E.A. Sports Today

Clipped wing

Catholic-Montgomery validates its top ranking in 44-20 victory over Jacksonville, but injured arm didn’t keep Ogle from throwing in his final high school game.

Cover photo: Jacksonville quarterback Jim Ogle scrambles in Friday’s Class 4A quarterfinal game against Catholic-Montgomery. (Photo by Greg Warren/For East Alabama Sports Today)

Football quarterfinal pairings

Cherokee County 28, West Morgan 27, FINAL
Catholic-Montgomery 44, Jacksonville 20, FINAL
Pickens County 18, Wadley 14, FINAL


NOV. 31
Cherokee County at Westminster Christian

By Joe Medley
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE — The face of one of Jacksonville High School’s most successful senior football classes went out with two memorable arm swings Friday.

First, Jim Ogle waved his left arm to the home sideline, waving off his coaches as they mulled taking him back out of their 44-20 loss to top-ranked Catholic-Montgomery in a Class 4A quarterfinal. 

No matter how much it hurt to raise his freshly injured right arm, the one he’s used to throw his way into a chance to play Division I college football, at Troy University, his left arm said he wanted to lead his team to the end.

Then came what had to be the most painful arm swing of all … using his right arm to launch a pass toward Imoree Young, in the corner of the end zone.

Young caught Ogle’s hope against hope to touch off a miracle comeback, but out of bounds.

So went the last gasps of Jacksonville’s attempt to extend its second-longest playoff run ever. The last words to sum up Ogle’s four years as Jacksonville’s starting quarterback, and five years as a contributor, came with a different kind of pain. He raised his good hand to wipe welling tears.

“It’s a blessing,” he said, his reddened eyes hovering over his signature, cross-shaped eye black. “Not many people have been blessed to be in the situation I’ve been in. 

“Playing in the eighth grade and getting the experience to go to the state championship game, coming in and starting four years and all of those guys that I’ve played with, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

Let the record reflect that Ogle’s last Jacksonville team finished 10-3, becoming only the fourth team in Jacksonville history to finish with double-digit wins.

The 15-member senior class that also features standouts like wide receivers Ky’dric Fisher and Damonte Sinclair, linebackers Charlie Wright and Ryan Mitchell and nose tackle Lewis Bitticks finished 32-15 with at least one playoff victory each of those four seasons.

Make it five for Ogle, who punted and played backup quarterback on the 2019 team that finished as Class 4A runner up.

Their impact runs deeper than numbers.

“They’ve just got a great brotherhood,” Jacksonville coach Clint Smith said. “Their spiritual aspect that these young men bring through our FCA and through all of that has just been huge for our team.

“They’re just a super close group of guys that have played a lot of ball together, and we’re going to miss them tremendously.”

They came into Friday’s game banged up. Fisher, Jacksonville’s top pass target, played with an ankle injury that limited him to decoy status in the second half of the Golden Eagles’ 28-21 victory over Bibb County in the second round.

Including a 12-yard connection with Ogle for a touchdown, Fisher caught two passes for 17 yards.

“He had an ankle injury,” Smith said. “He ended up playing really the whole second half of Bibb County as a decoy, really, and actually made the game-winning catch. He sucked it up, and Jim hit him on a great route.

“He was banged up. Everybody’s banged up to a certain extent. He played as well as he could through it.”
With Fisher not playing at full go, Jacksonville found itself having to keep pace with quarterback and Troy commit Caleb McCreary’s run-pass threat and all that flows from it. 

McCreary threw touchdown passes of 35 yards to Brody Hudson and 11 yards to Jo’Tavion Pierce and ran for touchdowns of 25, one and three yards.

Running back Joshua Griffin broke a 57-yard touchdown run on Catholic’s first offensive snap of the third quarter.

Despite suffering a sack of Ogle for a safety on Jacksonville’s first possession of the game, the Golden Eagles found themselves on Catholic’s 1-yard line, hoping to close a 16-7 gap in the second quarter.

A false-start penalty backed the Golden Eagles up on third down, and Jacksonville settled for John Ducar’s 22-yard field goal to make it 16-10 at 3:46 of the second quarter.

McCreary’s 25-yard touchdown run at 2:44 made it 23-10, and Griffin’s third-quarter burst made it 31-10.

