By Sean Allen
The first drive of the game didn’t start off too hot for the Johnson High Jags as they were hampered by a penalty and a loss of yardage.
However, with the help of an additional penalty, they were able to create some distance with the Alamo Heights Mules starting off their own 47 yard line.
But the back and forth struggle was too much as the Jags fell to the Mules 27-20.
Shortly after, Mules quarterback James Sobey rolled to his left, scoring on a 15-yard quarterback keeper at the 3:25 mark.
It was a short drive when the Jaguars took over, as they gained only 13 yards on the second drive and were forced to punt.
On the ensuing drive, the Mules marched into the Jags’ end zone leading to kicker Phong Bein scoring his first field goal of the night with 10:57 left in the second quarter, bringing the score to 10-0.
On the Jags first drive of the second quarter, it started off great but on just the third play, a costly fumble ensued leading to a turnover past midfield at the 44 yard line. Despite the positioning, the Mules weren’t able to move the chains.
The Jags then had a 14-play drive capped off with a faked handoff with wide receiver/tight end Rich Kelley scoring on 9-yard touchdown run while avoiding two would-be tacklers at 4:28 in the second quarter. The extra point attempt was blocked, leaving the score of 10-6.
The Mules came back with a vengeance and made it to within half a yard of the end zone with the help of a penalty. But minutes later, a penalty after a goal line stand led to Bein kicking his second field goal of the night on fourth down with 22.9 seconds left in the half leading to build the Mules’ lead to 13-6.
The Jaguars’ first drive of the second half started with great field position at their own 37 yard line, after a 10 yard punt, but it was short-lived after a fumble occurred on the first play.
A turnover on downs then occurred which led to a drive saved on fourth down by a 19-yard reception from the Jaguar wide receiver Quincy Ervin. On the next play, quarterback Jesse Medina ran in for 7 yard touchdown. The extra point attempt was no good, bringing the score to 13-12 with 4:32 left in the third quarter.
The Jags later recovered a fumble but back-to-back punts ensued on the following drives.
Into the fourth quarter the Jags picked up steam, as Medina torched the field with a massive 86-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Ethan McCallister. Kelly then scored a two-point conversion leading to the Jags’ first lead of the game 20-13 with 8:40 in the fourth quarter.
The Mules didn’t back down from the challenge as they orchestrated a 5-play 60-yard touchdown drive on a pass from quarterback Chase Christianson to wide receiver Rett Anderson. The game was now tied, at 20-20 with 6:57 remaining.
On the next set of drives, the Jags were unable to capitalize after a turnover on downs at the 47-yard line which led to Mules’ Anderson hauling in a second touchdown reception putting the game out of reach at 26-20.
Medina completed 18 of his 26 pass attempts for 274 yards and a touchdown to six different targets finishing with a passer rating just shy of 117 yards.
Even with a 20-yard run from Ethan McAllister, the Jaguars were only able to put up 75 yards on a combined 31 carries.
Jags wide receiver Kelly led the team by hauling in eight receptions for 78 yards while running back McAllister brought in three catches for 100 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Conner Crabtrey had a career night collecting four catches for 48 yards.
Leading the way on defense for the Jaguars were their upperclassmen. Cornerback Benicio Zapata finished the game with 11 tackles, while outside linebacker Alex Izaguirre and cornerback Daz Castro tallying 10 and 8 tackles respectfully.
The Jaguars kept it close despite having three costly fumbles.
Coming up on Friday at 7:30 p.m., the Johnson Jaguars will be searching for their second home win at Bob Shelton Stadium, as they take on the San Antonio McCollum Cowboys who are searching for their first win since their 2018 season.