Jaguars advance to sub-state after win over St. James

The Jaguars defeated the Thunder 21-14 in the sectional round of the playoffs

Katya Gillig, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief

The Jaguars defeated the St. James Academy Thunder 21-14 on Friday, Nov. 10. With the win,  the team won its third consecutive sectional championship.

The Jaguars first faced the Thunder in week one of the regular season. In the matchup, the Thunder won 45-21.

The defense started off strong forcing the Thunder to punt after a three-and-out. Junior defensive back Steven Colling believes last week’s game against Schlagle prepared the defense to stop the run.

“We prepared to stop the run game by stopping the number one rusher in Kansas last week,” Colling said.

The offense was able to capitalize on this when senior quarterback Brody Flaming found junior wide receiver Logan Talley for a 42-yard touchdown. After an extra point by junior kicker Jack Matchette, the Jags lead 7-0.

Junior wide receiver Dustyn Sweet has seen the offense improve tremendously since the matchup against SJA.

“Our run blocking has gotten so much better throughout the season, coming from week one against St. James to this game against St. James,” Sweet said. “We definitely blocked it up front very well. Our o-line has gotten so much better throughout the season.”

After the Thunder failed to convert on fourth down in the red zone, the Jags attained possession of the ball. The Jags extended their lead to 10-0 at the beginning of the second quarter with a field goal by Matchette.

On the next drive, the Thunder attempted a field goal, but the ball fell short. On the following Thunder drive, they scored with a passing touchdown. With less than two minutes remaining in the half, the Jags lead 10-7.

Flaming was able to find Talley and senior wide receiver Evan Rice to set up another field goal by Matchette. Going into halftime, the Jags lead 13-7.

A turnover on downs gave the ball to SJA midway through the third quarter. This time the Thunder were able to find the end zone on the ground. They ran it in one yard for a touchdown, taking a 14-13 lead.

A fumble by junior running back Cameron Young gave the Thunder the ball at the start of the fourth quarter. The defense was able to stop them, forcing a punt.

Flaming found Rice for a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter. After a penalty was called on the first attempt at a two-point conversion, Flaming was able to run it in on the second try to give the Jags a 21-14 lead. This would be the final score.

In the fourth quarter, the team had a tough mindset, according to Sweet.

“[Our mindset was] don’t let up, don’t lay down, push on, don’t give them a chance to even think about coming back,” Sweet said.

The following drive the Jaguars again stopped the Thunder on fourth down, giving them possession. Young then fumbled the ball, giving it back to the Thunder. However, the Thunder were unable to convert with another turnover-on-downs.

Junior defensive lineman Christian Roth believes that the defense was able to unite to stop the Thunder.

“We had good play calls by my coach,” Roth said. “The whole defense came together as a unit to stop them.”

The Jaguars will play at St. Thomas Aquinas in the sub-state round of the playoffs on Friday, Nov. 17.  

Heading into next week, Roth believes the team will have to continue to focus.

“We’re just going to have to lock it in like we usually do at practice,” Roth said. “[We have to] keep pushing forward.”

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