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Late touchdown lifts Jackson football team over Cape Central

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cape Central running back Chris Martin stiff arms Jackson defensive lineman Garrett Koch during the Tigers' 29-26 home loss to the Indians Friday, September 21.
Turnabout is fair play, especially when it comes to a 100-year-old football rivalry.

Jackson senior receiver Lowgn Wren capitalized on his own stealth abilities after Central receiver Garan Evans had slipped behind him on a fly route down the right sideline for a 29-yard touchdown pass just minutes earlier that had put the Tigers ahead by five points midway through the fourth quarter Friday night.

Wren got even when he got behind a trio of Central defenders -- Evans among the group -- down the right sideline with 2 minutes, 31 seconds remaining to vault the Indians to a 29-26 victory.

Wren's 32-yard reception came on a lofted pass that fell into his arms around the goal line and capped a 12-play, 66-yard drive that ended the Tigers' two-year bragging rights. It came before an estimated crowd of more than 6,500 fans in the Indians' first visit to Central's two-year-old Tiger Stadium.

"Ty [Selsor] threw a perfect pass, and I just tried to get under it and make the catch and get in the end zone," Wren said.

The touchdown, which came on second-and-12 play, was the trump card in a game that saw each team score a touchdown in each of the four quarters. Jackson was able to embellish its touchdowns with three PAT conversions from kicker Adam Brown and a two-point conversion, while Central converted on two of its three PATs and was stopped on a conversion run.

"I knew this was going to be a positive year, but this is pretty exciting -- especially for my senior year," Wren said. "I'm very pleased with how everybody is doing this year."

The Indians improved to 5-0 -- the five wins matches their win total from the last two seasons combined -- despite committing five turnovers on the night, including four interceptions thrown by Selsor, Jackson's junior quarterback.

"We started off rough, and we played rough through the whole game," Selsor said. "They came back late in the fourth quarter. Our word of the week was ‘trust,' and we had to trust in our teammates to go down there and score the winning touchdown."

The Indians placed their trust in the hands of Wren, who saw increased playing time on offense against Central with leading receiver Brannon Wright sidelined by a leg injury most of the second half.

Wright has been the centerpiece receiver in the Indians' potent passing attack this season with 23 catches for 500 yards, but he was limited to three catches for 24 yards before departing in the third quarter.

Wren, who was sidelined much of the summer with a pelvis injury, emerged as the Indians' most productive receiver against Central after entering without a reception all season. He finished with four catches for 64 yards.

"That put me out for about seven weeks," Wren said about his injury. "That hurt me on offense, so I've slowly been trying to work my way through. It was hard coming back, but now I'm back on it, and I'm excited about it. It's a lot of fun."

Wren lined up as an inside receiver along the right side on the decisive play and went deep toward the corner while the outside receiver ran a short hitch that lured the defense.

"He's been hurt, but he stepped up when we needed him," Selsor said. "We ran a corner route, and the corner sat on the pitch, and he was open in the corner."

Selsor, who came into the game completing 70 percent of his passes and averaging 247 yards per game, threw for a season-low 138 yards on 13 of 28 passing.

"I'm really proud of Ty Selsor for standing in there, and throwing the ball at the end, getting the touchdown at the end," Jackson first-year coach Brent Eckley said. "That's so tough when you turn the ball over and then you have to be able to throw it to win."

Colten Proffer ran in the two-point conversion for a 29-26 lead.

"I had no doubt our offense could produce yards and get the score," said Proffer, who rushed for a career-high 208 yards.

The Indians converted a fourth-and-3 play at the Central 47 to keep the drive alive. Receiver Skyler Steele picked up seven yards on his only carry of the game. The Indians were 4 of 7 on fourth-down conversions with their usual aggressive offensive approach.

"We want to keep the defense on their heels," Eckley said. "We also have a lot of confidence in our defense."

