The Jags failed to pick up a win in their first district game of the season Saturday night against the MacArthur Brahmas at Heroes Stadium. With very questionable officiating, and only 91 passing yards for the game, the once 2-0 Jaguar team lost the very physical game with a final score of 34-23, and now fall to a 2-3 record.
Nobody gave the Jags a chance in this game, especially after a touchdown run just two minutes and 28 seconds into the game that gave the Brahmas the lead. However, Johnson showed great resolve, firing back with a touchdown own. With 8:29 left in the second quarter, junior Cohner Mokry fired a 22-yard bullet to junior Reid Ruggles in the end zone who took a monstrous hit, but held on for the score.
The Jags faced a 14-10 deficit going into the second half, but stunned the Mac defense when Cohner Mokry ran for a 49-yard score less than a minute into the 3rd quarter, giving the Jags their first lead of the game. The back-and-forth game was tied heading into the fourth quarter at 20 a piece. The Jags took a 23-20 lead after a 39-yard field goal by junior Garrett Hunt at the 7:54 mark in the fourth quarter. However, that wound up being the last time the Jags would light up the score board that night.
The Jags had possession deep in their own territory late in the game; down by seven points, and looking to complete a miraculous comeback. Unfortunately, after a sack on second down, the Jaguars were unable to convert on a fourth and 20 giving the ball back to the Brahmas, who scored on a 26-yard touchdown run essentially putting the final nail in the coffin.
Although the Jags only had five penalties, they came at very costly times in the game, including a controversial pass interference call on a Johnson interception that gave the ball back to the Brahmas late in the 4th quarter. Another questionable officiating move came when MacArthur scored with 35 seconds left in the game; there was a penalty on the play, and three more flags were thrown after the conclusion of the play, presumably for personal foul infractions. Without any clarification from the head referee, the Brahmas touchdown was withheld, leaving everyone in the stands puzzled.
Aside from poor officiating and a struggling defense, the Jags put up a courageous effort against the heavily-favored Mac team. “We played our hearts out,” said senior linebacker Garret Blucher. That’s the kind of grit and determination that makes a good football team great. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough for the Jags to prevail Saturday night. The Jags now face a huge uphill battle, facing the Roosevelt Bulldogs this upcoming weekend.