A strong defensive showing by Pineville led to a lopsided victory as the Mountain Lions defeated Jackson County, 41-8, in the Laurel Bowl.
“Anytime a senior class can get a Laurel Bowl trophy here at Pineville, it’s really big” said Mountain Lion head coach Bart Elam.
A short field allowed the Mountain Lions to score all five of their touchdowns. With the exception of a kick off return for a touchdown, Pineville scored all of there points starting on Jackson County’s side of the field.
“You want to play the field position battle,” said Elam. “If you can hold them to one first down, no first downs, two first downs on those drives then you’re giving yourself a chance to be down in that scoring position.”
Pineville scored on their second possession of the game with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Tucker Woolum to Will Adams. On their second possession of the second quarter, Brad Fuson ran 5 yards for the touchdown to give Pineville a 15-0 lead. The drive started at the Generals 44-yard-line.
On a drive that started at the Jackson 29, Woolum completed a pass to Jalen Byrd to give the Mountain Lions a 22-0 lead. With 2:14 remaining in the half, Byrd returned a punt 36 yards for a touchdown. The PAT increased Pineville’s lead to 28-0.
The Mountain Lions opened the second half with a 71-yard kick off return for a touchdown by Adams to bring the score to 35-0.
“I’m really proud of our special teams,” said Elam. “We asked our kids to run to the fight tonight…and they did.”
Pineville scored their final touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter. Fuson broke free on a 23-yard touchdown run with 11:25 remaining in the game. A failed 2-point conversion gave the Mountain Lions a 41-0 lead.
“I know we hit some big long runs and big long passes, but it was all set up both with field position by our defense and the momentum of the game,” said Elam.
Jackson County scored their lone touchdown with 2:52 remaining in the game. Preston Young found space in the Pineville defense and ran 29 yards for the touchdown. A 2-point conversion from Jamie Burkhart made the final score 41-8.
At the end of the game, Byrd was awarded the offensive player of the game for Pineville. Robbie Miller won the defensive player of the game award for the Mountain Lions.
Pineville (1-1) plays Middlesboro (0-2) next Friday. Jackson County (1-1) hosts Lynn Camp (1-1).
Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN