JDA Raiders play to tie in SCISA jamboree
SCISA 8-man football officially got underway Friday night with Jefferson Davis Academy hosting the jamboree in Blackville.
Eight teams played in the contest. Playing were Patrick Henry Academy, Northside Christian Academy, PAC Panthers, Clarendon Hall Academy, St. John’s Christian Academy, Wardlaw Academy and Cathedral Academy.
The rules for the event allowed each team to play two 10-minute quarters and one eight-minute quarter with a running clock.
With more than 22 players and six returning starters on offense, the JDA Raiders had plenty of optimism going into the jamboree.
But on a night when the Raiders’ offense was inconsistent, it was the defense that came through with flying colors.
Limiting a talented Cathedral team to just 140 yards with four sacks and three takeaways, the Raiders battled to a 6-6 tie at the whistle.
Jefferson Davis Academy coach Michael Tindall said some mistakes were expected.
“You kind of expect these kind of mistakes in a jamboree. That’s why we play them,” Tindall said. “Overall, I was very pleased with the effort. We just have a few things we need to clean up.”
Offensively, the Raiders’ unit had an explosive night totalling more than 250 yards, but the team continually made mistakes in the red zone (inside their opponents’ 20 yard-line).
Despite their frustrations on offense, the Raiders had several players who turned in spectacular performances. Jimmy Bozard was the leading ball carrier in the game with more than 120 yards. Bozard also nearly picked up a first down with a 14-yard run on a botched punt attempt.
Raiders senior wide out Chance Morris made several big catches, including an eight-yard reception in traffic to tie the game at 6-6.
Quarterback Wyatt Brant, who was under constant duress most of the night, finished with five completions. One of those completions was an 18-yard catch and run by Nick Darnel in the second quarter.
Trent Jamison also ran the ball well.
“We moved the ball with success, but then bogged down when we got close to the end zone. We just have to find a way to finish drives,” Tindall said.
While the Raiders’ offense had their struggles, the defense played exceptionally well.
Other than surrendering a 44-yard touchdown pass from Dennis Grove to Christian Warning, the Raiders’ defense was in command. Twelve times in the game the Raiders stopped the Cavaliers for negative gains.
The ball-hawking Raider unit was led by Paul Bazzle, Hunter Beach, Tyler Renew, Samuel Frederick and Dalton Beasley. Bazzle was a constant disrupter in the backfield, finishing with six tackles and two sacks. Beach was the main run stopper with seven tackles. Frederick was also very active along the front with five tackles and a sack. Beasley and Renew each racked up five stops apiece.
The unit was also helped by Chance Morris with an interception and Seth Davis with a fumble recovery.
“Cathedral Academy is a very talented and fast group. I thought our defense did a good job of limiting the big plays,” Tindall said.