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The Louisville Wildcats found out Tuesday night that keeping up with Jones was a difficult task.
The Starkville 9th grade Yellowjackets used the passing and running ability of quarterback Princeton Jones to record a 28-14 win against the Wildcats at Yellowjacket Stadium.
Jones had 85 yards passing and 84 yards rushing for Starkville 9th grade coach Chris Carlisle, who doesn't mind putting the football in the hands of the young signal caller in key situations.
"He's one of our go-to guys," Carlisle said. "When we have fourth and inches, he's one we're going to try and give it to and get him behind that great offensive line that we have."
The Jackets took the opening kickoff and drove 63 yards on 10 plays, capped by a 6-yard pass from Jones to Taylor Johnston with 4:01 remaining in the first quarter. Darius Grayer, a cousin to MSU safety Johnthan Banks, ran in the two-point conversion.
Louisville came back on a nine-play, 68-yard drive to cut the margin to 8-6 on a 5-yard scoring pass with 43 seconds left in the first quarter.
Starkville's offense struck for a big play right before halftime when Jones hit FonTavious Smith in stride with a 79-yard pass play for a score. Grayer once again ran in the two-point conversion and the Jackets went up 16-6 with 1:35 left in the second quarter.
After a scoreless third quarter, Jones finished off a 12-play, 50-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run to open the fourth quarter for the Jackets. The two-point conversion run was stopped short and Starkville had a 22-6 advantage.
The Wildcats got to within 22-14 at the 5:39 mark of the fourth quarter with a 15-yard touchdown pass and a two-point pass.
With less than 2 minutes left, Louisville recovered a Starkville fumble and ran it 80 yards for an apparent touchdown, but a block in the back nullified the play.
Instead several plays later, Zontae Bush intercepted a pass and returned it the other way for a 32-yard score for the Jackets with 41 seconds remaining in the game. The two-point conversion run failed, but Starkville had put the finishing touches on the victory. Grayer picked off the Wildcats again on the game's final play.
"We're very opportunistic and take what the other teams give up," Carlisle said. "When you play an aggressive style, you are going to create some opportunities."
Along with Jones' production, Grayer had eight rush attempts for 54 yards.
"We're coming along just fine," Carlisle said. "We started off a little rough, but I think
everyone is starting to play well."
8th grade game
Armstrong 20, Louisville 6
Armstrong used 203 yards of total offense with 179 yards coming on the ground and didn't allow any passing yards to Louisville.
A.J. Smith got the scoring underway for the Jackets by recovering a fumble in the end zone in the first quarter, then followed that up with a 24-yard scoring pass from quarterback Jaquez Horsley to wide receiver Jay Clay in the second quarter. Armstrong was rewarded another turnover in the first half when Laterrance McCarter intercepted a pass.
The Jackets put the finishing touches on the victory on a 32-yard touchdown run by Horsley.
Horsley rushed eight times for 93 yards, while Alonzo Flowers contributed 61 yards on eight attempts.
The junior high teams travel to Kosciusko next week and end the season with road games at West Point.