"Updike boots Panthers to OT win against Granite City"
A Jersey high school football fan would have to search all the way back to the year 1925 to find out who our oldest football rival is. That year Jersey opened the football season traveling to Granite City, and thus began a football rivalry that has now lasted for 81 years. In that particular game, the Orange and Black of Jersey were defeated by the home team by the score of 6-0. Granite City scored a third quarter touchdown on the "fake" pass play that they had perfected the week before in a win against the Western Military Academy.
The 2006 JCHS Panthers had a few tricks of their own on Friday night at Donald W. Snyder Sports Complex in Jerseyville, winning an over-time thriller 24-21. With regular kicker Brandyn Snider on the sidelines nursing a leg injury that he suffered last week against Jacksonville, Coach Chris Skinner went to his back-up in QB Andy Updike. The 5'11", 170lb senior responded with one of his biggest games of his high school career. Updike who had success earlier in the game kicking all three PAT's, handed the Warriors the ultimate "trick" in booting the game winning 21 yard field goal. The game winning kick came moments after the Panther defense stopped Granite City on the goal line on a fourth and inches.
Updike got things going for the Panthers in the same fashion as he ended it. With 3:11 remaining in a scoreless first quarter, the JCHS QB scored on a 4 yard touchdown run and after his point after the Panthers enjoyed an early 7-0 lead.
Granite City cut the lead to 7-3 in the second quarter as Anthony Barrios kicked a 31 yard field goal. Jersey then scored on another Andy Updike touchdown, this time he scored on a 45 yard romp around the right side putting his team ahead 14-3. The Panther senior rushed for 88 yards on 16 attempts. Any thought of putting the game on ice disappeared only seconds later, when Granite City back Eddie Lance scored on a 2-yard run cutting the Panther lead to 14-10 going into the half.
In the third quarter the Warriors shaved the lead to 14-13 when Barrios kicked his second field goal of the night, this one coming from 20 yards out. Late in the fouth quarter the Panthers seemed to have things in control. Senior RB Adam Hayes who had another interception earlier in the game on defense, all but iced the the win with a first down inside the Warrior five yard line. The Panthers gambled with under a minute to play and elected to go for the score as RB Trevor Crane busted through the Warrior defense for a 3-yard TD run. The now 8 point Panther lead lasted for all of the 43 ticks that were left on the clock as Granite City QB Matt Kelly marched his offense down the field in a manner that would resemble that of a Joey Kallal/Brent Hawkins comeback a few years back. Kelly would eventually score on a 12-yard scramble as the clock expired followed by a gutsy 2-point conversion.
The Panther defense had another chance at redemption in over-time as Granite City got the ball first. In a night filled with big defensive performances from such Panthers as Will Clark (9 tackles and 2 assists) and Sam Pohlman (6 tackles and 1 assist) it was only fitting that the "D" set up the winning field goal.
This week the Panthers take the long road to Peoria to face the tough 6A Knights of Richwoods. The Knights of the Mid-State 6 conference are coached by Doug Simper. Richwoods defeated Galesburg last week 20-14 after falling to Washington H.S. in week one 23-8. A Panther victory will put Big Blue in a good spot at 3-0 before they enter MVC conference play the following week, hosting the Highland Bulldogs.