In the final home game of the 2019 season, the Washington Blue Lions hosted the Jackson Ironmen in the second week of Frontier Athletic Conference action Friday night at Gardner Park.
On a mild, humid evening, the Ironmen brought a 6-0 overall record to face the 4-2 Blue Lions.
Both teams won their FAC-opener last week.
On this night, the Blue Lions had trouble taking care of the football, committing seven turnovers as Jackson remained undefeated, winning 34-7.
The Blue Lions played well defensively, but four interceptions and three lost fumbles proved too much to overcome.
Jackson had to punt after their first possession.
The Blue Lions were also forced to punt following their first possession.
However, the punt was blocked, recovered by Evan Spires and returned 15 yards for a touchdown.
The extra-point kick by Isaac Kuhn gave the Ironmen a 7-0 lead at the 4:26 mark of the opening quarter.
The quarter ended with the visitors in front, 7-0.
Jackson scored again with 10:28 to play in the second quarter. Jared Icenhower hit Tristan Prater for a 26-yard pass play. The extra-point kick gave Jackson a 14-0 lead.
After another exchange of punts, Washington’s Trevaughn Jackson recovered a fumble and returned it 32 yards for the score.
Grant Kuhlwein’s extra-point kick cut the lead to 14-7 with 7:08 to play in the half.
The score remained 14-7 at the half.
Jackson had their second interception of the game early in the third quarter.
Jackson soon scored on a 46-yard run by Jayden Spires.
The extra-point attempt was no good, giving the Ironmen a 20-7 lead with 9:39 to play in the third quarter.
Jackson had another interception and then later recovered a Blue Lion fumble.
This set up a 7-yard touchdown run by Jayden Spires with 2:38 to play in the third. The PAT kick gave the Ironmen a 27-7 lead.
The score remained 27-7 at the end of the third quarter.
Spires scored on a 52-yard run with 3:18 left in the game, putting him over the 200-yard mark in rushing for the game.
Taking a glance at the statistics, Jackson had 378 yards of offense to 87 for the Blue Lions.
Jackson had 341 yards rushing on 51 carries. The Blue Lions were stymied with 29 yards rushing on 23 carries.
Washington’s quarterbacks (Jerome Mack and later Raleigh Haithcock) completed 15 of 31 attempts for 58 yards and four interceptions.
Jayden Spires was the game’s leading rusher with 209 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries.
“Jackson’s a good team,” Washington head coach Chuck Williamson said. “You can’t turn the ball over against them.
“I have to say, hats off to our defense,” Williamson said. “They gave up seven points. I’m proud of them.
“We have to get some offense,” Williamson said. “We have to generate something. It was 14-7 at the half. We come out and get the ball and we’re feeling good about ourselves. We were still in it late in the third quarter.
“We continued to turn the ball over against a good Jackson team and you just cannot do that,” Williamson said. “We missed Ethan Rogers-Wright (who was injured on Tuesday). Jerome (Mack) basically had a day and a half to get ready and that’s a tough spot to put him in.”
In other games Friday, Miami Trace improved to 5-2 overall, 2-0 in the FAC with a 21-7 win at McClain (2-5, 0-2).
Chillicothe defeated Hillsboro.
The Cavs are now 2-5 overall, 1-1 in the FAC. Hillsboro falls to 3-4 overall, 0-2 in the FAC.
Washington is at Hillsboro next week.
Miami Trace is home against Jackson and Chillicothe hosts McClain.