Bloomington Jefferson receiver Manny Montgomery (3) went over Orono defender Mitch Underdahl to catch the game-winning touchdown pass on third-and-goal with 32.7 seconds left to play. The Jaguars won 42-35. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
Bloomington Jefferson lost senior running back Rashaun Cage for the game, and possibly the season, on Friday when he injured his wrist late in the second quarter against Orono.
That didn’t stop the Jaguars from enduring a second-half Spartans comeback and rallying for a 42-35 victory at Pesonen Stadium in Orono.
Senior quarterback Isaiah Watts hit Manny Montgomery with a 15-yard touchdown pass with 32.7 seconds left, capping a 10-play, 79-yard drive. The victory in the season opener came despite being outscored 28-15 in the second half.
“This game is for Rashaun,” Watts said. “We’re going to play this season for Rashaun.”
Gage, a senior, helped Bloomington Jefferson build a 27-7 lead at halftime with rushing touchdowns of 38 and 78 yards in the first half before his injury. Coach Tim Carlson said his absence had a bit of a deflating effect on the team but that Watts was able to rally the players in the fourth quarter.
“It wasn’t necessarily pretty, but he kind of took the team on his back and said, ‘Hey, follow me,’ ” Carlson said.
Orono took a 35-34 lead after second-half touchdowns from James Buck, Sam Wagner-Lund, Nick Prentice and Fisher Eiss on four of the Spartans’ first five second-half drives.
Quintin Morris also scored for the Jaguars, who had lost 49-21 to Orono in last year’s opener.
Bloomington Jefferson quarterback Isaiah Watts (5) hurdled a pair of Orono defenders Chad Mrachek (12) for a third-quarter touchdown, giving the Jaguars a 34-19 lead. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
Isaiah Watts hit Manny Montgomery with a 15-yard touchdown pass with 32.7 seconds left as Bloomington Jefferson survived a second-half comeback by Orono and held on for a 42-35 victory at Pesonen Stadium in Orono.
Watts, a senior, led the Jaguars on a 10-play, 79-yard drive in the game's final minutes before capping it with a fade pass to Montgomery on third-and-goal. It came after Orono had scored touchdowns on four of its first five second-half possessions to take a 35-34 lead.
Rashaun Cage and Quintin Morris also scored touchdowns for the Jaguars, who had lost 49-21 to Orono in last year's opener.
James Buck, Sam Wagner-Lund, Nick Prentice and Fisher Eiss scored for the Spartans.
Check back later for more on the game.