Archive for September 18th, 2011
Improving to 2-0 in the SEMO Central conference, the Charleston Blue Jays broke open a scoreless first half with a 33-point second half outburst to spoil New Madrid County Central’s Homecoming festivities keeping the Eagles winless (0-4) and improving to 2-2 overall with the victory.
In the first half, it didn’t look like there would be 33-points scored combined as the two teams combined for 0 point in the first two quarters. But, defensively, the Blue Jays remained on point for four quarters even keeping NMCC out of the end zone for a salvage score.
Perhaps Blue Jays coach Brett Blackman channeled Knute Rockne; whatever he did say he may want to put that away for safekeeping when Charleston takes that next step in the coming years. Friday night in New Madrid it worked.
The Jays used a second half blitz led by Mike Kellums and Jamaul Gray – stepping as Charleston played without starters Robert Bogan and Maurice Moore; throw in a 65-yard INT TD return by Michael Hill and you have a 33-0 confidence building win over the Eagles – who the Jays had not beat since 2004.
Now, focus needs to turn to Hayti and an opportunity for a statement win for Charleston…
Charleston junior Cole Byford was heaping praise on teammates that helped the Jays throttle the Eagles.
“Definitely have to give credit to the line backers, Kaelin Armstrong and Deontrail Winston they played a heck of a game and spent all week practicing hard.” said the senior by Facebook message.
Byford, along with fellow senior Michael Baugh wrote havoc on the Eagle offense. Seniors Demarcus Coleman and Louis Gillepsie have waited a long time for the Jays to be 2-2 with this season having real meaning and a SEMO Central Conference title waiting to be had…
As the injuries to Bogan and Moore tested the Jays’ depth heading into the game, Sumer Foster was lost during the first half with an apparent finger injury – the Jays found a way to win. And while Kellum had first-half difficulties with the center exchange, things worked out well enough to run for 153 yards – including an 85-yard romp. Gray also connected to Krushon Scott for 2 passes; one a 77-yarder and the other a 50 yard Td pass.
Gray, the left-hander, who has been a constant in the Blue Jays program the last three seasons taking multiple hits for the team, was giving credit to the offensive line for their play.
“Yeah, they did a great job,’ said Gray via Facebook. “Especially Trey Coleman and Cole Byford; there were the key on the line and I love them boys.”
“We started slow but as (the game) progressed we started making plays and Mike (Kellum) stepped up as a running back and did his thing. I’m very proud of our team.”
Defensively, Gray noted the play of Michael Hull (2 INTs) and Louis (Gillespie) and Krushon Scott at defensive end…
So, the Jays stand at the crossroads in the 2011 season. Charleston must take it one game at a time but with four quarters of focus, the Jays are in position to make my early season prediction look good; ‘win more than they lose this year’…
At Hayti this week; and then a pivotal SEMO Central matchup for Homecoming with a tough Dexter squad. A trip to Herculaneum crucial Sept. 30 prior to the 2A District 1 3-game trek beginning at EP Oct. 7; Malden and a season ending home game with state ranked and Central powerhouse Caruthersville to end the regular season. There is playoff potential in the Jays future if they continue to progress and stay focused for 4 quarters; eliminate mistakes with the ball and get healthy.
KCHR’s Dave Manker, who has steadfastly maintained his Charleston ‘homer’ credentials commented via FB that is ‘Sweet’ getting the win at NMCC, with their big crowd and high expectations for a ‘W’ after recent struggles the Jays have had with the Eagles (first win over NMCC since 2004);
Dave also credited Claude Armstrong and Michael Baugh as key defensive players in the game; but added the Jays turned the ball over 4 times in NMCC territory (something the Jays must cease) and gave credit to the NMCC punter for keeping the Jays pinned back on offense in the first half. Manker also said the ‘D’ brought their ‘A’ game…
The Jays came out on top at New Madrid Friday. They took two steps forward. Friday night at Hayti they have the chance to take two more…