With many offensive weapons at its disposal, Pearl-Cohn will be very difficult to defend this season.
The host Firebirds were on fire Thursday. They scored in lightning-quick fashion and blew past Hunters Lane 14-0 in their two-quarter segment of the 42nd Metro Jamboree.
Scoring the first two times they had the ball (in the first four minutes), the Firebirds quickly pronounced themselves ready for a very tough opener next Friday at MBA.
On the third play of the night, tailback DeAnthony Hall took a pitch and bolted around the right side, outrunning everyone for a 50-yard touchdown. Then Nick Hill snagged a 43-yard pass from Jawaun Wilson on the next possession and scored Pearl-Cohn’s second touchdown.
The Firebirds then turned things over to their defense, which allowed Hunters Lane just three first downs.
“We had just come out of a time out, and I told Jawaun to just get the ball to me, don’t overthrow it and we would score,” Hill, a Duke commitment, said. “I am really excited about our offense, we have a lot of weapons, and our defense looked good, too.”
“We have a lot of speed, and we’re using that to our advantage,” added Hall. “We’re all capable of making the big play. I was glad I was able to make one. But it’s all going to come down to our O-line and our D-line.”
“We’ve got so much more experience and playmakers this season, it makes all the difference,” fifth-year coach Tony Brunetti said. “We have a lot depth as well.”
The Firebirds played their second unit most of the second quarter.
Looking ahead to the opener, Brunetti said, “we want to play a tough schedule, going against teams like MBA, like BGA, like Ft. Campbell. We’ll be a much better team for it in the long run.”
In related news, Pearl-Cohn defensive back Senquay Eichelberger said he has already been offered a scholarship at Tennessee State. He said Vanderbilt and UT-Martin, in that order, also were strong in the mix.
Maplewood backs roll
Much like Pearl-Cohn, Maplewood scored the first two times it had possession, then rolled to a decisive 20-0 win over Glencliff in their two-quarter segment, which wrapped up things at Pearl-Cohn.
In the most electrifying play of the night, Panthers’ quarterback Alvin Stokes lofted a long pass to LaDarius McGill, who made a leaping catch over two defenders and trotted into the end zone for a 43-yard scoring play. The 1-2 rushing tandem of backs Stanley Hagan and LeDarius Vanlier helped set the stage for the big play.
It was Vanlier who made another eye-opening play when he scooped up his own fumble, zig-zagged his way around defenders and scampered for a 30-yard touchdown on Maplewood’s next possession.
“It’s so fun to play with someone like Stanley, because there no way defenses can stop both of us,” the diminutive 5-5, 162-pound Vanlier said. “I just go out and use the talents God gave me, and I hope it helps us win. I hope we can take this excitement and togetherness and go into the season strong.”
Backup quarterback Randall Smith scored the last touchdown on a 22-yard run up the middle for Maplewood, which takes on rival Hillsboro next Friday in a huge region opener.
Jamboree action continues Friday night at Hillsboro, then Saturday at McGavock.