E.A. Sports Today

Peanut’s redemption

Adams comes off disciplinary action in the second half, scores a game-tightening touchdown before Wiggins’ conversion completes Jacksonville comeback

By Matthew Fuller
For East Alabama Sports Today

ONEONTA – For two quarters Omarion Adams had to sit helplessly on the sideline and reflect on the meaning of the transgression that reduced him to a spectator at the start of the game.

While he sat, his Jacksonville teammates were struggling. All the time he was thinking if he ever got back in the game he wanted to do something really big to make amends.

He did. The player they call “Peanut” caught a 17-yard pass from Luke Jackson with 18 seconds to play for a touchdown and then Ron Wiggins ran up the middle for the winning two-point conversion that gave third-ranked Jacksonville a 22-21 victory over Oneonta in the biggest threat to derailing its projected showdown with No. 2 Hokes Bluff for the region championship.

The winning drive helped the Golden Eagles (8-0, 5-0) come back from a 21-8 halftime deficit and remain tied for the lead in Class 4A Region 6.

“I was a little worried because when I came in we were down 21-8 and I didn’t play the first half,” Adams said. “I was happy with all our performances because it was my fault we were down in the first place and I had to come back right.”

Adams and Radanis Kirksey – Nos. 1 and 2 on the Jacksonville roster – both were suspended for the first half of the game for violating team rules. Adams absence impacted the Golden Eagles on both offense and defense.

On his big catch he made a rush for the end zone, leaped in the air and caught the ball on his fingertips near the sideline. He got his feet down to make it count.

Adams caught five passes for 43 yards in the game and made two tackles, including a sack. Jackson was 19-of-28 for 110 yards passing.

“I planned it in my head and it played out just like I played it in my head,” Adams said. “When they threw it, I knew it was mine.”

Still, the Eagles needed two for the win and they put it in Wiggins’ hands. He charged up the middle to keep the winning streak alive and get the Eagles to 8-0 for the second time in three seasons. They have had an eight-game winning streak each of the last three years.

“I knew it was going to be a tough game, it always is up here,” Wiggins said. “We knew what we were capable of doing. We just had to go out there and do it.”

Oneonta opening the scoring of the first two touchdown passes from Taveris Hill to Brandon Howard, but Jacksonville didn’t take long to go up top when Ron Wiggins went 61 yards about 40 seconds later.

The Redskins (5-2, 3-2) went up 21-8 in the second quarter on an 82-yard run by Hill and another Hill touchdown pass to Howard. The Golden Eagles turned back another threat when Jewels Gray intercepted a pass by Hill and it stayed 21-8 at halftime.

The Golden Eagles cut into their deficit early in the third quarter when Wiggins went 66 yards for a score and Gray caught a conversion pass from Jackson.

Wiggins had another big night on the ground, rushing for 272 yards on 34 carries. He scored on runs of 61 and 66 yards.

Wiggins’ recruiting stock has gone way up since his 400-yard rushing night earlier this season. Ohio State is said to be the latest major program interested in the junior.

Matthew Fuller covers Jacksonville High School sports for the Jacksonville Journal.

Jacksonville 22, Oneonta 21
Jacksonville 8 0 6 8 – 22
Oneonta 7 14 0 0 – 21

O – Brandon Howard 27 pass from Taveris Hill (Erick Vargas Pineda kick), 6:19 1Q
J – Ron Wiggins 61 run (Ron Wiggins run), 5:40 1Q
O – Taveris Hill 82 run (Alex Chacon kick), 6:49 2Q
O – Brandon 14 pass from Taveris Hill (Erick Vargas Pineda kick), 4:14 2Q
J – Ron Wiggins 66 run (Jewels Gray pass from Luke Jackson), 9:15 3Q
J – Omarion Adams 17 pass from Luke Jackson (Ron Wiggins run), 0:18 4Q

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