Tough test looms for JaysWhen it was all said and done, the Jamestown High School football team’s defense surrendered a trio of touchdowns and only let Bismarck Century drive the field and score once in last week’s game.
By: By Chris Aarhus, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
When it was all said and done, the Jamestown High School football team’s defense surrendered a trio of touchdowns and only let Bismarck Century drive the field and score once in last week’s game.
Two defensive scores and two touchdowns off big plays doomed the Blue Jays in a 35-8 West Region loss, but coach Tim Fletcher was upbeat about what his team was able to do against the Patriots.
“Our defense came out and played physical,” he said. “That was a huge point for us.”
Though the Jays are 1-4 and are allowing nearly 240 yards on the ground per game, they have only let two rushers reach the 100-yard mark this season.
That number could change when they visit workhorse tailback Layne Johs and top-ranked Bismarck High (5-0) at 7 p.m. today. Johs rushed 14 times for 206 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s 49-6 stomping of Dickinson.
“Their offensive line and their running back; they’re extremely tough,” Fletcher said. “Even Bismarck’s quarterback (Ben Jolliffe) said all he ever does is hand the ball off. Our focus this week will be considerably on stopping the run.”
Fletcher understands the Blue Jays are major underdogs, but said that’s no excuse to lie down for anybody.
“Nobody’s giving (us) a shot,” Fletcher said. “(We’re) gonna go out there and compete for four quarters and get after it and give them a great game.”
If the Blue Jays can mirror last week’s defensive effort and physical play, Fletcher would be OK with that. The Blue Jays trailed 7-0 midway through the second quarter until Century’s Brennan Doan returned an interception 13 yards for a touchdown. Four minutes later, Drew Wiseman scored on a 77-yard screen pass from Jared Fischer, and the Patriots led 21-0 going into the locker room.
The Patriots also got a 33-yard interception return for a TD from Wiseman late in the third quarter.
“I think our effort was there, our physicality was there,”Fletcher said. “We’ve got to put it together on both sides of the ball.”
The Blue Jays entered the game with five turnovers, but had five turnovers alone against Century.
“After being able to review the offensive film, I think there are a lot of encouraging things,” Fletcher said. “We’ve got to sustain blocks for a little longer. … We had a couple of breakdowns, but the kids played hard.”
The second quarter continues to befuddle the Blue Jays. Much like the losses to Devils Lake, Grand Forks Red River and Dickinson, Century was able to hit Jamestown with a barrage of scores in the second quarter. The Blue Jays have been outscored 77-18 in the second and 61-28 in the other three quarters combined.
Still, there’s plenty of optimism as wideouts Sean Lindberg and C.J. Soulis continue to post solid numbers in the passing game. Lindberg has 11 catches for 224 yards, while Soulis has 199 yards on 11 receptions.
“I think both those guys have come out and had very good performances,” Fletcher said. “They’ve shown that they’re capable of big plays.”
2012 Jamestown schedule
(1-4 overall, 1-2 West Region)
Aug. 24 — Lost 22-19 at Devils Lake; Aug. 31 — Lost 26-0 vs. Grand Forks Red River; Sept. 7 — Won 13-6 at Mandan; Sept. 14 — Lost 49-6 vs. Dickinson; Sept. 21 — Lost 35-8 vs. Bismarck Century; Sept. 28 — at Bismarck High, 7 p.m.; Oct. 5 — vs. Grand Forks Central, 7 p.m.; Oct. 12 — at Williston, 7 p.m.; Oct. 17 — vs. Minot, 7 p.m.
Jamestown season statistics
Scoring by quarter
Jamstown 14 18 6 8 — 46
Opp. 21 77 20 20 — 138
Passing 586 586
Rushing 518 1,198
Total 1,104 1,784
Rushing: J, Anthony Cook 99-358, Matt Grounds 35-74, Eathan Gumke 17-55, Taylor Orr 8-22, Ryan Hillerud 1-6.
Passing: J, Grounds 37-72-6 586.
Receiving: J, Sean Lindberg 11-224, C.J. Soulis 11-199, Marc Wagner 6-79, Anthony Cook 5-36, Tyler Ukestad 3-29, Ben Walz 1-27.
Scoring: Grounds 4 passing TDs and 2 extra points, Sean Lindberg 2 receiving TDs, C.J. Soulis 2 receiving TDs, Anthony Cook 1 rushing TD, 2-point conversion.
Turnovers: JHS 10 (6 interceptions, 4 fumbles), opponents 3 (2 fumbles, interception).
Sun sports writer Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by e-mail at email@example.com