Imes’ backyard play not enough

Published 9:12 am Thursday, October 14, 2021

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

Ellis’ rampaging football team added visiting Forbush to its growing list of victims on Oct. 5. Braxton Bowling and Elijah Chaffin led a 36-0 rout.

Bowling ran for three touchdowns. Chaffin had a TD, converted three two-point conversions, forced two fumbles and racked up double-figure tackles as Ellis climbed to 6-0 with its fourth shutout. Ethan Driver had the other TD.

The Jaguars have more wins than the past three seasons combined (four). This marked their largest victory since 44-6 over North Davie in 2017. And this is their longest winning streak since the 2014 team went 8-0.

Starmount 12, SD 6

Considering South Davie was missing quarterback Jamarius Pelote and receiver/running back Gabe Clemons, the Tigers’ narrow loss at Starmount on Oct. 6 was an accomplishment.

“Jamarius and Gabe are two of our best players,” assistant coach Germain Mayfield said. “It was our best game of the year. We had people playing out of position and we still could have won the game.”

After Starmount’s first two possessions, it looked like South was in for a long day. It was quickly 12-0. But South said enough’s enough and ultimately gave the Rams all they wanted.

“After (Starmount’s first two possessions), they may have had three first downs,” Mayfield said.

It was still 12-0 in the third quarter when the Tigers faced fourth-and-long from the Starmount 39. They needed a little magic. One of the offensive tackles provided inspiration with a backyard play on a lateral that was intended for a running back in the flat.

“We threw a flare and they made a good defensive play. They tipped the ball and everyone stopped,” Mayfield said.

Everyone except tackle AJ Imes. He picked up the ball, hesitated for a moment and then decided to rumble down the field, gaining 37 yards to the Starmount 2 and setting up Jayce Bentley’s touchdown to cut South’s deficit in half.

“AJ picked it up and looked at the official,” Mayfield said. “When he realized the whistle had not blown, he took off. And he’s a tackle. He was running through people.”

South had chances to draw even or take the lead before coming up just short.

“We had opportunities,” Mayfield said. “On fourth-and-long, Laz Smith went between three people and made a shoestring catch for a first down. On a fourth-and-6, we got five and a half.”

Bentley delivered in a big way, carrying 11 times for 91 yards and catching a 30-yard pass from Dallas Simms, who replaced Pelote at QB and responded with three completions for 53 yards and 35 rushing yards on five keepers.

“Dallas did well and Jayce had the game of his life,” Mayfield said. “He ran so hard and physical. I did not expect him to run the ball like that.”

Defensive coordinator Darius Wilson was proud of the d-line (Eli Waddell, Jacob Alexander, Imes, Marcus Fortune and Ean Click).

“Our d-line played well and kept getting in the backfield,” Wilson said.

Starmount fumbled six times against the underdog Tigers (1-4). South had four recoveries, including two by Ryan Williams.