The Claxton Tigers ran 49 offensive plays and fullback Jamalcolm Morgan carried the football on 33 of them as the Tigers got their first win of the season, a 14-0 homecoming win over Jenkins County.
The Eagles (2-4, 0-2) knocked on the door several times in the contest, but key penalties derailed most of the Jenkins threats. Jenkins was flagged for 75 yards, each of them coming when the Eagles had the ball.
Claxton (1-5, 1-1, Region 3-A) did what they needed on defense, allowing only 41 rushing yards and forcing quarterback Houston Bowers to throw. The Tiger defensive line was in his face throughout the second half.
“We got inside the thirty twice and didn’t get any points out of it,” said JCHS coach Chuck Conley. “That’s a credit to their defense. They just whipped us.
“Houston was trying to find the open receiver, and he had folks breathing down his neck. He did fine under the pressure, but we didn’t expect to come in to this game having to throw it 15 or 20 times. They just shut us down running the ball. We couldn’t do anything up front.”
The closest Jenkins came to a score was a missed 28-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter.
Offensively for Claxton, it was all Morgan. Of the 28 times Claxton carried the football in the first half, he toted it 22 times for 147 first-half yards.
Claxton was able to get on the board in the first quarter after forcing a Jenkins County punt on the first Eagle drive of the contest. 25 yards worth of penalties helped halt the series.
The Tigers got the ball on their own 49-yard line and put together a 10-play, 5:30 drive in which Morgan had seven carries for 47 yards and capped it all off with a 4-yard TD run.
“Morgan is a sophomore. He’s a winner. The more you give it to him, the more he wants it,” said Claxton coach Allen Cartwright. “He’s just going to be an outstanding back. This was a big game for hime. Maybe this is a little bit of a coming out party for Jamalcolm.”
Jenkins held the Tigers to a fourth down on the Eagle 10-yard line on the scoring drive and almost forced a CHS field goal, but a four-yard, first-down run by running back Cory Green kept the drive alive.
The Eagles could not put together offensively. Starting a drive from their own 32 with 3:32 left in the first half, JCHS quarterback Houston Bowers connected with Adrian Brewton for 30 yards and his first completion of the game. The drive, however, stalled after two more incomplete passes and another JCHS holding penalty.
Morgan reached the end zone the second time on an eight-yard scramble in the fourth quarter, and the Green run during the two-point conversion attempt put the Tigers up 14-0.
The win puts the Tigers at .500 in the region and, according to Cartwroght, puts them right back in the middle of things.
“After we lost to Calvery,” said the Tiger coach, “we knew it kind of put us behind the eight ball a little bit. This win puts us right back in the thick of it right up until the end of the year.”