Jaguars win final regular season game

The Jaguars beat the Gardner-Edgerton Trailblazers 35-21

Katya Gillig, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief

The Jaguars defeated the Gardner-Edgerton Trailblazers 35-21 on Friday, Oct. 20. This was the final regular season game for the Jaguars, who ended with a regular season record of 4-4.

The Trailblazers struck first with a running touchdown, giving them a 7-0 lead with just under three minutes left in the first quarter.

The Jaguars quickly tied the game with a 35-yard catch by junior wide receiver Logan Talley, which was good for a touchdown. After a successful extra point attempt by junior kicker Jack Matchette, the game was tied at 7.

Junior defensive back Steven Colling said he has seen the team get better throughout the season.

“I’ve seen our team improve by just how well we respond to situations,” Colling said. “We’re a young team, so it’s so great to see the team improve the way we have. We’ve gotten better at being physical and really good at preparation for the week.”

Eleven seconds later, the Trailblazers scored another touchdown on a 70-yard catch to give them a 14-7 lead.

The Jaguars scored again midway through the second quarter when senior quarterback Brody Flaming found senior wide receiver Evan Rice for a 49-yard catch for a touchdown. After another successful extra point by Matchette, the game was tied at 14.

To end the first half, sophomore defensive lineman Justin Sanders and junior defensive lineman Christian Roth both had sacks.

Colling believes the team’s confidence has grown after strong weeks of practice.

“We’ve been having great weeks of practice in the past few weeks, and it’s shown in game of how confident we are as a team,” Colling said.

On the first drive of the second half, Gardner found the end zone again on a quarterback sneak, giving them a 21-14 lead.

Flaming found junior wide receiver Matt Wittenauer twice, setting up junior running back Cameron Young for a 42-yard run for a touchdown. After a missed extra by Matchette, the Jags trailed by one.

Senior offensive lineman Mitchell Grissom believes that the attention of the receivers by the defense, allowed the run game to open up.

“When we got guys like that making plays in the pass game just trying to cover them up, [it] opens up [Young] for some big runs,” Grissom said. “You saw that the second half.”

After a 31-yard catch by Rice, Young found the end zone for a touchdown. The Jags decided to go for two, and Talley’s pass to Flaming was good for a successful conversion.

Offensive coordinator Mike Strack believes the team relaxed after halftime, which allowed them to play better.

“We were just a little out of sync the first half. We just really wanted them to calm down, they were a little tense,” Strack said. “When they did that our O-line got off the ball better, harder the second half, and that opened up some seams for [Young]. That was really important.”

Midway through the fourth quarter, Young found the end zone again for his third touchdown of the game. A successful extra point by Matchette gave the Jags a 35-21 lead, which would be the final score.

Young believes the adjustments made by the offensive line allowed him to be successful.

“My O-line is starting to get the hang of things and holes started to open up, allowing me to get into the end zone,” Young said.

The Jaguars will travel to face the Topeka Seamen Vikings in the first round of the playoffs on Friday, Oct. 27.

Strack believes the confidence of the past two wins will carry into the postseason.

“I think our guys can rely on what we have done in the past,” Strack said. “We’ve had two really good wins in a row. We put ourselves right where we wanted to be after three straight losses. We talked about getting to this point again for the playoffs, and so we just want to get a little better each week, which I think we’ve done that all year we knew that hoping we could play three, four, five more weeks.”

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