Shemar Smith swam through the offensive line and clobbered Cardinal Gibbons quarterback Tyler Monaco to knock the Chiefs out of scoring range late in the fourth quarter of Jackson’s 14-12 upset Friday at Bud Tight Field.
Smith had three sacks in the victory against the undefeated Chiefs (6-1, 0-1 16-5A).
“We were excellent,” Smith said. “We had a slow start. The third and fourth quarter we were going at them.
“Everything was just great. It was a great feeling.”
Winston Jackson Jr.’s 24-yard touchdown grab from Monaco gave the Chiefs a 6-0 lead midway through the first quarter. The Generals responded by blanking the Chiefs in the second quarter and using a 15-yard Desmond Phillips run to take a 7-6 halftime lead.
Both teams played turnover free football in the first half. The Chiefs missed an opportunity at the end of the second quarter when Monaco’s streak of 12 consecutive pass completions ended on a dropped pass in the end zone.
“I knew we could play with these guys,” Generals coach Earl Little said. “The eye in the sky don’t lie. They are well coached and a good team. I knew it was a one-game playoff.”
Tovias Parker scooped up a fumble and returned it for a 68-yard score in the third quarter to give the Generals (3-3, 1-1 16-5A) a 14-6 edge. Deon McIntosh had a five-yard scoring run late in the third quarter, but the Chiefs (6-1, 0-1) failed on the conversion and trailed 14-12 to start the final frame. The Chiefs had two long drives fall short in the fourth quarter as Jackson jostled its offensive line and pressured Monaco.
“Honestly I don’t consider it an upset because I believe in these kids,” Little said. “If we can play every game like we did that first quarter against Booker T. Washington, nobody can stop the Jackson Generals.”
The Chiefs play at 7 p.m. Friday at Branche Ely while the Generals play Monsignor Pace at 7 p.m. Thursday at Traz Powell.
“I guess we competed pretty well,” Chiefs coach Mike Morrill said. “Our defense held them to seven points. We made way too many mistakes to win a big district game. We expected a close game we just expected to score more points. That’s the really disappointing aspect of tonight.”