Jets Nip the Blue Eagles 26-23
The Magnolia Blue Eagles hosted the high-powered Union Local Jets on Friday evening at Alumni Field-Bill Stewart Memorial Stadium losing a 26-23 heartbreaker to the now 5-1 Jets. The Eagles drop to 1-3 on the season.
The Eagles received the opening kickoff and returned it to midfield to start their initial series of the game. The drive featured a nice 40-yard run from Marcus Barnes to set the hosts up at the Jets 10 yard-line. Magnolia had to settle for a Brendan Mirandy 26-yard field goal after a fumbled snap moved the Eagles backwards, with 8:34 in the first quarter to put Coach Dave Chapman’s squad up 3-0 after a fumbled snap moved the Eagles backwards, with 8:34 in the first quarter. The lead would hold up until the second half.
The Magnolia defense was stout in the first half holding the talented visitors to minus 11 yards rushing.
After the halftime break, the Blue Eagles tried an onside kick that went out of bounds at the hosts 40 yard-line to set the Jets up in good field position to start their first series of the second half.
Union Local would cash in on the good field position with talented quarterback Carter Blake connecting with Dre Saunders on a 10-yard scoring pass with 10:56 left in the third quarter with the PAT good to make it 7-3 Jets.
The Eagles would answer right back with a Kaden Johnson one-yard plunge at 8:26 on the clock but the point after attempt failed on a fumbled snap to put the hosts up 9-7.
Magnolia defense held the Union Local offense on the next series of downs to force a punt by Blake that set the Eagles up at their own 29 yard-line. The Eagles on the running of Barnes and passing of Mirandy moved the ball down the field with a Mirandy to Johnson 8-yard td pass, Mirandy added the PAT at 2:39 in the third stanza to push the lead to 16-7.
The host would hold the Jets on the next series to an apparent 4th and 11 punt from their own 39 yard-line but the visitors rolled the dice and Blake found Kerns wide open on a 61-yard td pass that turned out to be a turning point in the game with 2:03 in the quarter. The 2-pt attempt failed but the Jets closed the gap to 16-13 giving them the momentum.
“That touchdown on fourth down was a backbreaker, Chapman said. “We were in punt safe and a guy just got behind us. We get off the field there, and I like our chances to win. That play really got them going and got momentum back on their side.”
Magnolia behind a Barnes 32-yard run would drive to the Jets 20 and Mirandy would throw one of his two interceptions in the end zone to turn ball back over to Union Local at their 20.
Coach Thompson’s team with momentum on their side would drive 80 yards, mixing the pass and run with QB Blake running it in for the score from 10 yards out with 8:05 left in the game to put UL in the lead after a failed PAT, 19-16.
The Blue Eagles would mishandle the kickoff and started from their own 8 yard-line, the drive ended with Mirandy’s second interception giving the ball back to the Jets in Eagles territory at the 46.
Union Local only took two plays with Hayden McCrate going 30 yards to put the visitors ahead after the PAT 26-16 with 3:47 left in the game.
Credit the Eagles for not giving up as they drove 78 yards with Barnes taking a screen pass from Mirandy breaking numerous tackles going 38 yards for the score, Mirandy added the PAT with 1:24 on the fourth quarter clock.
The Jets would recover the onside kick attempt by Johnson to seal the win for the visitors in a hard-fought game.
Magnolia had 14 first downs, rushing 31-140-2td (Barnes 20-136-td), passing 15-25- 240-2td-2, (Mirandy 14-24-233-2td-2 int’s), Vargo 1-1-7yds. For a total of 380 yards.
Union Local picked up 15 first downs, 25-97-2td rushing (McCrate, 12-59-1td), passing all by Blake 15-26-254-2tds for 351 total offensive yards.
Magnolia will need to regroup after the tough loss before traveling to Frontier. Friday October 8th, to battle a good Cougar team.
During halftime the