Braves win second straight, take momentum into districts
J.J. Jackson is starting to get healthy after being sidelined early in the year with a hamstring injury, and that could be a positive sign for Bonner Springs as it enters district football play next week.
Jackson was a dominating performer in Friday’s 28-14 victory at home against Bishop Ward.
He rushed for 240 yards and two touchdowns in the victory.
“I have no idea, really,” Jackson said when asked about the yardage total. “The line blocked well and we won. We really needed to get a win. After starting off 0-4, it is good to get two wins in a row.”
On Bonner Springs’ first play from scrimmage in the first quarter, Jackson rushed for a 20-yard touchdown. The play was set up by a big punt return by Lucas Porras.
Later in the quarter, Jackson made an interception in Bonner Springs territory to stop a Bishop Ward drive.
The Braves scored again in the second quarter when Jourdaine Smallwood connected with Steve Williams for a touchdown. The extra point was good and the Braves led 14-0 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Jackson picked up where he left off at halftime, carrying five times for 52 yards and a touchdown on the opening drive for a 21-0 lead.
Ward countered with a touchdown and pulled within 21-7. Suddenly the Cyclones had momentum.
Bishop Ward moved the ball on its next drive. The Cyclones completed a 14-yard pass from Jon Roblez to Luke Slupski, placing the ball at the 1-yard line. On the next play, Bishop Ward running back Michael Golubski — who had been a workhorse all game on the ground — fumbled the ball and the Braves recovered it.
“That was a critical point in the game. It was a game changer,” BSHS coach Lew Kasselman said. “We went on a 99-yard drive for a touchdown after that.”
With the ball on the 1-yard line, the Braves were able to pick up a first down with an 8-yard Smallwood run early in the fourth quarter. The run kept the drive alive, and Braves linemen and running backs responded by going on a 12-play drive that ended when Jackson connected with Nick Carver for a touchdown pass.
The extra point was good, and the Braves led 28-7.
The Cyclones scored on the next drive with a 40-yard pass from Roblez to Alfred Rangel, who was wide open on the play and strolled in for the touchdown. The score was 28-14 after the extra point.
Braves coach Lew Kasselman said his team had too many breakdowns on defense in the second half.
“Defensively I thought we played well, but in the second half we had breakdowns on two plays,” he said.
Bishop Ward was effective in running the football in the second half, thanks in large part to Golubski.
With the win, Bonner Springs improves to 2-4 on the season and takes a two-game winning streak into district play next week. Kasselman said he is pleased with how his team has battled through adversity this season.
“We are 2-4 right now in the first part of the season. Hopefully we can keep building on this momentum and keep it going,” he said. “The goal is to get better each week, and if you work hard in practice then good things will start to happen.”
Bonner Springs (2-4) opens Class 5A district play at 7 p.m. Friday against Schlagle at Washington High School.