James Clemens pounds Grissom with 50-point first half
MADISON — Bolstered by a 50-point first half, the Jets used a total team effort Thursday to roll to a 63-7 win over Grissom.
James Clemens (5-2 overall, 5-0 Class 7A Region 4) piled up nearly 450 yards in total offense and held the visiting Tigers (3-4, 1-4) to less than 135 total yards, 78 of which came in Grissom’s lone touchdown drive in the final minutes of the game.
“I’m real proud of the intensity we had,” said Jets Head Coach Wade Waldrop. “I’m pleased with the focus.”
Collin Malone scored three touchdowns on the ground – all in the first half – and Chris Hope had two first-half touchdown receptions for James Clemens.
Quarterback Jamil Muhammad played just the first half – like most of the starters – and rushed for 98 yards on six carries and was 9-of-14 passing for 92 yards.
Dylan Blackburn had 8 carries for 73 yards and a touchdown and Malone finished with 11 carries for 50 yards.
The Jets took the opening kickoff and drove 86 yards in nine plays with Austin McGhee scoring from 5 yards out in the wildcat. The point-after attempt was blocked – one of three blocked by Grissom’s Jeff Campbell – for a 6-0 lead.
After forcing the Tigers in a 3-and-out, Malone capped a 8-play, 88-yard drive with a four-yard TD run. Muhammad had a 62-yard run on a third-and-4 to keep the drive alive. Daevion Davis caught a two-point conversion pass from Zach Hopkins to give the Jets a 14-0 lead with 5 minutes left in the quarter.
In the next 1:04, the Jets scored on a touchdown pass from Muhammad to Hope following a blocked punt by Xavier McKnight and then a safety when Jaylin Grigsby sacked Grissom quarterback Caleb Peake in the endzone. The quarter ended with James Clemens holding a 23-0 lead.
“This is the best, most consistent defense we’ve had all year,” Waldrop said.
The Jets ran the count to 29-0 on McKnight’s 3-yard run to cap a 10-play, 54-yard drive. Muhammad and Hope connected on a 22-yard pass to the Grissom-9 on a fourth-and-6 play.
Waldrop pointed out a concern about his special teams play, especially during this series. Hope had a 65-yard kickoff return for a touchdown called back for a penalty and Campbell blocked another point-after attempt.
“Our special teams have got to get a complete game,” he said. “Two returns were called back and three point-after kicks were blocked.”
James Clemens is on fall break next week and will host Sparkman in a key Region 4 clash. Waldrop said it’s vital for the Jets to retain their focus.
“We have to be locked in with what we do,” he said. “We have to avoid the distractions.”