13First Downs 7
by John Pate
The Metter Tigers improved to 5-0 on the season with their 42-0 win over the visiting Jenkins County War Eagles. The Tigers are now 2-0 in region play.
The loss dropped Jenkins Country to 0-5 on the season and 0-2 in region play.
With the win, and a Brooks County loss to Irwin County, the Metter Tigers are now ranked number one in the state in Class A football. This is the first time Metter has been ranked number one since the 1982 season.
Friday night saw the Tigers put up 265 yards of total offense. They picked up 255 of those yards on the ground and 10 through the air. Metter tacked on 72 return yards, including a 56-yard fumble return for a touchdown by RJ Lanier.
Kaliq Jordan led the rushing attack with 98 yards on six carries and he scored three touchdowns. Aaron Collins had 73 yards on 13 carries and added another two touchdowns.
Jenkins County proved to be a feisty opponent, and though the score may not reflect it, played a tough game. They amassed 81 yards on the ground and 67 yards passing for a total of 148 yards of offense. That is the most rushing yards and total yards gained by an opponent all season. Jenkins County is just the second team to gain over 100 yards of offense against Metter this season.
The Tiger defense was led by Ethan Oglesby with 11 tackles and a forced fumble as well as a fumble recovery. Taj Hobbs, Josh Kelly and CJ Donaldson were all in on eight tackles as well.
The Tigers got off to a slow start on their opening possession, going three and out and having to punt the ball away. Devin Smith got off a great 47-yard punt to pin Jenkins County down at their own 16 yard line. The Metter defense forced a quick three and out punt of their own to give the Tiger offense a short field to work with on their second possession.
This drive started at the War Eagle 37 yard line, and Metter marched down the field and scored on an eight-play drive.
It was Aaron Collins who scored the first points of the game. He took the hand-off right up the middle, ran through a couple of Jenkins County defenders and crossed the goal line for the five-yard touchdown with 3:32 remaining in the first quarter. The two-point conversion failed, so the score stood at 6-0 Metter.
As the game moved into the second quarter, Jenkins County had the ball following another great punt by Devin Smith. The punt traveled 50 yards and pinned the Eagles at their own five-yard line.
A big 35-yard pass play, aided by a 15-yard penalty, quickly got Jenkins County out over midfield and into Tiger territory, but on the very next play the Metter defense knocked the ball loose.
RJ Lanier hit the runner at the line and the football popped free. The Tigers recovered the loose ball at the 49-yard line.
The Tigers would cash in on this turnover with a five-play, 51-yard drive for the score. Aaron Collins scored his second touchdown on the night, this time from 13 yards out.
Collins took the hand-off up the middle again. He looked to be wrapped up at the nine-yard line, but he spun out of the tackle and sprung free to trot across the goal line. This time the two-point conversion was good to give Metter a 14-0 lead.
The next possession for Jenkins County almost mirrored the previous one. They were moving the ball some and picked up a first down, but the drive was ended by another fumble. Metter recovered the loose ball at the Jenkins County 41-yard line.
The Tigers would turn this turnover into points as well. This drive took six plays and was capped off by a 22-yard touchdown run by Kaliq Jordan.
Quarterback Taj Hobbs faked the give up the middle, turned and handed it off to Kaliq Jordan around the left side. He got a couple of good downfield blocks and outran the Jenkins County secondary to the end zone. Taj Hobbs found tight end Cole McCranie in the back of the end zone to convert the two-point conversion and extended the lead to 22-0, and that would be the half time score.
Jenkins County received the ball to start the second half. The War Eagles put together a nice drive, picking up two first downs and moving the ball over midfield and down to the Metter 33, but the Tigers dug in and stopped the attack right there.
The defense forced a turnover on downs to give the ball back to the offense. The offense took over at their own 36-yard line.
The drive would be a quick two play drive. On just the second play, Kaliq Jordan got loose again. He took the hand-off around the left side. He got to the near side numbers and cut upfield between two great blocks, and he was off to the races. Jordan went 61 yards up the sideline for the score. Fidel Esquivel booted the extra point through to give Metter a 29-0 lead with 4:04 remaining in quarter number three.
The Tiger offense would get the ball back following another three and out for the Jenkins County offense. Metter put together a nine-play, 60-yard drive that took the game into the fourth quarter. Kaliq Jordan ended the drive by scoring his third touchdown on the night. This one was a four-yard run to the left side.
Jordan took the hand-off around the edge, found a seam and cut it upfield and into the end zone for the score. The extra point kick was not good, but the Tiger lead was now 35-0 with 7:47 remaining in the game.
The final points of the game would come off of the third forced fumble by the Tiger defense. Middle linebacker Ethan Oglesby came on a blitz untouched into the Jenkins County backfield. He hit the running back at the exact moment he was receiving the hand off from his quarterback. The hit sent the ball flying backwards where it was scooped up by RJ Lanier at the 44-yard line.
All of Lanier’s teammates escorted him to the end zone for the scoop and score. This would give Metter a 42-0 lead, and that would be final from The Jungle.
We talked with Head Coach Rodney Garvin about the win and the 5-0 start by his team.
“Being 5-0 is great, but more so 2-0 in region play is what counts. Every week, the first grade I want to see on our players is effort. We are seeing great effort on film as we grade. The second piece is technique. We made positive strides in this area as well on both sides of the ball. I am proud of our progress as a team this year up to this point.
“I thought our offensive line did a great job of moving folks and creating lanes for our backs to run. Defensively, we are really running to the ball well and playing physical. We must continue to improve each week in every aspect of our game to continue the season in a positive direction.
“I want to thank the community for coming out and supporting these kids and we need you to show up Friday night in Screven County!”
Score by Quarter
Play: Aaron Collins 5-yd run (2-pt conversion failed)
Play: Aaron Collins 13-yd run (Antwan Coney rush, 2-pt. conversion good)
Play: Kaliq Jordan 22-yd run (Taj Hobbs pass to Cole McCranie, 2 pt conversion good)
Play: Kaliq Jordan 61-yd run (Fidel Esquivel kick good)
Play: Kaliq Jordan 4-yd run (Fidel Esquivel kick no good)
Play: RJ Lanier 56-yd fumble return (Fidel Esquivel kick good)
MHS Kick-Off Returns
JCHS Kick Off Returns
MHS Punt Returns
JCHS Punt Returns