Friday was another step in the maturation of the 2021 Jackson Broncs as the #2 ranked team in the 3A executed a very businesslike game plan in throttling the Evanston Red Devils, 42-7.
On a raw night that featured sheets of rain at times and sloppy going on the grass field, Jackson relied more heavily on the ground game than usual, and did so in systematic fashion. Long sustained drives were not punctuated with the typical chunk plays the Broncs are used to. Rather, Jackson slowly and methodically moved the sticks behind an offensive line that simply dominated in the muddy trenches at Kay Fackrell Stadium.
Offense was methodical
Credit Evanston for not surrendering the big play all night, but a steady diet of Brody Hasenack was too much for the Red Devil defense to stomach. Hasenack finished the night with a workmanlike 116 yards on 21 carries. His 2 rushing touchdowns both came from 2 yards out.
Sam Scott factored into the running game as well on end-around lateral plays. He picked up 70 yards on 6 rushes. He also caught one pass for 5 yards.
Sadler Smith called his own number a few times—either when coverage downfield was good or on designed quarterback draws. Smith gained 84 yards with his legs on 14 carries, including a touchdown run.
The Broncs also went to their patented inside shuttle to Clancy Meagher. The all-purpose back racked up 35 yards and 2 TDs on 4 of those inside pitches.
Colter Dawson had a quiet night but weather and extra attention from Red Devils defenders had something to do with that. The hulking tightend managed to haul down 2 passes for 18 yards.
Smith found Nate Keipert twice on beautifully executed play-action passes. In all, Keipert finished with 3 catches for 85 yards and a TD.
No rush zone
It was a lost cause from the start for Evanston—a team that runs the ball 80% of the time. The Red Devils could not move the ball on the ground against Jackson. No team has been able to do that and its quickly becoming a signature of head coach David Joyce.
Time and again, the defensive line either fought off their blocks or held their ground until linebackers could join the party.
Red Devil RB Carsen Knight found little running room between the tackles. QB Jaxson Moore squirted free on one occasion but was tracked down short of the end zone before the end of the half. Speedy WR Kai Barker scored Evanston’s only touchdown on a 75-yard run around the right side.
Those highlights aside, it was a long cold night for the home team.
With the win, Jackson improves to 6-1 on the season, 3-0 in conference. The Broncs will likely hold on to the #2 spot in the WyoPrep Coaches Poll. All teams in the 3A held serve Friday.
Cody downed Star Valley at home behind three 4th-quarter touchdowns. That broke a 3-3 tie that held up through the first 36 minutes of the game. Cody’s 22-3 win will keep them atop the standings. Elsewhere #4 Powell blanked Green River 48-0.
Jackson returns home to host the Powell Panthers on Friday. That game is scheduled for a 5pm start.