Sep. 25—The Jacksonville Fightin' Indians earned their first win in the newly remodeled Historic Tomato Bowl, and put to rest a nine-game losing streak on Friday night by blasting Hallsville, 49-20.
The Tribe's last win came against Hallsville (59-44) on Oct. 23, 2020.
Jacksonville (1-3, 1-0) will be in Marshall next week to test the Mavericks, who edged Pine Tree 17-10 on Friday.
JT Johnson is a man that is making the most of his opportunity.
Johnson, who made his first start at running back against the Bobcats, is spelling an injured Isaiah Mallard (ankle) at running back. He had a career-night against Hallsville by being the leading rusher (17 carries for 91 yards) for the Tribe and scoring four touchdowns. Three of his scores were of the rushing variety and he also reeled in a 59-yard touchdown pass from Ryan McCown that came on the fourth play of the final quarter.
Johnson had three catches for 87 yards, which netted him 178 total yards for the evening.
Jacksonville turned two Hallsville (0-4, 0-1) miscues into 14 points during a 2:17 span of the second period to stake a 14-0 lead over the visitor.
A 3-yard run by Johnson that came with 10:53 to go in the first half, put Jacksonville in front 7-0.
Kalvin Bryant recovered a Hallsville fumble on the Bobcats' previous possession, which gave Jacksonville the ball at its own 40-yard line.
The Tribe doubled their lead with 7:37 to play in the first half. That's when Jermaine Taylor scooped up a Hallsville fumble that took place near the Jacksonville sidelines, and alertly returned it 37 yards for six points.
Jacksonville took a 21-7 lead into intermission, with the Tribe's last score of the first half coming a a 3-yard Johnson scamper up the middle that took place with just two ticks left on the clock.
The big play of the march was a 23-yard pass from McCown to Taylor.
On its second possession of the second half the Indians' lead swelled to 28-7 with 5:32 to go in the third period, following a 69-yard touchdown pass from McCown to Devin McCuin. McCuin was Jacksonville's top receiver, with three grabs for 88 yards.
The Bobcats moved to within 14 points with just over 3:00 left in the third after Jace Mosely hurled a 49-yard scoring strike to running back Elijah Nicholson.
The Indians answered by scoring touchdowns on each of its next two possessions to seal the deal.
Taylor caught a 55-yard touchdown pass from McCown with 2:05 to go in the third and Johnson came up with a 59-yard scoring strike from McCown with 11:40 left in the game, as the Indian lead expanded to 42-14.
Taylor had two grabs for 83 yards in the game.
McCown went 14-22-0 for 330 yards and threw three touchdowns, all of which came in the second half.
With the outcome decided, Tony Penson quarterback the Tribe on its final march. The senior carried the ball three times for 48 yards.
Tribe placekicker Aaron Bergara went 7-for7 on point after touchdown tries.
Jacksonville had 473 total yards compared to the Bobcats' 385.
Mosely went 18-38-0 for 217 yards and three touchdowns for Hallsville, who is slated to host Texas High next week.
The loss was the Bobcats 20th-consecutive defeat, dating back to September 2019.