The Joplin Globe
The seventh-seeded Jasper Eagles held on to advance in the MSHSAA Class 1 District 2 playoffs by defeating the second-seeded McAuley Catholic Warriors 20-6 Thursday night at Fred G. Hughes Stadium.
The Eagles (4-6) avenged a 42-6 loss during the regular season. They advance to a second-round game Wednesday night at Lockwood, which beat visiting Greenfield 18-7.
Jasper struck first, going 76 yards — all on the ground— on its first drive, capped by a two-yard run by senior Jordan Adams to take a 6-0 lead.
Adams then recovered a fumbled pitch by the Warriors and returned it for 30 yards for the only other first-half score, giving the Eagles a 12-0 lead at the intermission.
Jasper took over in the third quarter after a Warriors’ punt into the wind traveled just seven yards. Junior quarterback Logan Johnston ran up the middle and broke three tackles during a 27-yard touchdown run.
McAuley got on the board on its first drive in the fourth quarter after the Warriors took over on downs on their 26-yard line. The 74-yard drive ended with an 11-yard pass from Adam Robertson to Greg Carney.
Jasper recovered the onside kick at its 29-yard line to dampen McAuley’s comeback hopes.
Adams finished with 136 yards on the ground and scored two touchdowns and a 2-point conversion.
“Jasper’s line dominated both sides of the ball tonight,” McAuley coach Brenden Gubera said. “That was one of our keys to the game, and we just didn’t do it.”
The Warriors were without starting quarterback Mitch Wear, who was injured last week.
“It’s big losing your starting quarterback who has thrown for almost 3,000 yards in seven games this season,” Gubera said. “Adam did a good job. He threw a ball ... that was dropped in the end zone. But it is a team effort and as a team we didn’t get it done tonight.”
McAuley finishes its season with a 6-4 record.
“It’s disappointing when you don’t accomplish the goals you set out at the beginning of the season,” Gubera said. “Our goal was a district championship, but the 6-4 record is the best season for McAuley in about six years. Our underclassmen will have to go out and work hard in the offseason for next year.”