"Their fourth downs were in opportune places where they could go on fourth down and it wouldn't hurt them," said Central coach Nathan Norman, whose squad fell to 2-3. "That last drive, they had to convert. They knew they couldn't give the ball back to us because they knew we'd run it."

Jackson's defense, which limited Central to 227 yards offense for the night, was able to snuff the Tigers' final possession that started at the 20 with 2:30 left in the game. The Tigers, who had only one timeout, managed to gain a first down at the 34, but two incompletions, a fumbled snap and a sack ended their hopes.

"I can't imagine it getting any better than this," said Eckley about his first encounter in the rivalry. "It certainly was exciting. It was tough going back and forth. A lot of swings in the ballgame."

Jackson took a 21-12 lead on a 3-yard scoring run by Dante Vandeven on its first possession of the second half, but Central took the lead on a pair of touchdown receptions by Evans.

"When you run the ball as much as we do, they're going to be open like that at times," Norman said. "Obviously those were big plays for us."

Evans first pulled in an 18-yard pass from quarterback Dennis Vinson with 5:10 left in the third quarter to narrow the gap to 21-19.

Evans then intercepted a Selsor pass at the Jackson 28 in the fourth quarter to set up a 29-yard go-ahead reception with 6:49 left in the game. Calvin Lovig's PAT gave Central a 26-21 lead.

"The last touchdown pass we had, I think everyone thought we had it," Vinson said.

The two touchdown passes were the only two completions of the game for the Tigers, who were 2 of 10 passing for 47 yards.

The Tigers came into the game averaging 226 yards rushing and 78 passing.

"But we can [pass it], though," Evans said. "The defense don't fall asleep on that."

Proffer, who was held out of almost the entire second half against Poplar Bluff a week earlier, looked healthy against Central. He carried 22 times, including a dazzling 54-yard touchdown run during the second quarter.

"I told a guy earlier, ‘The only way Colten is not going to play is if the doctor takes his stuff,' and that's what happened last week," Eckley said. "They took his equipment so there was no way he could go back in. That's the kind of kid he is. He's a tough kid."

Proffer required two injury timeouts during a 98-yard performance against Poplar Bluff.

"I was pretty tired, but I knew coming out of that game that I was not going to miss this game," Proffer said.

Jackson accumulated 417 yards of total offense to Central's 227 yards but was hampered by turnovers.

"We didn't play real clean," Eckley said. "We had five turnovers and still won the game. That doesn't happen very often."

Norman said he would have thought five turnovers would be enough to ensure a victory for his team.

"Unfortunately their turnovers were deep on our side a lot of times," said Norman, who saw his team convert only the final turnover into points.

Three of the turnovers came in a first half that Jackson dominated statistically. The Indians took just a 14-12 lead into halftime despite a 14-5 edge in first downs, a 48-20 advantage in offensive plays and a 225-113 edge in total offense.

"If you don't make hay when it's time, sometimes that will come back and get you and the other team will have a lot more confidence," Eckley said. "And I think that's what happened. We had chances to score at least three other touchdowns in the first half and we didn't get it done, and that kind of equalized things."

Central gained 80 of its first-half yards in three plays after the opening kickoff. Chris Martin broke free on a 56-yard run on the second play from scrimmage, and senior Jacob Cambpell covered the final 24 yards to the end zone with a run up the middle on the next play for a 6-0 lead at the 10:52 mark.

Jackson answered with a 15-play drive on its first possession, which was capped by a 12-yard run by Selsor. The Indians were successful on two fourth-down plays on the drive and Brown tacked on the PAT for a 7-6 lead for Jackson at the 5:21 mark of the opening quarter.

The Indians committed turnovers on their next two possessions and turned the ball over on downs on their fourth possession before Proffer broke loose for his 54-yard touchdown run with 2:25 left in the first half for a 14-6 lead.

