Jaguars take down Jackets, 29-14
Mother Nature made her presence known on Friday when Middlesboro traveled to Clay County to play North Laurel in the Appalachian Bowl. With the score tied 8-8 heading into halftime, a storm delayed the intermission for over two hours. The result proved to be in favor of the Jaguars as North Laurel outscored the Jackets 21-8 in the second half en route to a 29-14 victory.
The loss drops Middlesboro to 1-2 on the season after falling to Bell County in the opening game and defeating Claiborne, Tennessee on Aug. 24.
Alex Mason added to his momentum from the Claiborne game and rushed for 119 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. Freshman Seth Huff added 63 yards on 10 carries, and senior quarterback Rhyan Rogers picked up 57 yards on 15 carries. Caleb Bogonko scored one touchdown and rushed for 19 yards on seven carries.
Through the air, Rogers went 5-for-14 for 30 yards with one interception. Sebastian Wagoner caught one pass for 15 yards, and Huff caught two passes for nine yards.
For North Laurel, it was a combined effort on the ground that helped the team end the game victorious. Isiah Alexander led the team in rushing with 63 yards on only two carries. Grant Woods finished with 54 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. Hutton Shepherd tallied 51 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.
Konnor Robinson and Jacob Bowman also added touchdowns on the ground.
Dalton Sizemore’s lone completion went to Storm Gambrell for 65 yards. Sizemore also had one interception on the night.
Middlesboro got things started in the second quarter. With 11:06 remaining in the half, Bogonko found the end zone on fourth down with a four-yard run. Rogers connected with Huff to convert the two-point attempt and gave the Jackets an 8-0 lead.
It didn’t take long for North Laurel to answer. Shepherd broke free for a 20-yard touchdown run with 8:28 remaining in the second. The two point conversion tied the game at 8-all.
Neither team could find pay-dirt for the remainder of the half. After more than a two-hour delay, North Laurel went on a tear in the second half. A 15-yard touchdown run by Sizemore gave the Jags a 16-8 lead with 9:40 left in the third.
A blocked punt on the ensuing Middlesboro possession resulted in points for North Laurel. A Robinson touchdown increased the Jags’ lead to 22-8 with 5:01 remaining in the third. Another touchdown by Sizemore ballooned the North Laurel lead to 29-8.
Mason cut the final deficit to 15 points when he scored with under two minutes remaining in the game.
Middlesboro (1-2) hits the road on Friday when they travel to Harlan (0-3).
North Laurel (2-1) with host Grant County (1-2) on Friday.