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Prep Football: Jackets shrug off slow start



A week ago, James Monroe faced its biggest scare so far of the season.

Against Courtland, the Yellow Jackets were uninspired on offense, and for a moment, it seemed as if that same lack of intensity may have carried over into this week.

Friday night against Spotsylvania, James Monroe faced two three-and-outs and produced just one first down in a scoreless first quarter.

Then the second quarter arrived, and so did the explosive offense that the Yellow Jackets used to dismantle the Knights 45–13, remaining unbeaten on the season.

“We have a tendency to be slow starters,” James Monroe coach Rich Serbay said. “I don’t know why.”

Running back Sean Bates had ran for just four yards in his first four carries, then he tried the outside and ripped off a 43-yard touchdown to put the Yellow Jackets up 11–0 in the second quarter.

Just two possessions later, quarterback Jay Scroggins found She’Mar Ellis for a 78-yard touchdown up the sidelines.

James Monroe was suddenly on a roll and it was as if the first quarter never happened.

With fullback Aaron Brown getting stuffed on nearly every run, Spotsylvania’s only option was to try and push a bigger body up the middle.

So they went to Charlie Pettit, a 6-foot, 250-pound left guard. Pettit slowly powered the ball down the field for over four minutes before finding the end zone and cut the lead to 10 just before the end of the first half. Pettit finished with 157 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries.

Then Bates reappeared at the start of the second half and trashed any hope the Knights had of coming back.

With help from a crushing block by Matt Forjan, Bates dashed down the left sideline for a 75-yard touchdown to put the Yellow Jackets up 24–7.

Scroggins, Glenn Taylor and DeMontaz Brown each had rushing touchdowns of their own in the second half. James Monroe had five different players find the end zone.

“I feel that any guy you put in on offense has a chance to score a touchdown,” said Bates, who ran for 127 yards on nine carries.

Scroggins went 4 for 7 with 109 yards and two touchdowns. Ellis, who left the game with an apparrent leg injury, had four catches for 109 yards.

The Yellow Jackets (9–0, 6–0) can claim a Battlefield District regular season championship with a win at Chancellor next week.

“We’ve still got one more game so we can’t really call ourselves undefeated,” Scroggins said. “So we’ve got to keep playing and finish these 10 games out.”

    Spotsylvania 0 7 0 6 — 13

    James Monroe 3 14 14 14 — 45

    First Quarter

    JM-D. Dit 38-yard field goal

    Second Quarter

    JM-S. Bates 43-yard run (T. Brooks 2-pt run)

    JM-S. Ellis 78-yard pass from J. Scroggins (run failed)

    Sp-C. Petitt 3-yard run (M. Zimmerman kick)

    Third Quarter

    JM-S. Bates 75-yard run (D. Dit kick)

    JM-J. Scroggins 1-yard run (D. Dit kick)

    Fourth Quarter

    JM-G. Taylor 10-yard run (D. Dit kick)

    Sp-C. Petitt 15-yard run (kick failed)

    JM-D. Brown 5-yard run (D. Dit kick)


    Sp JM

    First downs14 14

    Rushing yardage45-183 32-263

    Passing yardage38 120

    Passes2-12-0 5-12-1

    Punts-Avg.8-25.1 2-37.5

    Fumbles-lost1-0 0-0

    Penalties-yards8-70 11-135


    Rushing: James Monroe—Sean Bates 9-127, 2TD; Adrian Boone 11-70; Tye Johnson 1-23; Jay Scroggins 8-21, TD; Glenn Taylor 1-10, TD; DeMontaz Brown 1-7, TD; Darryl Dyson 1-5. Spotsylvania—Charlie Petitt 26-157, 2TD; Ashten Dixon 12-25; James Anderson 2-7; Aaron Brown 4-(-1); Clinton Ferguson 1-(-5).

    Passing: James Monroe—Jay Scroggins 4-7-0 109, TD; DeMontaz Brown 1-5-1 11. Spotsylvania—Ashten Dixon 2-12-0 38.

    Receiving: James Monroe—She’Mar Ellis 4-109, TD; Daniel Forjan 1-11. Spotsylvania—Travis Huber 1-23; Aaron Brown 1-15.

Jim Swing: 540/374-5440