Central's Mikey Jones returned the ensuing kickoff about 70 yards to give Central possession at the Jackson 18. The Tigers needed just two plays to score as Martin carried both times, the second one a 3-yard carry with 1:48 left in the half.

Martin finished the first half with 105 yards rushing on 14 carries. He primarily played defense in the second half and finished the game with 115 yards on 16 carries.

Evans didn't have any regrets about the Tigers' loss before the large, boisterous crowd.

"It was big, it was exciting, it was fun," Evans said. "We just went out there and left everything on the field. It was a war out there."

It was the first time the two schools had met on a Central campus during the 100 years of the rivalry, which Jackson has won eight of the past 10 years. Central still leads the series 58-41-7

"It was nice to get a win over Cape," Selsor said. "It was the big talk all week. It was the big game of the year for some of us."


First Quarter

C -- Jacob Campbell 24 run (kick failed), 10:52

J -- Ty Selsor 12 run (Adam Brown kick), 5:21

Second Quarter

J -- Colten Proffer 54 run (Brown kick), 2:25

C -- Chris Martin 3 run (run failed), 1:48

Third Quarter

J -- Dante Vandeven 3 run (Brown kick), 9:47

C -- Garan Evans 18 pass from Dennis Vinson (Calvin Lovig kick), 5:10

Fourth Quarter

C -- Evans 29 pass from Vinson (Lovig kick), 6:49

J -- Lowgn Wren 32 pass from Selsor (Proffer run), 2:31

First downs2413
Passing yards13847


RUSHING -- Jackson, Proffer 22-208, Selsor 23-48, Garrett Miller 5-14, Brannon Wright 1-2, Lowgn Wren 1-4, Dante Vandeven 2-3, Xominique Davis 1-(-6), Skyler Steele 1-7, team (-1); Central, Martin 16-115, Campbell 13-51, Jacob Margetta 1-1, Vinson 4-4, Mikey Jones 4-11, team (-2)

PASSING -- Jackson, Selsor 13-28-4-138; Central, Vinson 2-9-0-47, Martin 0-1-1-0

RECEIVING -- Jackson, Proffer 5-45, Wright 3-24, Wren 4-62, Hunter Schuette 1-7; Central, Evans 2-47

Fact Check
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Sloppy, sloppy game but glad we won! If we want to beat Simeston we are going to have to play alot better!

-- Posted by Jax12 on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 8:11 AM

Any thoughts about the lap around the track by the Jackson fans after the game? Seems classless to me.

-- Posted by Marion_Morrison on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 8:47 AM

Great game to watch on the webcast. Jackson will have to address the interception issue though, and the victory lap on the visitor's was probably i'll-advised.

-- Posted by semo7178 on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 9:38 AM

Have to say, if the outcome had been reversed, Cape would have taken that victory lap at Jackson's place:). It is a very big rivalry and beating Cape on their new field and on homecoming to boot was cause for great celebration...classless is a word poor losers use.

-- Posted by bball15 on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 9:56 AM

Sloppy game? Well yes of course it was, it's a high school football game... What high school game have you been to and it's not sloppy? It was an amazing game, one of the best high school games I have been to in a long time! Back and forth and a game that finally lived up to the hype! Good luck to both teams!

-- Posted by Kobeyashi on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 10:23 AM

Well I am pretty sure the cape fans didn't take a lap after last years game. Jackson fans need to notes from the Football team. Act like you have won a game before!

-- Posted by NewTigerFan on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 11:11 AM

Congrats to the indians for the remarkable turnaround this year! Im a sikeston fan and our offense was very sloppy lasnite too. The O seems to simply disappear for a qtr or 2 every game. Fortunately the D has been solid. Bring a crowd next week, we're excited down here!!

-- Posted by cirithungol17 on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 11:21 AM

NewTigerFan we have won a game before. In fact we have won 5 in a row and are undefeated!

Kobeyashi i have been to plenty of high school football games that were well executed and none it any mistakes were made!

