In wet and muddy conditions that may present a problem to some, it didn’t seem to hinder North Pike one bit as the Jaguars racked up 325 yards of offense in a 48-8 win, Friday night, over Raymond. The game took place at North Pike Middle School due to John I. Hurst being used for SMCC’s homecoming game.
“That is what we talked about all week,” North Pike head coach Chris Smith said. “The field is going to be in pretty good shape for only a little while so let’s try and put this thing out of reach at halftime.”
And the Jaguars (5-5, 2-2) did just that setting up its run game first with seven straight rushes to get their offense going. The seventh was a 6-yard touchdown by Jermarius Lewis and with the Jace Brown extra point, North Pike took a 7-0 lead.
The Jaguar defense continued to shut down the Rangers (3-7, 0-4), holding them to minimal gains.
On the Raymond punt, Lewis showed off his athleticism again, taking in the catch at the Jaguar 35 and sprinting down the far sideline for a 65-yard return for a score. The extra point was blocked but North Pike enjoyed a 13-0 advantage.
North Pike’s defense stepped up again the following drive stripping the ball away from a Ranger running back giving possession back to the hosts.
This time for the Jaguar offense, the passing game came into play as senior quarterback Alijah Martin completed 2-of-3 passes on the drive for 19 yards. The second was a 15-yard touchdown strike to Jacoby Matthews increasing the lead to 20-0.
Raymond fought back and on the first play of the ensuing drive, sophomore quarterback Trent Singleton took matters into his own hands finding a hole in the North Pike defense, sprinting through and into the end zone from 65 yards out. The 2-point conversion was successful as the Jaguar lead shrunk to 12 at 20-8 at the end of the first quarter.
But the Jaguars answered right back orchestrating an eight-play 80-yard drive that culminated with a 32-yard touchdown pass from Martin to Lewis for his third different score of the night.
“It was all in the mind, you have to get focused,” he said. “It is all to God. God gave me that ability, so I just put it all to his glory. I gave God the glory before the game and I just want to tell him thank you. The quarterback just put the ball in the air and handed it off to me and I just had to make plays.”
Brown connected on the extra point try increasing the North Pike lead to 27-8. After the score the running clock rule was implemented.
Just before the half, Matthews caught another touchdown pass, this time from 20 yards out giving the Jaguars the 34-8 advantage at the intermission.
After an impressive 49-yard kick return by Lewis, the Martin to Matthews connection made its presence known once again on a 35-yard scoring connection with 9:38 left in the third quarter. The touchdown gave North Pike a 40-8 lead.
“We did what we had to do to win the game,” said Matthews who finished with three catches for 71 yards and three touchdowns.
The Jaguars added one more score in the fourth quarter when Damuriyon Montgomery ran the ball in from a yard out making it a 48-8 game in favor of North Pike.
Martin finished 6-of-8 for 126 yards and four touchdowns. On the ground he had 48 yards on five carries. Montgomery recorded 123 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. In addition to his 65-yard punt return for a touchdown, Lewis also had five carries for 21 and a touchdown to go along with two catches for 50 yards and a score.
The victory keeps the Jaguars’ playoff hopes alive as they head into their regular season finale next week against rival South Pike.
“(This win) is big because it gives us a better chance of making the playoffs,” Martin said. “Getting this momentum back and going down to Magnolia and winning there too, we are just getting ready.”