Matt Shields scored all of J-M's points in overtime for a 14-6 win over McDonald.
By JIM FLICK
McDONALD -- After regulation time ended in a scoreless tie, Jackson-Milton outscored McDonald in overtime to capture a 14-6 victory Friday night.
"We told our kids to think of this as their playoff game," Jackson-Milton coach Mark Assion said.
On the other hand, McDonald coach Dan Williams said the loss put his team's playoff hopes in jeopardy. He explained that his team might still qualify for the playoffs, depending on the outcome of other games this weekend.
The game was played under a steady rain, which caused problems for both teams, including frequent fumbles and a dropped pass. The poor weather limited both teams' offensive outputs.
"We thought the weather played to our favor," Assion said. "We told our kids to plant their feet."
The Bluejays ended the season with a 5-5 record (4-2 in the Inter Tri-County Small League). Before the game, the Blue Devils (7-3, 4-2) led the area in total offense, averaging 407.8 yards per game. However, while struggling in the rain Friday night, McDonald compiled less than 150 yards in total offense.
Jackson-Milton racked up just over 100 yards in total offense.
First overtime scoreless
After both teams failed to score a point after four quarters, they remained scoreless in the first of four overtime periods. In each overtime session, the teams take turns trying to score from the opponent's 20-yard line.
In the second overtime period, Jackson-Milton scored the first points of the evening when Matt Shields scored a touchdown on a three-yard run. The Bluejays' conversion run attempt failed, and Jackson-Milton held a 6-0 lead.
McDonald came back to tie the score on a 7-yard dash into the end zone by quarterback Matt Krumpak. The Blue Devils failed to convert an extra-point try, leaving the score tied 6-6.
After a scoreless third overtime, Shields scored a second touchdown for Jackson-Milton to start the fourth overtime period. This time, Shields also smashed into the end zone to give the Bluejays a two-point extra point conversion and a 14-6 lead.
Blue Devils sputter
In McDonald's final opportunity to tie the score, the Blue Devils sputtered. After the Blue Devils suffered a penalty and gained a net one yard on their first two plays, Jackson-Milton's Derek Cox burst into the backfield and sacked Krumpak at the 35. A final pass attempt by Krumpak fell short, and the Bluejays stormed off the field, cheering in victory.
After the game, both coaches pointed to a series in the third quarter when McDonald nearly clinched a victory.
The Blue Devils neared the Bluejays' goal line, with a first-and-goal inside the 5-yard line. Yet the Jackson-Milton players dug in their heels and kept McDonald from scoring. After a fourth-down running play fell short, the Bluejays took over on downs.
Shields led the Jackson-Milton offense with 58 yards rushing in 19 carries, while Derek Cox gained 43 yards in 12 carries.
For McDonald, Krumpak completed 6-for-19 passes for 77 yards, while Josh Joynes gained 31 yards in 11 carries and David Dugan gained 24 yards in five carries.