Jags fall to Madison Southern, 28-7

Published 4:34 pm Tuesday, October 5, 2021

By Matt Cizek
Contributing Writer

On Homecoming night, East Jessamine looked to improve on its 1-4 record and rebound following a loss to West Jessamine.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.

Behind a steady running game, the Madison Southern Eagles were able to outlast the Jaguars 28-7 Friday in Nicholasville.

“Tonight, our kids came to play. We gave it everything we had,” head coach Mike Bowlin said. “We just could never get going. It was an uphill battle all the way.”

The game started slowly for both teams, as both East Jessamine (1-5) and Madison Southern (2-5) had turnovers on their initial drive.

Afterward, the Eagles were able to find the end zone on their next drive on an 11-yard TD run by Stephen Whitehead for a 7-0 lead with just over four minutes remaining in the first half.

Though the Jaguars were able to hold the Eagles off the scoreboard on their next offensive possession, a 9-play, 61-yard drive near the end of the first half resulted in Whitehead rushing in from 4 yards out for a 13-0 lead with just 13 seconds remaining before halftime.

Whitehead carried the ball 20 times for 110 yards and 3 touchdowns, while his brother, Rocky Whitehead, came in during the second half to add 6 carries for 25 yards and 1 TD.

“Their five linemen were bigger than probably anybody on our team,” Bowlin said. “They do a good job of mixing in their power running [game].”

Conversely, the Jaguars’ offense had some trouble gaining yardage throughout the contest.

Justin Hisle completed 6 of 13 passes for 40 yards with an interception.

“Our offensive line did a much better job pass protecting late in the game” Bowlin said. “He made some rushed throws early in the ballgame…Justin’s going to be a great quarterback for us, there’s no doubt about that.”

Running back Tajii Jackson was held to 58 yards on 13 carries one week after a season-high rushing performance. His 1-yard TD run narrowed the deficit to 28-7 with just under 6 minutes remaining in the game.

For the Jaguars, special teams were noteworthy as well. While a blocked extra point in the first half kept the score temporarily at 13-0 in favor of the Eagles, Madison Southern was able to gain 34 yards on a fake punt that eventually resulted in a touchdown.

“I was proud of [the blocked extra point],” Bowlin said. “We literally had a defense set just for that [fake punt], we knew it was coming, and one of our kids got hurt…I’ll take the blame for that. That’s football.”

Other highlights of the game for the Jaguars included three receptions for 30 yards by Jacob Crofts, while Hisle had nine carries for 48 yards.

For Madison Southern, Cole Carpenter was intercepted once, and completed 10 of 13 passes for 97 yards. His longest pass – a 40-yard completion to Jayshaun Ethridge – helped set up the Eagles’ first score.

The Jaguars will continue their season in Shelbyville this Friday against Collins (5-1).