It took several defensive stands, fourth down conversions and big plays, but Jacksonville was able to get past the Maumelle Hornets 27-20 last week at Jan Crow Stadium.
The Red Devils’ defense stopped the Hornets inside the 10-yard-line with just over a minute left to play to secure the win.
Jacksonville came from behind in the fourth quarter and took the lead on a scramble by quarterback Reggie Barnes. Barnes was up and down in the wet conditions, throwing multiple interceptions, but also throwing three touchdowns to three different receivers.
Barnes hit tailback Lamont Gause for a short touchdown late in the first quarter to take a 7-0 lead.
The defense stuffed Maumelle near the Jacksonville goal line, forcing the Hornets to settle for field goal. Jacksonville took a 14-3 lead midway through the second quarter when Barnes found KaJahn Daniels for a 26-yard touchdown on fourth down.
Maumelle scored following a blocked punt that made the score 14-9 heading into halftime.
Maumelle scored again early in the second half, taking advantage of a short field after an interception. A touchdown and two-point conversion gave the Hornets a 17-14 lead.
Jacksonville’s defense held strong again, forcing a punt after an interception, then making Maumelle settle for another field goal after a first and goal situation.
Down 20-14, Jacksonville tied the game when Barnes hit Robert Harris for a big 80-yard touchdown on the next play. The PAT was off though, leaving the score 20-20.
Maumelle fumbled the ball right back to Jacksonville, setting up Barnes to scramble for the game-winning touchdown. The Hornets drove down to the seven, but couldn’t crack the Devil defense.
Jacksonville will begin the conference season Friday with a trip to West Helena. The Cougars lost 35-0 at Jacksonville last year, but return almost every starter and can just about match Jacksonville athlete for athlete all over the field.