RUSTON — Lightning, rain, and wind could not dampen the spirit of local high school football fans as thousands came to Joe Alliet Stadium for the fourth annual “Jam at the Joe.” The four games put on a competitive evening of football showcasing some of the best athletes in the area.
Cedar Creek 22, Rayville 21: When Cedar Creek seemed down and out, it was only the beginning of an exhilarating end. Running back Grant Jonkheer took a hand-off around the left side, broke multiple tackles and scored from 80 yards out to help the Cougars outscore Rayville in the second game at the Jam at the Joe.
Rayville took the lead off a 4-yard run from quarterback Deleyoung Miller, part of a two-score day on the ground for the senior. In the end, Cedar Creek made the big plays.
“Coach talked to us about us coming out sloppy,” Cougars senior K.J. Malone said. “The game was fun. It was kind of tiring, but it was a lot of fun.”
Rayville was in celebration mode for much of the second half as injuries and fatigue took its toll on the Cougars.
Rayville had one last chance at the win, but a fourth-down pass with under a minute left to play came up inches short and Cedar Creek took a knee to end the game.
“We had some injuries that made us put some guys out of position,” Cedar Creek coach Ben Haddox said. “I think we went into a bit of panic mode in the second half at times, but the kids fought through that and I am extremely proud of that.”
Rayville opened game with a 14-yard touchdown run by Miller. Late in the first half, the Cougars answered when running back Shilo Perry found the end zone.
Calvary Baptist 21, Farmerville 0: First-year starting quarterback Daniel Fitzwater threw three touchdown passes and the Cavaliers defense stood tall in its effort against Farmerville.
“It felt good to come out and get a win, and our defense played real good,” Fitzwater said. “We have things to work on but I think we did pretty well.”
Fitzwater drove the Cavaliers down the field for their first score after a fumbled punt by Farmerville. Then the Cavaliers defense came up with their first of many big stands on a short third down to force a punt. Calvary wasted little time in driving the field again as Fitzwater found Weston Steelhammer from 30 yards out for a 14-0 advantage which the Cavaliers took to halftime.
Trying to spark a comeback, Farmerville coaches called for an onside kick to open the second half and recovered in Calvary territory. The Farmers ended up punting. Moments later, a Cavalier fumble gave the Farmers new life at the Calvary 8-yard line but the Farmers again came away with no points when they were stopped on four straight plays. The Cavaliers then fumbled the ball again, this time recovered by D’Angelo Gatson at the Calvary 5-yard line. Three quick plays yielded no yards, then on fourth down quarterback Jamarious Williams was flushed out of the pocket to the right side where he was yanked down near the sideline and a face-mask penalty moved the ball to the 3-yard line. Again the Farmers were turned away and turned the ball over on downs.
Haynesville 26, Jonesboro-Hodge 8: The first game featured over an hour delay between halves because of lightning in Lincoln Parish. The Haynesville offense was fazed very little as it scored on three of its four possessions including two rushing scores from fullback Tyus Early. Jonesboro-Hodge fumbled on its first possession but then drove 70 yards in 8 plays capped by a fourth-down touchdown run by quarterback Jamiree Mathis and then his 2-point conversion run moments later that cut it to 13-8. That would be as close as the Tigers would get as Haynesville tightened the defense and held Jonesboro-Hodge scoreless in the second half.