MADISON, Alabama -- Dante Snodgrass scored three touchdowns to lead James Clemens to a 31-14 win over Austin in a Class 7A, Region 4 game at the Madison City School Stadium on Thursday night. The Jets outscored Austin 21-7 in the second half for the victory and created three turnovers in the game to stay undefeated on the season.
James Clemens (4-0, 2-0) used its big offensive line and they started going in the second half and that was the big difference in the game. "We battled and need to clean up some penalties," said Jets head coach Chad McGehee. "Any win is a good win. Proud of the way Dante played. For us to come out and dominate the second half the way we did, I was proud of our team for that. Proud of our guys that they played hard tonight."
James Clemens scored first in the game with a safety. Austin lined up to punt but had a bad snap in the end zone and the Black Bears player was tackled in the end zone. With the score, the Jets led 2-0 with :42 left in the first quarter. With 3:21 left in the second quarter, Austin scored their first touchdown of the game. Tyler Cooper scored on a 35-yard run and Austin led 7-2 late in the first half.
James Clemens came racing right back though. Gio Lopez threw to Keymari Pittman for a 43-yard touchdown pass play for the Jets with only :39 seconds left in the half. Gabe Ballard caught the two-point conversion from Lopez and James Clemens took a 10-7 lead into halftime. "We started off slow but really picked it up in the second half," said Lopez. "On the touchdown, I just knew that my receivers would get open in space so I bought some time and found Keymari open in the end zone. You just have to keep your eyes focused downfield and not give up on the play."
James Clemens received the kickoff to start the second half and they drove right down the field for a score. WIth 10:26 left in the third quarter, Snodgrass scored on a 23-yard run and the Jets led 17-7 to open up the second half. "We just executed better in the second half," said Snodgrass. "We struggled to start the game but really put it together in the second half. When teams can't load the box on us because of Gio, we are able to have nights like this on running the football. When they load up the front, then we just move the ball in the air. This is a big win for us, we just have to keep the train rolling."
Austin came right back and scored on offense. With 6:12 left in the third quarter, Cooper scored on a 1-yard touchdown run, his second touchdown of the game. With the score, Austin trimmed the James Clemens lead to 17-14.
After the Austin score, James Clemens came right back and scored again. This time Snodgrass scored on a 11-yard touchdown run from the wildcat position. With 2:35 left in the third quarter, the Jets led 24-14. "We had to lock in the second half," said Jets lineman Edgerrin Watson. "We just needed to stay on our blocks and do a better job than we did in the first half. We just started moving our guys better in the second half. Our key is to practice well on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to come out and play on Friday. This is a good region win for us."
James Clemens scored their last touchdown with 1:15 left in the game. On a fourth and three play at the Austin 3-yard line, Snodgrass scores his third touchdown of the game and the Jets go up 31-14 late in the game. Austin had the ball with a minute left in the game and defensive back Keenan Hill picked off a Black Bears pass to seal the win for the Jets. Defensive back Jamal Mayers had an interception early in the first half for the Jets.
Snodgrass finished with 125 rushing yards for the Jets while Cooper had 115 yards rushing for the Black Bears.
Up next, James Clemens travels to Huntsville while Austin will host Sparkman.