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Turnovers Key for McGill win over Blount

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The UTV 44 Game of the Week was back at Lipscomb Stadium for the non-region matchup between the Blount Leopards and the McGill-Toolen Yellow Jackets. McGill is still riding their 19 game regular season game winning streak which their last loss was at the hands of Blount in 2015.

Blount would get the ball first and three and out having to punt the ball away. On the punt McGill returner Eric Garror fumbled the ball and Blount sophomore Sidney Collins would recover the ball on the 44 yard line. But then just three plays later senior quarterback Jacoby Davis would fumble the ball and Garror was there for the recovery on the 34 yard line.

McGill could not convert the turnover into any points and were forced to punt after Blount’s senior linebacker Kyle Cass and junior defensive lineman Cortlin Martin sacked Sheldon Layman for a 12 yard loss.

Blount would get the ball and Davis took the momentum and put it in Blount’s favor. Ten plays and 63 yards later senior running back Trajan Pugh capped the five minutes and thirteen second drive with a two yard plunge to get into the end zone. The PAT was good and Blount took the 7-0 lead at the start of the 2nd quarter.

McGill did not stay down for long as they got the ball after the score and junior quarterback Sheldon Layman took back that momentum from Blount. On a 10 play drive of their own, senior running back Bryan Hill capped the 59 yard drive with a 1 yard touchdown run of his own. The PAT was good and McGill tied the score 7-7 with just over seven minutes left in the 1st half.

Later in the quarter, Blount was pinned down in their own one yard line. Not able to gain any yards on the McGill defense the Leopards were forced to punt. Standing in his own end zone, Kyle Cass stepped on the back line giving the Yellow Jackets a safety and now a 9-7 lead.

Following the free kick to McGill, the Leopards defense got their own turnover. Layman was flushed out of the pocket and avoided a sack and threw the ball down field on the run. The ball was picked off by senior Robert Lock and returned it to the 40 yard line.

McGill would not allow the Leopards to convert the turnover into points but rather a turnover instead. Davis threw the ball down field and was picked off by Garror on the McGill 10 yard line and returned it to the 35 yard line. Hill was able the gain a 17 yard run but on the next play Layman was sacked by Cass and the 1st half ended with McGill leading 9-7.

The third quarter was much the same with neither generating much offense against the stingy defenses. McGill was able to put enough of some offense together to get some points on the board. With less than two minutes left in the 3rd quarter McGill’s senior kicker Chase Mahler attempted a 37 yard field goal that was good and extended McGill’s lead 12-7.

Early in the 4th quarter Blount had the ball and was driving down field with the help of Pugh getting the Leopards to midfield after starting on their own 18. But a few plays later Blount thought the turnover bug was going to hit them again. This time Davis was picked off by senior defensive back Bryceson Massey. He picked the ball off on the McGill 20 yard line and returned it 25 yards back to the 45 yard line, but a defensive holding penalty negated the turnover and the Leopards kept the ball. Blount would not stay lucky as it did strike again, with Garror picking off his second pass of the night and returning the interception to the McGill 40 yard line.

Following the turnover, the Yellow Jackets wasted no time on converting the turnover into points. Only five plays later Layman found the end zone from 40 yards out. The PAT was good and McGill extended their lead 19-7 over the Leopards with just under four minutes left in the game.

Late in the game, the McGill defense would strike again. Sophomore Korian Wilson got an interception of his own, the third of the night for the Yellow Jackets. The ball was picked on the 40 yard line and returned to the 5 yard line. The Leopards defense stopped the McGill offense from getting into the end zone but did give up the 22 yard field goal from Mahler and seal the 22-7 victory for the Yellow Jackets

The Leopards suffer their second loss on the season but will have to rebound quickly as they have to prepare for a road trip the Hill and face region foe Spanish Fort.

McGill remains undefeated and improves to 5-0 and also extends their regular season game winning streak to 20 straight games. McGill will return to region play as well as they prepare to head down to the bayou and take on Alma Bryant.

Tune in this Friday for the UTV44 High School Game of the Week as we head across the bay to the Hill to showcase the 6A Region 1 matchup between the Blount Leopards and the Spanish Fort Toros, kick off will be 7PM on UTV44.