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Jefferson Davis grinds out win over the Lawrence County Cougars

The Lawrence County Cougars jumped out to an early lead over the defending 3A state champion Jefferson Davis County Jaguars Friday night in Monticello.

JDC responded though as they scored four unanswered touchdowns in the second and third quarters to earn a 25-13 win.

LC and coach Jesse Anderson went up 7-0 in the first quarter when senior running back Tae Cole made something out of nothing.

Cole looked to be sweeping left on a third and long but turned back after finding a wall of white-jersey Jaguars.

The right side was wide open as Cole hurdled a defender and found a convoy of blockers down the home sideline as he rumbled towards the end zone on a 64-yard scoring run.

Sophomore placekicker Osvaldo Del Angel knocked through the PAT kick and Lawrence County led 7-0 with 6:45 remaining in the first quarter of their season opener.

Lawrence County was scheduled to start its season last week at home against Pearl River Central before the game was canceled by the district.

Jefferson Davis County beat Poplarville 13-6 last week in its season opener.

JDC answered on the following drive as they picked up a big fourth-down conversion when senior quarterback Al’Jure Arnold scrambled for the down-to-make marker.

On the second play of the second quarter, sophomore running back Nick Thompson took a handoff around the right side of the line for a 14-yard scoring run. The PAT kick was no good as LC defensive back Ceshun Jackson jumped to block the kick and keep the score at 7-6.

A short kick by JDC was caught by Cole and brought back to the Jaguar 43-yard line on the ensuing kickoff.

What started as a promising drive ended with the Cougars losing possession with a fumble just inside the JDC red zone.

After running the ball exclusively at that point, the Jaguars sucked the Cougar defense in on a play-action pass that saw Arnold find a streaking Malcolm Hartzog wide open on the backside of the LC defense.

That scoring play went for 61-yards as the PAT was no good and JDC took its first lead at 12-7.

Like a bad case of déjà vu, the next LC drive ended in a turnover that led directly to a Jaguar score.

Cole was wrapped up at the line of scrimmage and attempted to toss the ball back to quarterback Haden Mullins. JDC pounced on the fumbled exchange and took over on the Lawrence County 20-yard line.

Hartzog took a handoff two plays later for 19-yards and a score that made the Jefferson Davis lead 19-7 — which is how things stood at halftime.

Last season the Jaguars and coach Lance Mancuso beat LC 40-6 in Bassfield.

Friday night the game was much closer as LC defense held their own for most of the second half as both teams stuck to their ground attacks.

With one-minute remaining, LC senior running back Quincy Lewis got the second Cougar touchdown of the night.

LC (0-1) is back at home next week as they host Columbia High.