The North Pike Jaguars knew that they had their backs against the wall. Even though the No. 3 Jaguars were the underdog to No. 2 St. Stanislaus on the road, they overcame some early mistakes and displayed a tough defense pulling out a 13-5 win Friday night over the Rock-a-chaws.
“The defense, they played their hearts out,” North Pike head coach Matt Mock said. “They have been averaging offenses 13 points per game and that average is going to drop again based off of what happened (Friday).”
“Offensively if you take away the first quarter, we finally found a way to start moving the ball,” Mock continued. “Part of the game plan this week is we saw that they struggle against offenses where you have an athletic quarterback and you spread them out and you can do something with the ball. And that is what we decided to do.”
After getting pinned deep, the offense didn’t give the punting team much room to work and a bad snap resulted in a safety giving the Rock-a-chaws an early 2-0 advantage.
Not long afterward, the Jags found themselves deep in their own territory again and could not dig themselves out of the hole. A fumble gave the ball to St. Stanislaus at the North Pike 6-yard line but the Jaguar defense stepped up preventing the Rock-a-chaws from scoring a touchdown. Instead they settled for a 23-yard field goal increasing the deficit for the visitors to 5-0 with 4:00 to go in the first quarter.
In the second, however, the tide began shifting for the Jaguars. Jermarius Lewis picked off a pass and returned it to the St. Stanislaus 25-yard line setting the Jaguars up with a great opportunity to put their first points on the scoreboard.
Jace Brown lined up for a 30-yard field goal which he made, but a personal foul penalty on St. Stanislaus kept the drive alive. And the Jaguars capitalized as Lewis scored on a 6-yard run up the middle giving North Pike the lead at 6-5.
In the third quarter, Lewis once again stepped up for North Pike. This time he flashed his skills as a passer, connecting with Jacoby Matthews on a 60-yard touchdown pass. Brown added the PAT giving the Jaguars a 13-5 advantage.
The Rock-a-chaws tried to answer but a fumble, in Jaguar territory, was recovered by Thomas May, shutting the door on that opportunity.
From there, North Pike gave St. Stanislaus a heavy dose of its rushing attack running the majority of the remaining time off the clock, helping to seal the win.
Lewis led North Pike with 25 carries for 156 yards and a touchdown. Through the air he was 2-for-4 for 66 yards with a score and an interception. Defensively, he had an interception and a pair of tackles.
North Pike returns home for Round 2 where it will host undefeated Newton County.