By Anthony Rhoads
Going into the final play of Saturday's game against South Atlanta at Twelve Oaks Stadium, kicker Patrick Saxby wasn't having a very good day.
But all that changed when he booted a 23-yard field goal to give his team a 24-21 victory as time expired.
"I missed two field goals but I made the one that counted," Saxby said. "I was kind of nervous but I've been working every day in practice. I hoped I would get my chance in high school and there it was."
Saxby missed a 47-yard attempt in the third quarter and a 37-yarder in the fourth quarter. He also had a blocked punt that South Atlanta (4-2 overall, 0-1 in Region 3-AAAA) recovered for a touchdown in the third quarter.
"Patrick had a very tough night but I told him he would come through for us and make a big play," Jonesboro head coach Larry Mortonson said.
Saxby's winning field goal was set up by a turnover with less than two minutes remaining in the game.
South Atlanta had marched 64 yards on its final drive and faced a fourth-and-19 at the Jonesboro 26.
The Jonesboro defense recorded a quarterback sack and forced a fumble. Jonesboro defensive lineman Roger Morris recovered at the Jonesboro 34 with 1:43 remaining.
Jonesboro (3-2-1, 1-0) then went on a nine-play, 60-yard drive to get to the South Atlanta 6-yard line.
During the drive, Cazenave completed passes of 12 and 16 yards to Chris Ekpo and a 15-yard pass to Ken Hester. Casenave also had a run of 12 yards.
"The defense put us in position and the offense put us in position with the two-minute drill," Mortonson said. "Our kids showed a lot of character and heart tonight to overcome the adversity."
Cazenave completed 9 of 22 passes for 124 yards. He added seven runs for 40 yards including two touchdowns.
Ekpo led Jonesboro in receiving with five catches for 84 yards.
Brandon Lucas gained 109 yards on 14 carries while Hester gained 48 yards on 10 carries and Rocky Lee added seven carries for 40 yards and a touchdown.
South Atlanta's Jeremy Hill led all rushers with 130 yards on 18 carries. He scored two touchdowns and had a 75-yard kickoff return.
Jonesboro 24, South Atlanta 21
Scoring by quarters
S - 6 7 8 0 - 21
J - 7 7 7 3 - 24
J n Rocky Lee 5 run 3:22 (Patrick Saxby kick)
S n Jeremy Hill 39 run :10 (run failed)
J n Daniel Cazenave 17 run 3:59 (Saxby kick)
S n Hill 73 run 3:20 (kick)
J n Cazenave 24 run 5:51 (Saxby kick)
S n Jumanne Brown blocked punt recovery 1:18 (Hill run)
J n Saxby 23 FG :00