Cirithungol17 we will bring a crowd dont you worry about that. The Indians are back to their old ways!

-- Posted by Jax12 on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 2:48 PM

I have watched a lot of classless Cape Central stunts over the years at different events quit whining and let the Indain fans enjoy the moment,your time will come again!

-- Posted by objective fan on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 4:29 PM

Cape wasn't allowed to storm their own court last year after beating sikeston on their own homecoming.

-- Posted by CapeAlum on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 5:32 PM

Name some of the classless act by Central?

-- Posted by CapeTiger20 on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 6:02 PM

@CapeTiger20 Trashy red and black day at school. Storming the field last season after winning at Jackson

-- Posted by semo501 on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 10:01 PM

Good Lord...Why aren't we talking about a good high school football game instead of a bunch of non football players running around a track?..That's why I like semoball.com You can have serious football discussions and not get distracted by non football issues. It was a great high school football game and both TEAMS conducted themselves with class. We don't have to worry about "trashy" red and black day at school.

-- Posted by crackerjack on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 10:18 PM

It would be best to keep the discussion on the game. Both teams played hard and had their moments. Game could have gone either way and it was sure fun to watch. The players on the field were respectful and that's where the forum focus should be.

-- Posted by whitey11 on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 11:22 PM

thats been schools tradition for years

-- Posted by CapeTiger20 on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 11:46 PM

you're talking about something that goes on during the school week before the game... I've seen jackson dress up in baggy clothes and tall tee and sports jersey claiming that central is a bunch of thugs, so you choose which is worse.

-- Posted by CapeTiger20 on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 11:48 PM

Great game!!!! Both teams played their hearts out and it came down to one thing. Cape Central got out Coached period!!!!!!

-- Posted by Bigups35 on Sun, Sep 23, 2012, at 7:27 AM

Get over it CapeTiger......Jackson won....end of story. Next year, maybe you will have the bragging rights!

-- Posted by bball15 on Sun, Sep 23, 2012, at 7:50 AM

Bigups35, you may be out of touch with reality. To say Central got out coached proves that you are just a run of the mill high school fan or player that truly does not understand the game of football.

-- Posted by Old NDN on Sun, Sep 23, 2012, at 10:48 AM

Did I say anything about Jackson winning. They played a better overall game, dont say Central is classless because of tacky red and black day during spirit week at the school.

-- Posted by CapeTiger20 on Sun, Sep 23, 2012, at 12:20 PM

Bottom line, Tigers had better athletes, more team speed, and were probably more tallented. Their offense looked just like the old Jackson before Eckley. The Indians turned the ball over at least 5 times and still won the game. I think the Tigers were outcoached! The Tigers were lucky the Indians turned it over or it could have been a lot worse. Next week with Sikeston will be interesting.

-- Posted by wolfwoman on Sun, Sep 23, 2012, at 7:15 PM

Red is merely orange with the yellow taken out.

-- Posted by fxpwt on Sun, Sep 23, 2012, at 7:33 PM

I'm with Bigups35 on this one. Central probably does have better athletes, but their offense was bland and predictable.

-- Posted by Riley03 on Sun, Sep 23, 2012, at 8:55 PM

My son played for Jackson but I have respect for Cape and thrilled to see they have regained the enthusiasm for the game that was so prominent in the 60's and 70's. It's terrific to see any local school do well. They are all our kids.

-- Posted by kicker on Mon, Sep 24, 2012, at 8:42 AM

Kicker is exactly right...They're high school kids..At least the games are competitive again and actually mean something and we're not both 0 and 10!!

-- Posted by crackerjack on Mon, Sep 24, 2012, at 1:14 PM

I say we all cheer for both teams as we are in two different classes! If i was a Cape Fan i would want Jackson to go undefeated and as a Jackson Fan i want Cape to will all their games also.

-- Posted by Jax12 on Mon, Sep 24, 2012, at 8:18 PM

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