Friday, September 17, 2021

Friday Night Lights III: early deficit spells doom for Jaguars (VIDEO)

First off, I want to state very clearly that I'm still proud of our Jaguars. The pieces are there. They have the components of becoming a good football team this season. They have to find a way to come out firing right after the opening kickoff. That is absolutely crucial at this early juncture of the season. I have full confidence that they will do just that. Yes, the luster of the 2-0 start to the season is now a memory. However, they absolutely have more opportunities to add games to the win column before the start of playoffs. The Jaguars have much to work on next week, and in my opinion, that work starts this weekend. Winning next Friday's game starts tomorrow! Their focus, attitude, demeanor and desire are something every player on the roster, up and down the ranks, have to straighten out if they are going to have a chance at improving to 3-1 next Friday. That is a personal responsibility they owe to themselves and their team. Yes, their shot at being 3-0 went down the tubes tonight, BUT a 3-1 start to the season would be extra special from my vantage point. That goal is achievable if they put their minds to it across the next six days leading into Friday Night Lights IV.

And now for commentary and a light overview of tonight's game:
Big running plays by Benson put the B-B-E Jaguars football team in a hole in the first quarter tonight, and they didn't really find a spark until late in the second quarter after they fell behind 26-0. The Braves took a 12-0 lead with 5:25 left when Thomas Dineen blasted the B-B-E defense with a 71-yard touchdown run on Benson's second drive of the game. That touchdown drive used one play and lasted a whole 14 seconds. Benson's first drive of the game ended with a 64-yard touchdown run by Dineen with 8:09 on the clock in the first quarter.

The Jaguars got on the scoreboard with a 16-yard touchdown reception by Jamison Reed with 5:09 left in the second quarter. That touchdown drive used just two plays to cover 56 yards in a span of one minute, 12 seconds. Reed caught a 40-yard pass from Tanner Shelton on the first play. That drive was set up by a huge 30-yard kickoff return by Ryan Jensen to the B-B-E 44-yard line. Reed's touchdown made the score 26-6.

Benson took a 32-6 lead into halftime.

B-B-E came out more focused in the third quarter. Benson received the kickoff and started their first drive of the third quarter on their own 18-yard line. On second-and-20, Benson got a 49-yard reception to move deep into B-B-E territory to the Jaguar 32-yard line. They later had second down on the B-B-E 17-yard line when the Braves coughed up a fumble. Ethan Spanier recovered it for the Jaguars at their own 15-yard line. The drive was snuffed out by a big loss on a quarterback sack, however, bringing a punt at the B-B-E seven-yard line with about four minutes left.

Benson scored with 49 seconds left in the third quarter to go up 40-6. 

B-B-E started their next drive after the kickoff on their own 17-yard line. It was their seventh offensive series of the game. A 15-yard reception by Blaine Fischer gave the Jaguars a boost on third down to get to their own 40-yard line. Will VanBeck then hauled in a 45-yard reception from Shelton. B-B-E later had first-and-goal on the Benson five-yard line. Easton Hagen caught a five-yard reception after wrestling the ball away from a Benson defender in the end zone. With 10 minutes left in the game, the Jaguars trailed 40-12 after a failed two-point conversion. That score stood to halftime, as the teams' JV units played out the rest of the game without scoring.

That's all for now. This is a big weekend with a ton of activities to get to!

Final score: Benson 40, B-B-E 12. The Jaguars were out-gained by a margin of 459 yards to 276 on offense. Benson gained 327 rushing yards, while the Jaguars had 164 yards on the ground. Benson completely dominated the time of possession tonight and was led by junior Thomas Dineen's 268 yards on an eye-popping 29 carries.

The Jaguars host Long Prairie-Grey Eagle next Friday night. The Thunder fell to 0-3 on the season with a 34-16 loss in Long Prairie to Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City. The Falcons earned their first win tonight. While LP-GE is 0-3, I don't want anyone thinking they will be a pushover next Friday!!

The Jaguars host Upsala/Swanville Area on September 24 for Week IV. The Homecoming game for Week Five on October 1 includes Long Prairie-Grey Eagle.

**Here's video from the opening minutes of the game tonight:

**Here's more footage from the first quarter:

That two-game winning streak to start the season is over. The Jaguars have to regroup now. They have a good chance of re-starting a new winning streak, but it starts with a solid week of practice next week as they prepare for Long Prairie-Grey Eagle for Friday Night Lights IV.

Other games in the Mid-State District, Sub-District III: at Olivia, Browerville was handed their first loss by a 28-14 score to BOLD. At Swanville, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg fell to 0-3 with a 52-28 "shoot out" loss to the U/SA Patriots.

Kimball Area improved to 3-0 with a 66-0 thrashing of visiting Maple Lake.

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