SAINT ANTONY – A 34-yard field goal in overtime was the deciding marker as the Judson Rockets defeated the Johnson Jaguars 46-43 in Game 2 of the KSAT Pigskin Classic on Saturday afternoon.
Senior placekicker Adrián Cortés’ game-winning kick put the final exclamation point in a high-scoring affair that saw the Jaguars rally from a 27-7 halftime deficit.
Junior running back Nathaniel Stanley had a big game for the Rockets, rushing for 218 yards and two touchdowns. He was named Player Jon Wayne of the game.
A botched punt by Judson on 4th-and-2 with 43 seconds remaining gave the Jaguars just enough time to complete their comeback, when second-year quarterback Ty Hawkins found wide receiver Caden Rizzo in the end zone for the score. of the tie.
In overtime, two deflected passes from Judson’s defense stopped Johnson’s final possession, and a missed field goal left the door open for the Rockets’ final shot.
“The kids played hard on both sides of the ball,” said Mark Soto, Judson’s head football coach. “We got frantic, and that’s what we like.”
Judson’s offense rushed for 323 yards and four touchdowns, but Hawkins and the Jaguars refused to back down.
The dynamic second-year quarterback completed 22 of 38 passes for the Jaguars and had four touchdown passes. He was also good on the ground, rushing for more than 150 yards.
Judson’s Stanley gave the Rockets an early two-touchdown lead, breaking out for a 54-yard touchdown run on second-and-10.
A punt return changed the momentum and turned the field around for Johnson, but a costly penalty wiped a touchdown pass off the board. That didn’t deter the Jaguars’ offense, though, as they scored their first TD of the season on Hawkins’ 33-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Alejandro Tavarez, capping a five-play, 61-yard drive.
In the second quarter, Judson completed a 63-yard touchdown pass from senior Jaden Castillo to Jonathan Johnson, taking a commanding 20-7 lead.
An interception by defensive back Miles Davis on a missed shot by Hawkins gave the Rockets another chance to score just before halftime. A long run by Stanley put Judson inside the 10-yard line and Castillo ended the drive with an 8-yard touchdown run, making the score 27-7.
But that’s when things got interesting in the second half and Johnson made his ill-fated comeback. Wide receiver Caden Rizzo caught a pass from Hawkins to turn the field around, and a long touchdown run by Hawkins on fourth-and-1 cut the lead to 27-14.
Judson’s offense failed to convert on their next possession and penalties initially pushed back the Jaguars’ offense, but Hawkins again led the team on another scoring drive, with Hawkins finding running back Lorenn Johnson on a touchdown pass to reduce the advantage even more, 27- 21
Judson then turned the fight back on Johnson, as Stanley opened up another long run to the 3-yard line. After three unsuccessful attempts to reach the end zone, Judson settled for a field goal to take a nine-point lead.
Hawkins then led the Jaguars on an eight-play, 90-yard drive in just under three minutes, which ended with a 47-yard touchdown reception by Tavarez, to cut the lead to 30-28.
Two passing plays and another big run by Stanley got Judson back within scoring distance, with 9:26 left in the game. Stanley took the run again and found the end zone, pushing the lead to 37-28.
Hawkins, displaying composure beyond his years, guided the Jaguars down the field and into scoring position. On first and goal, Hawkins completed a touchdown pass again to Lorenn Johnson, cutting the deficit to 37-35 with 5:30 left.
But like a heavy fight, Judson responded with a long lead of his own on a completed pass from Castillo to Jonathan Johnson, and then Castillo ended the drive with a touchdown run.
A costly interception on first-and-10 gave the Rockets the ball and set up Judson’s ill-fated punt attempt. Johnson would later tie the game, sending it to overtime where Judson ended the game with a field goal.
Both head coaches, Mark Soto and TP Miller, worked together at Johnson High School for the past two years, when Soto was the head coach and Miller the defensive coordinator. That’s where they helped lead the Jaguars to an undefeated 10-0 regular season, only to fall to New Braunfels in the first round of the playoffs in a 51-45 shootout.
Soto decided to return to his alma mater, Judson, to become its new head coach, leading to Miller’s promotion from defensive coordinator to head coach at Johnson. Soto’s job is to get the Rockets back into the playoffs after missing last season with a rare 4-6 finish. For Miller, it’s about continuing to build on what he brought to Johnson.
“I think Coach Soto and I, it’s all about the kids,” Miller said, as he turned his attention away from his first meeting against Mark on the other side of the field. “Obviously when we go out on the field we are always going to compete. It will be a friendly competition, but it is about the community and the student-athletes.”
UNTIL NEXT TIME:
Judson: at home against Austin Westlake, September 2 at 7 p.m.
Johnson: Away vs. O’Connor, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m.
The KSAT Pigskin Classic is the first of its kind in Alamo City and kicks off the 2022 high school football season. The event features six local high school football teams over three games in one day event at the Alamodome.
The August 27 triple header concludes with Steele vs. Brennan. You can get more information by clicking here.
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