A-J Wildcat football team completes 12-1 season
The Anna-Jonesboro Community High School football team closed out an outstanding season after advancing to the semifinals of the Illinois High School Association Class 3A playoffs.
Here’s a look back at the Wildcats’ 12-1 2017 season:
Pleasant Plains 41, A-J 2: The Wildcats’ offense was finally stymied for the first time during the season in a semifinal loss Saturday, Nov. 18.
Fullback Jayce Turner, who led the A-J backfield all season, finished with 84 yards rushing on 29 carries.
The Wildcats’ lone points came on a safety early in the game.
A-J 56, Vandalia 41: The Wildcats erupted for 568 yards rushing in the playoff win at Vandalia Saturday, Nov. 11. Turner led the way with 214 yards on 30 carries. Bryce Osman added 170 yards on 17 carries and Arieh Hart had 134 yards on 12 carries.
Turner closed out the scoring in the game on a 24-yard TD run and ran all seven plays.
A-J 29, Pana 14: Turner led the way with 169 yards rushing on 33 carries in the playoff win at A-J Nov. 4.
Osman finished with 117 yards on 27 carries.
Osman was 2 of 3 passing for 41 yards. Kyle McMahan had all yardage on his only reception.
A-J 22, Hillsboro 8: The host Wildcats rushed for 210 yards in the opening game of the playoffs Oct. 28.
Osman led the way with 107 yards on 22 carries. Turner had 84 yards on 20 carries.
Osman was 2 of 7 passing for 60 yards. Hart had both receptions.
A-J 62, Benton 28: Benton was limited to 120 yards rushing in the final regular season game Oct. 20. Turner led the way with 174 yards rushing on 27 carries. Osman had 90 yards on 10 carries.
Osman was 2 of 3 passing for 63 yards with Hart having both receptions.
A-J 46, Sparta 14: Turner rushed for 134 yards on 12 carries at Sparta Oct. 13.
Hart had 48 yards rushing on six carries.
Osman was 2 of 2 passing for 75 yards. Hart had a reception for 46 yards.
A-J 42, Du Quoin 36: Du Quoin was held to 139 yards and host A-J had 308 yards rushing on Oct. 6.
Turner led the way with 114 yards on 21 carries. Osman added 99 yards on 18 carries and Hart 62 yards on nine carries.
Osman was 4 of 7 passing for 53 yards. Hart had three receptions for 43 yards.
A-J 34, Pinckneyville 0: Turner had 175 yards rushing on 32 carries and scored three touchdowns to lead host A-J Sept. 29.
Osman added 88 yards on 10 carries and Hart had 55 yards on eight carries.
A-J 41, Carterville 7: Reid Morrison had 113 yards on 2 carries to lead visiting A-J Sept. 22.
Turner added 112 yards rushing on 16 carries. Osman had 57 yards on 11 carries.
A-J 71, Nashville 41: Turner scored seven TDs and rushed for 272 yards on 21 carries at A-J Sept. 15.
Osman rushed for 123 yards on 11 carries and Damian Chrisp 120 yards on four carries.
A-J 40, Massac County 6: Hart led the way with 66 yards on four carries for the host Wildcats Sept. 8.
McMahan added 58 yards on six carries and Turner 57 yards on eight carries.
Osman was 2 of 3 passing for 74 yards. Chrisp had a 51 yard reception and Hart a 23 yard reception.
Massac County was limited to 75 yards rushing.
A-J 43, Murphysboro 14: Hart scored three TDs to lead visiting A-J Sept. 1.
He scored on 88 and 1 yard runs and on a 30-yard pass from Osman.
Turner rushed for 92 yards on 20 carries to lead the Wildcats.
A-J 43, West Frankfort 32: Osman was 4 of 6 passing for 93 yards in the season opening game for the host Wildcats Aug. 25.
Chrisp had two receptions for 63 yards.
Turner rushed for 200 yards on 32 carries.
A-J football players earn postseason recognition
The Anna-Jonesboro Community High School football team had 10 players selected to the 2017 Southern Illinois River-to-River Mississippi Division all-conference squad.
A-J’s Jayce Turner and Ariel Hart were each selected on both the first team offensive and defensive squads.
Other first team offensive selections were Bryce Osman, Carsten Christy, Dylan Cunningham and Kevin Wright.
Reid Morrison was also selected to the first team on defense.
Second team offensive selections were Damien Chrisp and defensive selections on second team were D.J. Latham and Nick Sanders.