E.A. Sports Today

Wiggins keeps going

Jacksonville junior rushes for 409 yards, collects nearly 500 yards of individual offense, and passes 1,000-yard season rushing barrier

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – Ron Wiggins was hoping to be able to get enough rushing yards to surpass the 1,000-yard barrier for the season Friday night.

The way he ran, it looked more like he wanted the whole 1,000 all in one night.

Wiggins, Jacksonville’s explosive junior running back, rushed for 409 yards on 21 carries and had nearly 500 yards of individual offense and five touchdowns as the Golden Eagles outscored Cleburne County 55-33 Friday night.

He needed 225 yards to reach the milestone and had that by halftime. And he wasn’t close to being finished.

The 409 yards rushing is the 12th highest single-game mark in state history and the most by a Calhoun County runner since Oxford’s Roc Thomas had 424 against Spain Park in 2013.

“It was pretty exciting,” he said. “At halftime I came in and just looked at my phone and I had gotten a tweet that said I had 258 rushing yards. That was surprising, and after that I just wanted to keep going. Then I was told after the game I ended up with 400-some (yards) and my mouth just dropped.”

He scored on runs of 18, 75, 4 and 58 yards and took a screen pass 80 yards for another score. He had 10 other runs of 10 yards or more, five of more than 20 yards. Over the last three weeks he has rushed for 872 yards and scored 14 rushing touchdowns (15 total) and has 1,184 yards for the season.

“It was one of those things we came out and that’s kind of what was working,” Jacksonville coach Clint Smith said. “Ron just does a really good job, has great vision and explosiveness and he’s been doing really well.

“There’s no doubt in my mind Ron is definitely one of the best running backs around here. I think he’s very underrated with the way he plays. He played extremely hard. … I’m proud of Ron and his accomplishments and some of the things he’s been able to do the last few weeks.”

Behind Wiggins’ big night, the Golden Eagles rolled up more than 650 yards of total offense. Quarterback Luke Jackson was 9-of-20 passing for 161 yards.

Seven players scored touchdowns between the two teams. Isavia Brown scored three for Cleburne County, one on an 86-yard kickoff return. Quarterback Reese Morrison accounted for two scores.

All that offense meant plenty of opportunities for the defense. Jacksonville’s Omarion Adams had 11 tackles, seven for loss, including three sacks. Kyre Maynor and Billy Whitson each had nine.

“I’m happy for Ron and I’m happy for our team to be 5-0,” Smith said.

Jacksonville 55, Cleburne County 33
Cleburne Co. 14 7 12 0 – 33
Jacksonville 20 8 14 13 – 55

J – Jaeden Barksdale 14 pass from Luke Jackson (DeMarien Stewart kick), 9:25 1Q
CC – Richard Cantrell 2 run (Hayden Stephens kick), 6:02 1Q
J – Ron Wiggins 18 run (pass failed), 3:08 1Q
CC – Isavia Brown 86 kickoff return (Hayden Stephens kick), 2:55 1Q
J – Omarion Adams 5 run (Omarion Adams run), 0:30 1Q
CC – Isavia Brown 33 run (Hayden Stephens kick), 4:41 2Q
J – Ron Wiggins 75 run (Omarion Adams run), 4:28 2Q
J – Ron Wiggins 80 pass from Luke Jackson (Omarion Adams run), 7:10 3Q
CC – Isavia Brown 31 pass from Reese Morrison (run failed), 6:04 3Q
J – Ron Wiggins 4 run (pass failed), 4:40 3Q
CC – Reese Morrison 1 run (kick failed), 3:07 3Q
J – Ron Wiggins 58 run (pass failed), 10:26 4Q
J – Jae-Taj Morris 67 run (Noah Sawyer kick), 7:06 4Q

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