An early lightning-delay shortened Wellborn’s football jamboree to two varsity quarters and one junior varsity quarter per game. That didn’t seem to bother the host Panthers or Jacksonville. The two Calhoun County schools picked up victories in varsity action.
First, Jacksonville blanked Talladega 28-0. Then, Wellborn downed Cedar Bluff 29-13 after building a 21-0 lead in the first quarter.
For Wellborn and Cedar Bluff, the bad news was who didn’t play long. Wellborn head coach Jeff Smith said that on the third play of the game his son Jett, the Panthers quarterback and middle linebacker, tackled Cedar Bluff quarterback Luke Hampton. Hampton came out with an apparent knee injury and didn’t return. The younger Smith stayed in until Wellborn took a 13-0 lead then went to the bench when his father realized he didn’t know how his team had scored.
Wellborn got its first touchdown on an 11-yard keeper by the younger Smith. Kentrez Hunt carried eight times for 79 yards and scored on a 5-yard run. Calvin Spinks ran 10 times for 68 yards and a 1-yard touchdown. Justin Berry added a 52-yard touchdown run.
“Early in the week, they were ready to play. I was just hoping they would hold it and not lose it before the end of the week,” the elder Smith said.
Jacksonville fans may have seen the future of the Golden Eagles’ running attack when running back Jae’Taj Morris, soon to be a sophomore, beat Talladega’s defenders to the left corner and scored on a 55-yard carry at 7:20 of the second quarter.
“Jae’Taj looked at a little different level than he did last year and he’s only getting better,” Eagles coach Clint Smith said, thinking of the one-two running back combinations that have served Jacksonville so well in recent season.
Jacksonville’s first touchdown came on a 7-yard pass from quarterback Luke Jackson to Omarion Adams. The first of four extra points by Mason Terrell made it 7-0. Ron Wiggins, a 2000-plus yards rusher last year, scored on a 1-yard run on the final play of the first quarter after Adams’ 32-yard interception return to the Talladega 24-yard line put the Eagles in business with 13 .3 seconds to go in the first. Jacksonville’s final touchdown came on a 70-yard deep pass from Jackson to Jaeden Barksdale with 31.6 seconds to play.