In the penultimate game of the regular season, the Jackson Indians ran into a buzzsaw in the form of the State-Ranked Holt Indians. Having to travel to Wentzville for this one, Jackson didn’t seem to execute like they normally do and were victimized by redzone miscues, turnovers and penalties in the 34-21 loss.
The game started out with some good news, as top running back Tony Williams returned to the starting lineup, and just three minutes into the game he found the endzone from four yards out to give his club a quick 6-0 lead. That was the last good feeling Jackson would experience until the end of the half though.
Holt got on the board about five minutes later with a 10-yard rushing touchdown to take a 7-6 to close out the quarter, but they were far from finished. They opened the scoring in the ensuing frame with a 1-yard TD pass and followed that up with a nine yard rushing score. The 21 unanswered points took the wind out of Jackson’s sails a bit and they found themselves trailing 21-6.
Thankfully, they had another drive left in them before the half came to a close. After marching down the field to the 24 yard line, the Indians decided to go for it on 4th-and-17 and QB Adrian Fox hooked up with Kai Crowe on a nifty pass into the end zone. The two-point conversion from Fox to Isaiah Davis cut the lead to 21-14 and gave Jackson some life heading into the locker room.
The tide would turn once again in the third quarter though as Holt came out firing to open the second half scoring with a 24-yard TD pass. As if the 27-14 lead wasn’t daunting enough, the home-team Indians ripped off a 50-yard TD run to close out the scoring in the frame.
In the fourth quarter, Jackson was able to find a way to keep the Holt offense at bay, but couldn’t find their own rhythm on offense. With just over two minutes remaining, Sophomore Zach Zimmerman did manage to find the endzone on a seven-yard run, but that was the most Jackson could muster and they fell 34-21.
It just wasn’t in the cards for the Tribe in this one, but there were still some solid individual efforts. Fox was 16-of-31 for 193 yards and a TD, and Williams led the ground attack with 54 yards on 21 carries with a touchdown in his return from injury. Davis was the leading receiver with 121 yards on nine catches, good for a 13.4 YPC average. Crowe had the lone receiving score and added 71 yards through the air.
As a team, Jackson actually out-gained Holt in total yards 354-310 and dominated through the air with 291 passing yards, while holding their opponent to just 67. But the Holt running game was too stout, totaling 243 yards to Jackson’s 63. Again, missed opportunities, penalties and turnovers (three INTs, one fumble) doomed the Indians in this one.
Now 5-3, Jackson will look to close out the regular season on a high note at home, as they face the Festus Tigers, who will have to travel to The Pit.