This past Friday night, the Jackson Indians football team (9-1) pulled off yet another big win at The Pit. The Indians defeated the Lindbergh Flyers (5-5) by a score of 41-13, to advance to the Class 6 District 1 Championship game.
Jackson was able to get in the heads of its opponent from the start, causing the Flyers to have a shocking six false starts in the first half alone. Offensively to start off the game, Indians senior quarterback Adrian Fox ran the ball in for a 15-yard touchdown to get the crowd going.
However, late in the first quarter, Fox was taken out of the game with a left-ankle injury, and sophomore quarterback Drew Parsons was brought in to play out the rest of the game. Fox made a smart handoff to freshman running back Jaylon Hampton, who ran the ball in for a 13-yard touchdown to make it 14-0, before exiting the game.
Parsons did an impressive job as he was able to connect with junior wide receiver Kai Crowe for two touchdown passes in the second quarter alone. “I’ve been talking to them a lot, and just coming to the field and throwing with them has helped a lot with our connection,” Parsons said of his ability to connect with his teammates.
Jackson head coach Ryan Nesbitt was pleased with the efforts of his second-string quarterback, saying, “Drew Parsons stepped in and did a really nice job and was able to play well in a big situation like this.”
Notably, Crowe carried out various tasks for the Indians as touchdowns were not the only thing he contributed to his team’s big win. He also kicked field goals and was able to strategically place the kickoffs for touchbacks, pushing back the Flyers offense.
Jackson’s defense showed impressive strides from the beginning of the game, not allowing the Flyers to score a single touchdown in the first half. Junior defensive back Cole Geiser said of the defense, “We came out swinging. We showed them on that first drive, and it was over with from there.”
Geiser contributed eight tackles for the defensive efforts in Friday’s game and recovered a fumble by the Flyers early in the second quarter.
In the top of the third quarter, the Indians recovered a kickoff for Parsons to quickly connect with Hampton for a first down. Following that play was a handoff to Hampton for a 10-yard run to score a touchdown, making the score 41-0.
After the initial play of the second half and Jackson’s defense undergoing a lineup change, there was a shift in the tone of the game. One could tell the Indians were trying to slow down the pace of the game.
When asked about the game plan for the second half with such a big lead Parsons said, “We were looking to run the ball, run the clock, limit opportunities and avoid injuries.”
In the third quarter, Lindbergh moved the ball through the middle of Jackson’s defensive line, slowly making it up the field for a touchdown. Lindbergh also added another touchdown to the score at the beginning of the fourth quarter when their quarterback ran the ball in the endzone.
Throughout the season, a particular freshman has been able to show up every game and bring a lot to the table for the Indians offense. Hampton put on nothing short of a show in Friday night’s matchup and finished off the night with three touchdowns.
With this semifinal win, the No. 2 seed Indians will go on the road to play the No. 1 Seckman Jaguars (10-0) for the district championship on Friday night.
“We want to take it as far as possible — state is the goal,” Geiser said.
When asked about preparation for their next matchup, Coach Nesbitt said “We’re just going to enjoy tonight and get back at it in the morning and see what the film looks like.”