ASHLAND – It was a thrilling home opener for the Ashland-Greenwood Bluejays on Friday night.
The Jays rallied for a 21-20 win over the visiting Auburn Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs closed in on the Jays with time running out, scoring on a 69-yard pass play, but the home team was able to deny a two-point attempt which would have won the game for the visiting Bulldogs.
“What a way to start the season. I am so proud of the players for trusting each other and not cashing it in when the game felt like it was falling apart,” said Ashland-Greenwood Coach Ryan Thompson.
The Bluejays trailed the entire first half and didn’t get on the scoreboard until the final minute of the second quarter.
Junior quarterback Cale Jacobsen switched roles and lined up as a wide receiver, hauling in a pass from backup quarterback Nick Carroll on a 15-yard scoring play. Cody Grauerholz added the extra point and the Jays trailed 14-7 at halftime.
Jacobsen went to the air in the third quarter to tie the game. He found senior receiver Lane Zimmerman from 23 yards out to even the score at 14 going into the fourth quarter.
The Jays put together a 10-play drive and capped it with a one-yard touchdown run from Matthew Schuster. Grauerholz added the crucial PAT and the Jays led for the first time 21-14.
Auburn took over and needed five plays to close to within 21-20, but the Jays were able to thwart the two-point conversion and secure the victory.
Schuster rushed for 106 yards and 18 carries to lead the Jay rush attack.
Jacobsen added 53 yards on 16 carries. He finished 6-of-14 through the air for 77 yards and two scores.
Receivers Caleb Juedes and Zimmerman combined for five catches and 62 yards.
Jacobsen led the Jays with 10 tackles.
Logan Sobota came through with eight tackles and intercepted a pass.
Braxton Mech recovered a fumble.
“Game one usually reveals the potential for a team and I think we have the potential to compete at a high level. We have a few things to correct, but I’m sure the players will be willing to get to work during practice this week,” said Thompson.
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