NE Jones scores

Northeast Jones’ Zaymarrian Ducksworth (2) and Tony Barnes (4) celebrate after the Tigers’ first TD, a 1-yard run by Barnes. (Photo by Mark Thornton)

Tony Barnes scored three touchdowns and Zaymarrian Ducksworth ran for two TDs to lead Northeast Jones to a wild win in The Jungle over cross-county rival South Jones, 48-23, on Friday night. 

The Tigers (2-2) fumbled it away on the opening kickoff and South’s Mark Diers kicked a 42-yard field goal to give the Braves (1-3) a quick 3-0 lead.

Barnes scored on a 4-yard run, after a nice return past midfield by freshman Jakendis Jones, and Jason Garcia’s extra point made it 7-3 Tigers a little more than three minutes into the game.

After the heat timeout midway through the first quarter, both offenses really heated up, scoring three TDs in a 36-second span. Barnes scampered 17 yards for a score, then SJ freshman quarterback Luke Griffin threw a 61-yard scoring strike to BJ Hawthorne on the Braves’ next play from scrimmage. NEJ quarterback Mason Smith answered with a 40-yarder to Jaylon Hudson on the Tigers’ next play and they led 21-9 going into the second quarter.

Ducksworth sprinted to the end zone from 62 yards out to make it 28-9 with just under three minutes left in the half.

But South struck twice in 10 seconds to make it a one-score game at the half. Griffin threw a 9-yard TD to Tegarrius Roberts with 20 seconds to go, then after the Braves recovered an onside kick, Griffin found Travis Conner from 46 yards out to make it 28-23 at the break after Diers booted his second extra point.

The Tigers’ defense kept the Braves off the board the rest of the way as the Tigers got their first win over South since 2014. 

Barnes added a scoring run of 31 yards in the third and Ducksworth scored from 9 yards in the fourth. Garcia booted field goals of 46 and 25 yards in the second half and was perfect on PATs.

Next Friday, NE Jones will be at Purvis and the Braves will host Vancleave. South’s Conner and NEJ’s Jones will not be allowed to play in those games after being ejected for fighting in the fourth quarter.

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