By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on September 4, 2005 2:15 AM
FARMVILLE -- James Kenan's Jamian Smith made a lunging, sudden-death catch of a deflected pass in the back of the end zone in overtime Friday night, giving the Tigers their first victory of the season, 28-22 over Farmville Central.
The hard pass from sophomore left-handed quarterback Shawn Jones came on fourth down from the 9-yard line after the Tigers had stopped the Jaguars on the four-yard line on the first possession of overtime.
The pass was batted high and straight up, and Smith broke from a gaggle of players to catch the ball as he was falling.
Both teams left the game with 1-2 records. James Kenan plays in the Class 1-A Super Six Conference and Farmville Central moved up this year from 1-A to the 2-A Eastern Carolina Conference.
The clutch, walk-off play came after the Jaguars had tied the score with 3:25 left in regulation on a 16-yard pass from Brandon Austin to Marquis Lawrence, and a conversion pass from Austin to Myron Little.
Kenan drove for three first downs to the FC 30 before time expired.
The Tigers had their best offensive showing of the season, outgaining the Jags 243-214. But two pass interception returns for touchdowns by a couple of seniors kept the Tigers competitive on the scoreboard.
The first was a 46-yard return by Marcus Sloan that put JK ahead 14-6 in the second quarter. The second was a 53-yarder by Antwan Brown that broke a tie and put the Tigers up 22-14 on the first play of the fourth quarter. Eight fumbles slowed Kenan, though they lost only one.
Sloan also blocked a conversion kick after Farmville Central's first touchdown that loomed large at the end.
But the JK offense made an early statement, answering Farmville Central's 55-yard scoring drive after the opening kickoff with a 52-yard push after Stamper
Jones recovered an onside kickoff. Senior running back Ronnie Williams scored from the five-yard line, then ran the conversion for an 8-6 lead with 6:32 to go in the opening period.
Williams, the team's leading rusher in 2004 with 644 yards, was playing in his first game of the season after sittingout with an injury.
Williams rushed for 35 yards on 11 carries, and sophomore Stedman Mathis led the Tigers with 96 yards on six attempts, including bursts of 40 and 39.
The offensive star of the game was Austin, Farmville Central's junior quarterback. He hit 9-of-19 passes for 86 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also led the Jaguars in rushing with 44 yards on seven carries.
Austin also produced clutch touchdowns at the end of both halves. Besides the tying TD near the end of regulation, he hit Devon Atkinson from 12 yards out as time expired to tie the halftime score at 14-14.
Next Friday night, James Kenan plays its first home game of the season when it entertains Heide Trask at Bill Taylor Field. Farmville Central hosts Southwest Edgecombe. Both games start at 7:30 p.m.
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