Raiders fall to tough Jackson team on road

After scoring on their first two possessions, the Shelby Academy Raiders found the going tough on the road against Jackson Academy last Friday night, losing 28-12 in the second round of the AISA playoffs.

&uot;We didn’t play very well,&uot; SA head coach Dewayne Kervin said. &uot;Once we got under pressure, our youth and inexperience showed. What hurt us the most is that we had to play a lot of assignment and one-on-one football on defense and we aren’t used to doing that and don’t have the personnel to do that.&uot;

With 28 seconds left in the first half and the score 14-12 in favor of Jackson, JA blocked a punt on the 8-yard line. From there, with no timeouts, Jackson scored on an 8-yard pass play to take the lead 21-12 at the half.

&uot;Our kids hung their heads after that and we really never got our focus back.&uot;

Late in the third quarter the Raiders had a chance to cut into that lead with fourth-and-two from the 8-yard line. After a failed conversion, Shelby Academy had lost a golden opportunity.

&uot;We just missed a blocking assignment on that play and they sent a linebacker in and we actually lost a yard,&uot; Kervin said.

With a touchdown, the Raiders could have cut the lead to 21-18 or 21-19 with a PAT of 21-20 with a 2-point conversion.

&uot;It would have been a totally different game had we made that conversion and scored there,&uot; Kervin said. &uot;After that, we gave up a big play and that was it for us.&uot;

That big play was a 64-yard scoring run by Jackson in the fourth quarter.

&uot;That is by far the longest run we have given up this season,&uot; Kervin said.

Shelby Academy’s two touchdowns on the night came when Ryan Elm scored on an 8-yard run in the first quarter and caught a 24-yard scoring pass from brother Andrew in the second quarter.

Michael Childress led the Raiders with 118 yards on 20 carries. Ryan Elm finished with 40 yards on 8 attempts.

Andrew Elm completed 1-of-6 passes for one score and threw one interception.

Jackson scored 7 points in the first quarter, 14 in the second and 6 in the fourth.

The Raiders gained 163 yards on the night and Jackson gained 245 yards &045; 156 on the ground and 79 through the air.

Shelby Academy ends the season with a record of 9-3 and graduates only 4 seniors. Senior Michael Childress was named to the AISA All-Star team.

&uot;I am very happy with the year we had,&uot; Kervin said. &uot;We played more eighth, ninth and tenth graders than anyone in the region. I can count 4 games that could have gone the other way on us this year, so I would have to say with that youth that I am very proud of the way the kids played this year.&uot;