A-J overpowers Massac on way to 40-6 victory
The host Anna-Jonesboro Community High School football team wasted little time taking charge last Friday night.
Arieh Hart scored on the Wildcats’ opening kickoff return on a 68-yard run and the team never looked back in a 40-6 win over visiting Massac County at The Pit.
After Hart’s long run, Jaryt Tripp added the extra point kick and the Wildcats were on top 7-0 with 10:22 remaining in the opening quarter.
“When you get an exciting player like that who scores early, it gets you going,” A-J coach Brett Detering said.
Hart added two more scores in the first half with 55-yard and 22-yard runs.
While three more touchdowns for A-J were added in the first quarter, the A-J defense played exceptionally well.
“Our defense did a nice job getting some early stops,” Detering said. He noted that the A-J defense didn’t give up any points in the first half.
After Hart’s explosive run, on A-J’s next drive, quarterback Bryce Osman connected with Damien Chrisp for a 51-yard TD pass to cap a 5-play drive.
A-J was halted on a run for the extra point and led 13-0 with 7:01 remaining in the opening quarter.
A-J fullback Jayce Turner ran for an 8-yard run on the first play of the ensuing drive, then Hart broke free on what appeared to be a broken play, but was able to ramble for a 55-yard TD run.
Tripp’s extra point kick put A-J ahead 20-0 with 4:52 remaining in the quarter.
Following another Patriot punt, A-J was on the move again.
Kyle McMahan broke free for a 58-yard TD run. The extra point kick was no good and the Wildcats led 26-0 with 2:51 remaining in the first quarter.
Moving to midfield on their next drive, the Patriots gambled on fourth and short yardage. Quarterback Mason Corzine was sacked for a big loss and Massac County turned the ball over on downs.
Osman then scored on a 4-yard run to cap a 5-play drive. Tripp’s extra point kick put A-J up 33-0 with 8:53 remaining in the first half.
The Patriots had their most impressive drive of the first half as they moved to the Wildcats’ 2-yard line before being stopped on a fourth down pass play.
A-J’s Hart then scored on a 22-yard run that was set up by a long pass to him from Osman. Tripp’s extra point kick closed out the scoring in the first half with 52 seconds remaining.
A-J’s Conner Jerolds intercepted quarterback Corzine’s pass to close out the first half.
The big plus about going ahead in the first half 40-0 is that a running clock continues for the final half.
Detering said the second half gave the Wildcats a chance to rest the starters and prevent any further injuries. He noted it didn’t appear like there were any injuries from the game.
Late in the game, Patriot quarterback Corzine scored on a 10-yard run. Connor Seitz kicked the extra point for the final score with 2:44 remaining in the game.
A-J’s Osman was 2 of 3 passing for 74 yards and rushed for 55 yards on 7 carries.
Chrisp had a 51-yard pass reception and Hart a 23-yard pass reception.
McMahan had 58 yards rushing to lead A-J’s offense. Turner added 57 yards on 8 carries and Hart 66 yards on 4 carries.
A-J’s defense held the Patriots’ rushing game to 75 yards and 135 yards through the air.