Wildcats defeat Pinckneyville 34-0

Victory assures A-J spot in postseason playoffs

The Pinckneyville High School football team was able to stop the big play attack of visiting Anna-Jonesboro, but couldn’t stop the Wildcats’ rushing game in a 34-0 loss Friday night, Sept. 29.

“It wasn’t flashy, but kind of methodical,” A-J football head coach Brett Detering said. “There were no big explosive plays. They made us grind out the yardage, but we still were able to move the chains.”

In all of its previous games this season, A-J had been able to notch several big plays on offense.

But, the Wildcats still had a big game offensively, with 371 total yards rushing. 

Fullback Jayce Turner led the way with 175 yards rushing on 32 carries to go along with 3 TDs and a safety. 

Quarterback Bryce Osman added 88 yards rushing on 10 carries. Running back Arieh Hart chipped in with 55 yards on 8 carries.

The Wildcats improved to 6-0 and 3-0 in the Southern Illinois River-to-River Conference Mississippi Division, while the Panthers fell to 0-6 overall.

The sixth victory of the season guaranteed A-J a spot in the postseason playoffs.

The Panthers’ offense appeared to click on their opening drive as they quickly picked up a first down. However, quarterback Colton Kling then fumbled and Turner recovered the ball for A-J.

The Wildcats then began to roll and Turner scored on a 1-yard run to cap a  4-play drive. After a penalty on the extra point,  the football was moved closer to the goal line. A-J decided to run in the conversion points. Osman scored and the Wildcats led 8-0 with 9:16 remaining in the opening quarter.

The Panthers were forced to punt on their next drive deep in their own territory. Pinckneyville’s Ben Restoff dropped back to punt and  it was blocked by Turner, who recovered the ball in the end zone for a safety. A-J was  ahead 9-0 with 7:46 remaining in the first quarter.

Following Pinckneyville’s ensuing punt, A-J was on the move again.

After a 9-play drive, Turner scored on a 1-yard plunge.

Osman kicked the extra point and the Wildcats were on top 17-0 with 3:22 left in the first quarter.

Following another Panther punt, the Wildcats were moving again.

Osman scored on a 1-yard plunge after a lengthy 19-play drive. Sheldon McGrath’s extra point kick put the Wildcats ahead 24-0 with 3:46 remaining in the first half.

Following another Panther punt, A-J moved deep into Pinckneyville territory and with 7 seconds remaining, McGrath booted a 25-yard field goal.

A-J had built a 27-0 advantage going into the half.

The Wildcats’ first drive  was halted on their first possession of the second half.

But on its following drive, A-J’s offense began clicking again. Turner closed out the scoring after a 13-play drive on the first play of the fourth quarter on a 3-yard TD run.

McGrath kicked the extra point for the final score of the game.

Several reserves then took to the field for the Wildcats.  

Later in the quarter, McGrath attempted a 42-yard field goal that sailed below the cross bars with a little over 5:00 remaining.

Reserve quarterback Conner Jerolds led the Wildcats’ offensive attack in the final quarter with running backs Luke McMahan, McGrath, Noah Hobson and Drake Roach carrying the ball.

The Panthers were limited to 30 yards rushing and 62 yards passing.

“I’m pleased with our defense any time you can get a shutout,” Detering said. “There’s always a chance they could score on a big play.”

With the Wildcats’ rushing attack clicking, they passed very litte and Osman was just 2 of 7 passing for 41 yards, with Hart snagging both catches.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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