BEAR CREEK — “The Streak” lives on.
Jacquez Thompson rushed for 291 yards and four touchdowns on 16 carries besides returning a punt 74 yards for a score to spearhead a dominating …
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BEAR CREEK — “The Streak” lives on.
Jacquez Thompson rushed for 291 yards and four touchdowns on 16 carries besides returning a punt 74 yards for a score to spearhead a dominating Jordan-Matthews ground assault that piled up 531 yards against a porous Chatham Central defense as the Jets soared to a 56-30 non-conference triumph in Bear Creek Friday evening on Military Appreciation Night.
Defeating the Bears for the 45th consecutive time while improving to 50-2 all-time against its arch rival, J-M won for the first time in four outings this season, whereas Chatham Central, despite scoring its most points ever in the long-standing series that began in 1959, stumbled to 0-4 for the year.
Thompson tallied on runs of 25, 17, 73 and 16 yards while Ryan Johnson added 108 yards on five lugs as Jordan-Matthews averaged better than 9.6 yards per tote in out-gaining the Bears 544-262 in total yardage. Jets’ quarterback Calvin Schwartz attempted only five passes, completing three for 13 yards, but ran for a pair of short touchdowns.
“Our game plan was to keep Chatham Central’s defense honest with some runs up the middle while primarily using our speed to get to the outside,” said first-year J-M coach Sam Spencer. “After jumping out to a big advantage in the first quarter I wasn’t comfortable with our lead since I felt Chatham Central would make a comeback, because with their style of play they’re never out of a game.”
Spencer pointed to a couple moments in the game he deemed imporant.
“I thought two crucial turning points were when we drove 80 yards with no timeouts and less than four minutes left in the second quarter to score just seconds before halftime to go up by 19, then later forcing them to turn the ball over on downs in our territory early in the fourth quarter after they had closed the gap to 42-30,” he said.
Riley Lagenor led the Bears on the turf with 120 yards on 22 carries, including scoring jaunts of six, two and 13 yards, while Chatham Central signal-caller Michael Moore connected on 14-of-32 aerials for 166 yards and one touchdown with one interception.
“J-M burned us on the edge all night, and we’ve got to do a much better job stopping the run,” said Bears’ coach Sherman Howze.“After we battled back from a 20-0 first-quarter deficit and pulled within 11 late in the second period we let them off the hook when they punched in a score just before the break. Then we failed to capitalize on a great opportunity when we started a drive in their territory trailing by two touchdowns with 10 minutes to play but couldn’t generate a first down. We also hurt ourselves tonight with overthrown passes and our failure to wrap up on tackles.”
After Chatham Central received the opening kickoff and was forced to kick as the result of a three-and-out series on its initial possession, Thompson fielded the punt at his own 26 and dazzled the crowd by taking it to the house to give Jordan-Matthews an 8-0 lead following his two-point conversion run just 1:11 into the contest.
Beginning their next series at their own 17 three minutes later, the Jets drove 83 yards in six plays to fashion a 14-0 advantage with 5:43 remaining in the opening quarter when Thompson sprinted wide right the last 25 yards to score after eluding a tackler at the 10.
Following a bad snap by the Bears on a punting situation that gave J-M the ball at the Chatham Central 35 with 2:49 to go in the initial stanza, Jordan-Matthews tallied three plays later when Schwartz culminated the march with a keeper around the left side the final seven yards to boost the Jets’ lead to 20-0 with 1:50 remaining in the period.
Chatham Central then moved from its own 40 to the J-M 22 before the drive fizzled and Abad de la Sancha came on to boot a 39-yard field goal with 9:13 left in the second quarter.
Regaining possession of the pigskin at their own 36 just over four minutes later, the Bears mounted a four-play, 64-yard scoring march to trim the difference to 20-9 when Lagenor capped the drive with a six-yard run up the middle with 3:55 to go until halftime.
But Jordan-Matthews then traveled 80 yards in nine plays to extend its advantage to 28-9 at intermission when Thompson weaved his way through Chatham Central defenders the last 17 yards to pay dirt prior to Jerrell Brooks running over right tackle for a two-point conversion with 16.1 seconds remaining until the break.
Two plays after receiving the second half kickoff, Thompson sped 73 yards down the right sideline to increase the Jets’ lead to 34-9 with 11:11 to go in the third stanza.
The Bears answered with a seven-play, 54-yard scoring drive capped by Moore’s 22-yard touchdown pass to Micah Gurley in the left corner of the end zone prior to de la Sancha’s point-after that trimmed the margin to 34-16 with 8:25 remaining in the period.
J-M then responded with a five-play, 61-yard scoring march to forge a 42-16 advantage when Schwartz scrambled wide left the last five yards to the goal line before Rayshawn Alston ran up the middle for a two-point conversion with 5:44 to go in the quarter.
Nic Wilson’s recovery of a Jordan-Matthews blocked punt at the Jets’ seven just over four minutes later set up Lagenor’s two-yard TD dive off left tackle prior to de la Sancha’s extra-point kick that narrowed the spread to 42-23 with 1:10 left in the stanza.
Two plays into J-M’s ensuing possession Chatham Central linebacker Zack Ritter fell on a Jordan-Matthews bobble at the Jets’ 23, and Lagenor’s 13-yard scamper over right tackle three plays later got the Bears within 42-30 following de la Sancha’s conversion with 16.6 seconds remaining in the third period.
After holding J-M to a three-and-out series, Chatham Central regained possession at the Jordan-Matthews’ 48 two minutes into the fourth quarter but ended up turning the ball over on downs when the Bears failed to register a first down.
The Jets then proceeded to launch a five-play, 55-yard scoring drive to stretch their lead to 48-30 when Thompson climaxed the march by scooting wide right the final 16 yards with 6:07 showing on the clock.
Johnson’s 14-yard return of a Moore interception to midfield with 5:16 to go in the contest set in motion the evening’s final score when Brooks finished off a three-play drive by dashing 23 yards up the middle with 3:57 left before Schwartz tossed a two-point conversion pass to Johnny Person, who made a leaping catch over a defender in the back of the end zone.