extra points put Jacksonville ahead 7-0 with the game just more than a minute old. With 6:46 left in the first quarter, Harvey kicked a 27-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead. The first quarter ended with Jacksonville up 10-7.
Carr bumped that lead to17-7 with a 57-yard run at 9:21 of the second quarter. A rushing touchdown and another score on an interception return put Saks in the lead 20-17 at halftime. The Wildcats got the lone points of the third quarter on a 30-yard run for a 27-17 edge.
Colton Clark’s 21-yard touchdown pass to Josh Glass with 4:39 to play got the Eagles within striking distance and Harvey’s second field goal forced the overtime.
Carr ended with 156 rushing yards on 12 carries. Clark ran three times and netted 27 yards. Tahj Kirkland gained 19 yards on four attempts.
Clark was 13-for-24 passing for 127 yards with two interceptions. Jewels Gray led the receivers with six catches for 63 yards. Jakobie Calloway gained 26 yards on four receptions. Glass’ touchdown was his lone catch. Cade Landers had one catch for 18 yards and Carr’s only catch lost one yard.
On defense, Glass and Jalen Trueblood each recorded nine tackles. Omarion Adams, James Johnson and Ben Patterson made six tackles apiece. Jamel Mays and Blake Morris had five stops each.
Johnson intercepted a pass and returned it 21 yards. Trueblood recovered a fumble.