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Jonesboro prepares for playoffs with 40-19 win

Photo by Jerry Jackson
Jonesboro senior running back Rodney Singleton attempts to break free from a Banneker defender Friday in a Region 4-AAAA game played at Twelve Oaks Stadium. The Cardinals won to improve to 9-1 on the season heading into next week’s playoffs.

Photo by Jerry Jackson Jonesboro senior running back Rodney Singleton attempts to break free from a Banneker defender Friday in a Region 4-AAAA game played at Twelve Oaks Stadium. The Cardinals won to improve to 9-1 on the season heading into next week’s playoffs.

Jonesboro coach Tim Floyd is fully aware of the historic perspective of his team’s 40-19 win over Banneker on Friday at Twelve Oaks Stadium.

However, Floyd was reluctant to discuss the team’s best regular season record in the last 62 years.

With the Region 4-AAAA win over Banneker, the Cardinals tied the 1949 team with nine regular-season wins.

That team, coached by W.J. “Doc” Kersey would finish the season at 10-2 after a brief playoff run.

“I am extremely pleased with our performance this year,” Floyd said. “Working hard during the off-season and doing the little things it takes to win is the difference between this season and last.”

But for history to happen, Jonesboro needed to be on its toes against a talented Banneker team, and on its second play from scrimmage, senior quarterback Cedric Nettles dropped back and hit a streaking wideout, Cameron Sutton, for a 75-yard touchdown. The extra point try was wide and the Cards led 6-0 after only four minutes.

Banneker came right back on its next possession going 65 yards in six plays with running back Tyrell Brown doing most of the damage on wide pitches. With 4:25 left in the first quarter, Banneker took a 7-6 lead on Brown’s 16-yard scamper and a converted extra point kick. Then, much to the small crowd’s delight, Sutton returned the ensuing Banneker kickoff 70 yards. However, the return was called back by an illegal block call.

After exchanging punts, Jonesboro got back on the scoreboard with a 25-yard scoring run by Nettles to take 13-7 lead with 11:49 remaining in the second quarter.

Banneker’s next offensive possession was short-lived as Sutton intercepted for Jonesboro. Two plays later, Sutton made a miraculous diving catch to put the Cards in business at the Banneker 16. Jonesboro settled for a 30-yard Shivarine Ramden’s field goal to make the score 16-7 with five minutes left in the second quarter.

On Banneker’s next possession, Nettles intercepted an errant pass. With just 25 seconds left in the first half, Nettles hit Rodney Singleton on a 30-yard pass play to move the ball to Banneker’s 14. Ramden then drilled his second field goal of the night to give Jonesboro a 19-7 halftime lead.

Both teams’ defenses dominated the entire third quarter before the Cardinals pulled away for the win.