LINDSIDE — James Monroe continued its march through the Class AA playoff field, downing a pesky Tolsia, 34-27, Saturday on the Maverick’s home field.

Jason Jackson led the Mavericks offensively. The junior back rushed for 116 yards and four touchdowns on 21 carries and threw for an additional 48 yards.

“(Jackson) made some big runs,” Mavericks head coach David Witt said. “He made one big run there on the left side going toward the scoreboard towards the end of the half that was a tremendous play. He gives you that kind of effort every play of every ball game. That’s just the type of kid he is.”

That 34-yard scamper with 52 seconds remaining in the first half put James Monroe (12-0) ahead 20-13 and the Mavericks never trailed again.

The first quarter though, belonged to the Rebels as Tolsia (8-4) jumped out to a 13-0 lead. Bill “B.J.” Evans carried the offense on his back in the opening stanza, touching the ball 11 out of 12 plays in the first drive and five of seven in the second drive. The junior tailback scored on runs of four and 14 yards.

“We thought we could do that,” Tolsia head coach Larry Waller said. “We put in a couple of new formations for them this week. B.J. has always ran the football hard for us. He did it again today. We jumped on them pretty quick. Then we gave them a turnover. It gave the momentum back to them a little bit. They got a couple of scores and then it was tough coming back.”

Evans finished with 144 yards and three TD runs on 32 totes. He also had 36 yards receiving and 78 yards passing, including a touchdown toss.

The roles reversed in the second quarter, as Jackson caught fire for James Monroe. Jackson danced around the outside for three quick scores, the second capped a five-play drive that started when Jackson scooped up a Tolsia fumble at the Rebels’ 21-yard line.

“I think we started the game a little bit flat,” Witt said. “One thing that happens when you’ve got some young kids on the field, they kinda feel their way into a ball game sometimes. We got off to a slow start but we got cranking there. We’ve been behind before, so that’s not something that’s going to make our kids panic.”

Still Tolsia stayed in the game, trailing 26-20, until the Mavericks’ Mark Boggess picked off an errant throw and returned it 47 yards for a touchdown with 2:05 remaining in the game.

“Well, if you look at the final score,” Witt said. “That’s as big a play as there is in the ball game. There’s no question about that. Without that one, we’d probably still be playing.”

The Rebels mounted one last drive, going 62 yards on eight plays in under a minute and a half.

Boggess’ score would prove to be the difference though as the Mavericks’ fielded Tolsia’s onside kick attempt and ran out the clock.

“Our kids played their hearts out,” Waller said. “We were driving the football and playing pretty good defense but a couple of turnovers, a fumble and then, of course, the interception for a touchdown, was the difference.”

James Monroe moves on to host Bluefield in the Class AA semifinals next weekend.

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James Monroe 34, Tolsia 27

T (8-4) 13 0 0 14 — 27

JM (12-0) 0 20 6 8 — 34

First Quarter

T: Bill Evans 4 run (Evans kick) 6:31

T: Evans 14 run (kick failed) 0:40

Second Quarter

JM: Jason Jackson 6 run (kick failed) 8:22

JM: Jackson 2 run (Dalton Pritt kick) 6:09

JM: Jackson 34 run (Pritt kick) 0:52

Third Quarter

JM: Jackson 6 run (kick failed) 1:35

Fourth Quarter

T: Randall Copley 16 pass from Evans (Evans kick) 7:34

JM: Mark Boggess 47 interception return (Jackson run) 2:05

T: Evans 1 run (Evans kick)


RUSHING — T: Evans 32-144-3, Jessie Salmons 5-59, Justin Copley 3-9, Andrew Banfi 2-7, Adam Perry 2-(-8); JM: Jackson 21-116-4, Andrew Robertson 20-69, Heath Mullins 4-7.

PASSING — T: Perry 2-3-0-36-0, Evans 4-9-1-78-1; JM: Jackson 3-6-0-48-0, Mullins 1-1-0-24-0.

RECEIVING — T: Evans 2-36, R. Copley 2-19-1, Grover Parsley 1-42, Bryan Adkins 1-17; JM: Mitch Tuggle 3-61, Pritt 1-11.

TURNOVERS — T: none; JM: Jackson (fr), Boggess (int).


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