The last touchdown pass of Ogle’s prolific high school career, which spotted Fisher for a tiptoe catch at the pylon, closed the gap to 31-17 at 3:28 of the third, but McCreary’s second touchdown run erased that progress before the clock struck fourth quarter.

With his top target hobbled and not able to be the threat he’s been for so many Ogle touchdown passes, Ogle tried to make up ground with his feet. He made several runs from the pocket, including the one that hobbled him.

Spinning and struggling for extra yards, Ogle was tackled on his right shoulder in front of Jacksonville’s sideline. He came off the field for a play, clearly favoring his right arm.

He came back in for a handoff to Zae English, and even that doubled Ogle over in pain.

He would not come out, waving off any thought of it then making his ailing right arm throw one more pass. It very nearly added a touchdown to Ogle’s career count.

As for the nature of Ogle’s injury, Smith said he wasn’t sure if it was a clavicle or shoulder. Ogle called it “all a blur.”

“Coach Pat (Lane Patterson) is going to evaluate him once we get him in,” Smith said. “He wanted to finish the game and went in there and gutted it out, but he’s a competitor, and he’s going to be fine.”

Ogle went 16-for-29 for 163 yards and two touchdowns in his final game as a Golden Eagle.

Senior quarterback Jim Ogle walks off the field with father and Jacksonville assistant coach Jimmy Ogle (center) and Jacksonville offensive coordinator Jamison Edwards on Friday. (Photo by Joe Medley)

English caught Ogle’s first touchdown pass, fighting through called interference and tipping the ball to himself. English, a junior, also rushed for 61 yards.

When the end came for the senior class’ final season, Jacksonville was the last team standing in Calhoun County and Class 4A, Region 4.

“We’ve all played together since we were 6 years old,” Ogle said. “We did it together. We always said, when we first got in here as freshmen, no matter what happened, when our time was over, we were going to do it together. We did.

“Give credit to Catholic. They played a heck of a game and made more plays than we did, but we did it together.”

Jacksonville offensive coordinator Jamison Edwards and head coach Clint Smith talk with Golden Eagle seniors Friday, after a loss to Catholic-Montgomery in the Class 4A quarterfinals. (Photo by Joe Medley)

Catholic-Jacksonville updates

A chronological look at key happenings in Jacksonville’s 44-20 loss to Catholic Montgomery in Friday’s Alabama Class 4A quarterfinals.

–Kickoff 7 p.m.

–Jacksonville wins the toss, defers. Catholic will receive the opening kickoff.


–On Jacksonville’s third offensive snap, Jim Ogle sacked for a safety at 7:39. CATHOLIC 2, JACKSONVILLE 0

–Brody Hudson gets behind Jacksonville’s defense, and Caleb McCreary passes to him for a 35-yard TD. PAT good at 6:41. CATHOLIC 9, JACKSONVILLE 0

–Jacksonville gets on the board as Zae English fights through interference to tip a Jim Ogle pass to himself. It goes for 16 yards and a TD. PAT good at 2:27. CATHOLIC 9, JACKSONVILLE 7


–McCreary throws an 11-yard TD pass to Jo’Tavion Pierce. PAT good at 11:54. CATHOLIC 16, JACKSONVILLE 7

–John Ducar hits a 22-yard field goal at 3:46. CATHOLIC 16, JACKSONVILLE 10

–Catholic answers quickly on McCreary’s 25-yard TD run. PAT good at 2:44. CATHOLIC 23, JACKSONVILLE 10


–Lil Joshua Griffin breaks a 57-yard TD run, McCreary throws to Wilson Hodges for the conversion at 10:44. CATHOLIC 31, JACKSONVILLE 10

–Jacksonville answers as Ogle finds Ky’dric Fisher at the pylon for a 12-yard TD pass. Ducar’s PAT is good at 3:28. CATHOLIC 31, JACKSONVILLE 17

–McCreary’s 1-yard TD run plus PAT at 49.4. CATHOLIC 38, JACKSONVILLE 17


–John Ducar hits a 38-yard field goal at 6:45. CATHOLIC 38, JACKSONVILLE 20

–McCreary adds a 3-yard TD run. PAT no good at 2:00. CATHOLIC 44, JACKSONVILLE 20

Jacksonville’s Darel Atkinson, Jr., tries to make a stop against Catholic-Montgomery quarterback Caleb McCreary on Friday. (Photo by Greg Warren/For East Alabama Sports Today)

You must be logged in to post a comment Login