The Andrew Jackson Volunteers faced off against their rivals from Buford. Having come off a tough loss to North Central the week before, The Volunteers had some rebuilding to do, particularly with the injury to Chas DeBruhl. Chas DeBruhl was on the sidelines offering encouragement and support for the team. The stands at AJ were full of Volunteer fans.
The Vols came out strong defensively and held Buford throughout the first half to just seven points. The defense kept former AJ Volunteer Brayden Phillips largely inside the pocket.
Buford scored with a six-yard run by Tyheim Miller with 1:32 left in the half. Jess Black kicked in the extra point to bring the score to 7-0. The Volunteers took possession of the ball, and on their 2nd down threw an interception. When the Yellow Jackets took possession back with 17 seconds left in the half, Gavin Blackmon snagged a pick six taking the ball back 99 yards for AJ only score in the game.
The Vols defense kept most the third quarter clear of any Buford scores. In the waning seconds of the third quarter Buford took the lead with a 29-yard run by #4 into the end zone with 33 seconds left in the quarter. Jesse Black kicked in the extra point. At 11:03 in the fourth, the Volunteers fumbled, and Buford recovered for a 34-yard touchdown, and extra point. This brought the score to 21-7. The final Buford scoring drive came with 6 minutes left in the game. Carter Smith intercepted the Volunteers pass, and possession was taken by Buford. Three plays later, Smith ran in the final score for Buford on a 28-yard run with 5:34 left in the game.
Looking at the stats from the game. Buford had 16 first downs to AJ’s 10. Buford had 9 first downs from rushing, 2 from passing, and 5 from penalties. AJ had 6 rushing first downs, 2 from passing, and 2 from penalties. Buford had 253 yards of total offense, 184 from rushing, and 69 from pass plays. The Volunteers had 141 yards of total offense and 115 yards from rushing, and 26 passing yards. Buford completed 4 of 16 passes and Andrew Jackson completed 5 of 17 passes. Buford fumbled twice and recovered their own both times. Volunteers fumbled 4 times and Buford recovered two of those. Buford was forced to punt 4 times and Volunteers punted 6 times.
Gavin Blackmon was lead tackler for the Vols with 8 and a pick 6. Ben Hinson had 5 tackles. AJ Coach Todd Shigley talked about how much of a challenge it was to prepare for this game. “The loss of Chas meant others had to step up. Losing Gavin tonight forced us to play some who had very little practice in the positions they had to fill. We go on to prepare for Chesterfield” The coach is quick to point out that it a season long effort not just a one-night score that counts.
The last two weeks have been tough on the Volunteers with the losses of Chas DeBruhl and Gavin Phillips in the quarterback positions. Teams are made of many players and these two weeks of losses will show the Volunteers what needs to be improved upon and strengthened. The Volunteers motto for this season is “Expect to Win”. In football, that is not only a game thought, but a season thought.
Andrew Jackson will host the Chesterfield Rams on Friday the 28th at 7:30pm. Chesterfield comes into the game having won their game against Lee Central.