Both Jackson and Northwestern are gearing up for the playoffs this week.
But a quick momentum swing in Jackson’s favor early in the second half gave this year’s the Soul Bowl an entertaining finish.
In the end, Northwestern’s defense made enough plays to thwart the Generals’ comeback and secure a 21-13 victory, adding another win to the Bulls’ large total in the annual classic at Traz Powell Stadium.
“A win is a win and we played a lot of guys tonight to get ready for these playoffs,” Northwestern coach Stephen Field said. “There was no doubt we were going to be OK, but that’s what we do. We like to face adversity and overcome it.”
Darius Tice propelled the Bulls again scoring all three of their touchdowns and finishing with 101 yards on 12 carries.
But leading 14-0, Tice fumbled on Northwestern’s opening drive of the second half. Jackson capitalized immediately when quarterback Quinton Flowers tucked the ball away and ran down the sideline 17 yards for a touchdown.
On the ensuing drive, Jackson cornerback Devondre Powell intercepted Northwestern quarterback Randy Jones Jr. and returned it 25 yards for another touchdown. Northwestern blocked the extra point to maintain a 14-13 edge.
Tice later capped a drive with a 15-yard touchdown to end the third quarter.
Jackson’s last-ditch effort to come back with less than a minute left faltered when Flowers was unable to connect with his receiver in the corner of the end zone.
Northwestern (8-2) will take on Hollywood Hills in a Region 4-6A quarterfinal next Friday at McArthur High in Hollywood. Jackson (5-4) will travel to play Plantation American Heritage the same night in a Region 4-5A quarterfinal.
The Bulls also held star defensive back Artie Burns out of Friday’s game as he continues to rest a foot injury suffered in last week’s game against Homestead.
“We came out cold in the second half, and that’s on me as the head coach because we have to come out of halftime more prepared,” Field said. “We didn’t get any guys hurt and Jackson did a great job against us.”