Photo courtesy of Jeff Martin
The American Team used explosive plays, trickery and opportunistic defense to run away with a 38-14 victory over the National Team in the 2015 Junior Elite Classic Saturday at McEachern’s Cantrell Stadium. Northside-Warner Robins quarterback Tobias Oliver lined up at wide receiver for the American team and showcased his big-play ability right away. Oliver capped off the first drive with a 59-yard touchdown catch from McEachern quarterback Bailey Hockman. The National Team responded with a 10-play, 70-yard drive that ended with a 32-yard touchdown pass from Woodward Academy’s Ryan Glover to Lowndes’ Xavier Jenkins. The teams traded touchdowns once again and entered the second quarter tied 14-14. Hockman found Mays wideout Corey Reed for a 4-yard touchdown and the National team got on the board with a 7-yard run by Roswell’s Sheldon Evans.
The second quarter was where the American team took control of the game as Marist quarterback Jack Dinges took over for Hockman and used a methodical 16-play drive that ended with a 2-yard touchdown run by Locust Grove’s Caleb Huntley. The drive ate up 6:35 of clock and allowed the American Team to take a 21-14 halftime lead. The teams went scoreless in the third quarter before the American team poured on 17 more points in the final frame.
Greater Atlanta Christian kicker Brooks Bruce nailed a 49-yard field goal to make it 24-14 and on the ensuing kickoff Mays’ A.J. Cayetano forced and recovered a LeAntony Williams fumble to set up great field position for the American offense. On the next snap, Hockman completed a double-reverse flea flicker to a side-open J.D. King for a 33-yard score. The final points came with 2:24 left in the game when Dinges lobbed a perfect 53-yard touchdown pass to King.
Hockman was named offensive MVP with his three touchdown performance and Cairo’s Walter Grant picked up defensive MVP honors with his five tackles, two sacks and fumble recovery.
Glynn Academy’s Deejay Dallas led the National team with 74 receiving yards. Xavier McKinney posted six tackles, one tackle for loss and a forced fumble in the defeat.