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Jets score back-to-back Madison Bowl wins

MADISON – The Bob Jones Patriots (0-3, 0-1 Class 7A Region 8) for years have dominated the annual football match-up with their cross-city rival James Clemens. That was until last year when the Jets celebrated their first win in what has become The Madison Bowl.

Friday night, James Clemens (1-2, 1-0 Class 7A Region 8) had reason to celebrate again with a back-to-back win over Bob Jones, 35-17, in the eighth meeting between the two schools.

Over 5,000 spectators turned out at Madison City Stadium. It was not only a showcase of local football talent, but also as much for the marching bands, cheer squads and students. The main attraction, however was the action on the field.

The Jets jumped out early with a rushing touchdown by Tyrone Wilson with four minutes left in the first quarter, followed by rushing touchdown by Dylan Blackburn early in the second. Jesse Rowe made the PAT, bringing the Jets to 14-0 on the scoreboard.

The Patriots would soon answer back. With two passing touchdowns in the second quarter, one coming just seconds before halftime. Dylan Ray caught a five-yard pass in the end zone, then quarterback Caden Rose connected with Donavon Brown on a 27-yard TD pass.

The Patriots would gain the lead for just a short time with a 26-yard field goal late in the third quarter by Jacob Fruehwald. Two minutes later, James Clemens scored with a 65-yard pass from Connor Cantrell to Chris Hope for a touchdown, bringing the score to Jets 21, Patriots 17 after the PAT.

Less than a minute into the fourth quarter, Dylan Blackburn rushed into the end-zone for another touchdown by the Jets. That was followed by a 12-yard passing touchdown from Cantrell to Hope with a little over a one minute left in the game. Jesse Rowe was successful for both PAT attempts.

Blackburn would end up running for 184 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries for the Jets. He had three gains of 20-plus yards, including a 37-yarder that set up his 1-yard TD early in the second quarter that put the Jets ahead 14-0.

“Our kids have fought hard for three weeks in a row,” James Clemens Coach Wade Waldrop told AL.com. “We played three really good teams. This one is so emotional, it means so much to the fans and the players. It’s a big one, but more importantly, it’s a region win. We needed a win.”

“We really needed a stop after we went up 17-14, so that we could run the ball and run some clock,” Bob Jones coach Kevin Rose said. “We had a couple of turnovers late that hurt us and gave up a big play. Give them credit. They outplayed us in the second half and they deserve to win. We’ve got to pick ourselves up, come back next week and try to win a region game.”

With the win, James Clemens upgrades its record to 1-2 on the season. The Jets travel to Huntsville to encounter the Panthers in a 7A Region 4 outing on Friday, Sept. 13. The Panthers are 3-0 after a 43-14 win against Grissom last week.

With the loss, Bob Jones moves to 0-3 on the season. The Patriots host Florence to face the Falcons in a 7A Region 4 contest. The Falcons are 1-2. Florence after losing last week to Austin, 30-25.

For photos from the Madison Bowl, click here.

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