Leader Blues

Saturday, September 16, 2006

SPORTS >>Devils roll past Wolves

IN SHORT: Jacksonville’s defense forced eight turnovers and led a route of Lake Hamilton on the road.

Leader sports writer

Jacksonville wrapped up its second victory in as many weeks with a 35-21 non-conference road win over Lake Hamilton Friday night. The Red Devils defense hammered the Wolves offense to force eight turnovers in the game. Five came off of interceptions by the Jacksonville secondary, the other three were recovered fumbles for the ‘Devils.

Jacksonville coach Mark Whatley was happy to get the win, but even happier that his defense stepped up after last week’s sputtering performance against North Pulaski.

“There’s not any question that turnovers were the difference in this ball game,” Whatley said. “The defense rose up and played phenomenal. That is the best effort I’ve seen from them so far. They did a good job, and made great things happen.”

The Red Devils weren’t too shabby on the offensive side of the ball either. Senior quarterback Daniel Hubbard completed eight of 14 pass attempts for 140 yards and a touchdown.

After rushing sparsely during the first two games, senior tailback Justin Akins was put into workhorse status for Jacksonville on Friday.

Akins carried 28 times for 186 yards rushing and two touchdowns. He also made three receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown, giving him 258 yards of all-purpose offense and three TDs on the night.

It was Lee Robinson who saw limited rushes, but he made the most of the times his number was called. He carried three times for 54 yards and a touchdown, with Marcus King adding the other score with a 21-yard touchdown reception from Hubbard.

The Red Devils’ opening drive of the game was capped off by a double-screen from Hubbard to Akins for a 66-yard score to finish out the five-play drive.

Robinson added the next score towards the end of the opening quarter with a six-yard touchdown run, followed by an 11-yard run from Akins to put the ‘Devils ahead 21-2 at the half. The safety for Lake Hamilton came after a Wolves’ fumble was recovered by Jacksonville at their own 6-yard line. With limited room, Hubbard went back into the pocket and never came out, as LH got the end-zone sack for its only points in the first 24 minutes of play.

Akins and King each added another touchdown in the third quarter. Akins’ TD came off a 7-yard run early in the second half, followed by a 21-yard dash into the end zone from King moments later to set Jacksonville’s final margin.

Lake Hamilton finally found the Jacksonville end zone in the second half, but it would not be enough. The Red Devils rolled on to improve their season record to 2-1 on the season, while Lake Hamilton took its first loss of the season to fall to 2-1.

Jacksonville will begin conference play next week when it welcomes Mountain Home to Jan Crow Stadium.