North Mac ends A-J’s playoff run with 10-7 win
After winning by a field goal in the first round of the IHSA Class 3A playoffs, the Anna-Jonesboro Community High School football team lost in a second round playoff game by a field goal in a 10-7 defeat at the hands of visiting North Mac at The Pit Saturday afternoon, Nov. 5.
“I thought our defense played outstanding again,” A-J football coach Brett Detering said. “They only gave up 10 points and they beat us on a field goal. They’ve (North Mac) put up a lot of points this year.”
North Mac advances to the third round of the playoffs with a 10-1 record. The Wildcats finish the season at 8-3.
The Panthers boasted quite a bit bigger lineup than the Wildcats.
“I think their size wore us down a little,” Detering said. “By the third and fourth quarter it kind of wore us down a bit.”
The Wildcats entered the game not at full strength as well, with starters Austin Dillow and Trenton Turner both sidelined with injuries.
“Their backups did a good job,” Detering said. “But I would have liked to played them at 100 percent: we might have made a few more plays.”
The winning field goal was set up after A-J quarterback Bryce Osman’s pass was intercepted by Asa Donaldson in the final quarter.
The Panthers Donaldson was sacked for a two-yard loss by A-J’s Arieh Hart on a third down play at the 8-yard line to set up the fourth down field goal attempt. Logan York came in to boot the 27-yard game winning field goal with 6:53 remaining in the final quarter.
The Wildcats moved to midfield before being halted on an incomplete pass on fourth down to thwart any last minute comeback hopes.
After both teams traded punts in the opening quarter, the Panthers fumbled at midfield and D.J. Latham recovered the football for the Wildcats to set up their first score.
Fueled around a 14-yard pass from Osman to Caleb Clover, Jayce Turner scored on a 16-yard run to cap a 7-play drive.
Sheldon McGrath’s extra point kick gave A-J the lead with 4:04 remaining in the first quarter.
After the Panthers punted, the Wildcats were on the move again.
Moving to North Mac’s 3-yard line, the Wildcats were halted.
“They made some plays on the goal line and we didn’t,” Detering said.
“On those type of plays, I don’t know how some of our guys got going in the wrong direction. You’ve got to be able to punch that in.
“If we would have scored then at the goal line, they might have tried to score instead of the field goal. It changed the complexion of the game. It’s a game of what ifs and it gets frustrating some times.”
After the Wildcats punted for the second time in the third quarter, the Panthers offense was on the move.
Donaldson scored on a 33-yard run to cap a 3-play drive. Logan York’s extra point kick knotted the game 7-7 with 4:38 remaining in the third quarter.
In the final quarter, Hart recovered a fumble for the Wildcats. However, the Panthers thwarted the drive with the pass interception to set up the game-winning field goal.
Turner led A-J’s 140 yard rushing attack with 88 yards in 21 carries.
“(Jayce) had a lot of carries with Trenton out,” Detering said. “He took a pounding.”
Osman was 4 of 11 passing for 66 yards with the one interception.
North Mac finished the game with 218 yards rushing and 42 yards passing.