E.A. Sports Today

Thunder rolls at homecoming

Murphy rushes for more than 200 yards, scores 4 touchdowns as JCA evens its record at 2-2

JCA quarterback Jayden Mitchell (14) appears surrounded by the ASD defense Friday night. (Photo by Prime Time Prepz/www.primetimeprepz.com)

JCA quarterback Jayden Mitchell (14) appears surrounded by the ASD defense Friday night. (Photo by Prime Time Prepz/www.primetimeprepz.com)

By East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – Tommy Miller has as much fun at homecoming as anyone – once the game is over. But as a coach he knows the kind of distraction it can be for his team.

Miller’s Jacksonville Christian Thunder rolled through the distraction Friday night and celebrated afterwards a 35-12 victory over Alabama School for the Deaf to get back to .500 on the season with three big region games looming.

Reed Murphy rushed for 207 yards, caught three passes for 76 more and scored four touchdowns to lead the attack.

The Thunder (2-2) recovered fumbles on two of the Silent Warriors’ first three plays from scrimmage and converted both into touchdowns for a 14-0 lead less than five minutes into the game. They led 21-0 at the end of the quarter.

An injury timeout created a lengthy delay and when play resumed the Thunder wasn’t quite the same. It led 21-6 at halftime, with ASD (2-3) scoring on the return of a blocked field goal.

“It was Homecoming and we were like anybody else would be, we were distracted,” Miller said. “Every football coach will probably tell you homecoming is fun, but it is a distraction for a football team. For us, to get this win and even the record at 2-2, was big for us because we have three games in a row coming up that are extremely tough (Gaylesville, Spring Garden and Valley Head).”

Murphy scored on runs of 21, 1 and 16 yards and went 54 yards with a Jayden Mitchell pass for another touchdown.

Mitchell scored the Thunder’s other touchdown on a 12-yard run. He rushed for 20 yards and completed 6 of 7 passes for 76 yards.

“Reed has been playing good all year; he had another big night tonight,” Miller said. “I don’t know if he was as focused tonight as he has been – I don’t think anybody was as focused as they normally were — but he still had a big night running the football.”

Defensively, the Thunder recovered three fumbles – Josh Boling, Walker Messer and eighth-grader Antwon Fegans – and made a second-half stand inside the 5. Jimbo Tolbert had a team-high nine tackles (one for loss) and Mitchell recorded seven.


ASD 0 6 0 6 — 12
JCA 21 0 7 7 — 35

J – Reed Murphy 21 run (Josh Thornton kick), 10:41 1Q
J – Jayden Mitchell 12 run (Thornton kick), 7:25 1Q
J – Murphy 1 run (Thornton kick), 1:20 1Q
A – Eddie Thomas 80 blocked field goal return (kick failed), 4:45 2Q
J – Murphy 16 run (Thornton kick), 10:08 3Q
J – Murphy 54 pass from Mitchell (Thornton kick), 11:42 4Q
A – KeTrez Holman 3 run (run failed), 0:23 4Q

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