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James Clemens drops heart-breaking loss to Hewitt-Trussville

MADISON — It wasn’t the outcome the James Clemens Jets were hoping for in Friday night’s AHSAA playoff game with Hewitt-Trussville but, nonetheless, it was a “great football game,” said Jets’ Head Coach Wade Waldrop.

The Jets fell 43-41 to the Huskies on a touchdown with 14.9 seconds left in the game after taking a 41-37 lead with 4:06 to play.

For the James Clemens’ seniors, it was their last time on the field at Madison City Schools Stadium.

“I’m proud of our guys,” Waldrop said. “The senior class did a great job of getting James Clemens football back.

“They set a standard for the younger kids.”

One of those seniors setting the standard was quarterback Jamil Muhammad. The Vanderbilt commit practically carried the Jets on his shoulders Friday night as he scored four touchdowns and threw for another. Muhammad rushed for 191 yards and passed for 96.

The Jets’ first score was on a 1-yard run by Muhammad but the Huskies (8-3) tied it up on their ensuing possession.

But James Clemens answered back on a bit of razzle dazzle.

Facing third-and-9 at the Huskies 37, Muhammad handed off to Austin McGhee on a sweep. McGhee then tossed the ball to Manny Sanders on a reverse.

Sanders flipped the ball back to Muhammad who passed to a wide-open Dylan Blackburn for the score. However, the point-after was blocked and the Jets led 13-7 with 2:02 to play in the quarter.

The Jets (7-4) scored again following a Xavier McKnight interception return to the Jets 45. They moved 55 yards in three plays, capped by Muhammad’s 46-yard TD run. Jesse Rowe’s point-after was good and the Jets took a 20-7 lead with 10:17 remaining in the half.

The Huskies cut the lead to 20-14 with 2:30 to play and the two teams exchanged punts when a mistake struck the Jets.

Taking over at their own 18-yard-line with 12 seconds left, James Clemens fumbled and Hewitt-Trussville recovered at the 17. A pass interference penalty moved the ball to the 13 where quarterback Paul Tyson connected with Ja’Varrius Johnson with 1 second left for the 21-20 lead at the half.

Disaster struck again for the Jets on the second-half kickoff when they fumbled and the Huskies recovered at the Jets 24. In four plays, the Huskies scored for a 28-20 lead.

But, Muhammad took over on the ensuing possession from the Jets 20 when he raced down the sidelines for a 79-yard run. He followed up with a one-yard TD plunge and the point-after by Rowe cut the Huskies lead to 28-27.

With the Jets trailing 31-27 with 9:40 left in the game, Muhummad scored from seven yards out to take the lead. Rowe’s kick made the score 34-31.

Hewitt-Trussville, ranked sixth in 7A, scored on their next possession but the point-after try hit the upright for a 37-34 score with 6:30 to play.

Ninth-ranked James Clemens answered back and Blackburn capped a seven-play, 61-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run. The point-after gave the Jets a 41-37 lead at 4:06.

Then, the Huskies moved downfield from their own 3 for the eventual game-winning score.

“This was a great football game,” Waldrop said. “I’m very proud of them.

“This is a good group of boys from Madison, Alabama.”

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