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No tricks: Jags rock Fork Union, 64-6

South Alabama wide receiver Courtney Smith hauls in the first of his two TD catches.
South Alabama wide receiver Courtney Smith hauls in the first of his two TD catches.
Mobile Press Register, G.M. Andrews

All right ... look.
Let’s be honest.

South Alabama’s Jags are playing the teams that are on their schedule.
And none have so far been anywhere near the level of talent Coach Joey Jones’ Jags have put on the field.
You get my drift?

With that said, USA’s 64-6 pasting of Fork Union (Va.) Academy at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in front of 12,188 people Saturday afternoon was just another in the long line of “controlled scrimmages” the 5-0 Jaguars have had this season.

Jones is making no excuses for his team’s performances against obviously inferior competition.

“Our goal is to become a very good Division I program,” he said. “We’re doing all we can to get our kids better in practice.
“I was proud of our kids today. I thought they came out and executed well.”

What an appropriate choice of words from Jones on Halloween. “Execution,” I mean. Because that’s exactly what the Jags did to the 5-4 Blue Devils.

It didn’t take long for USA to flip the switch on the juice either. Exactly 0:08 seconds the first time they had the ball to be more precise.

After the Devils went three-and-out on their first possession, Jags’ quarterback Myles Gibbon hit Courtney Smith on a 64-yard TD bomb on USA’s first play from scrimmage.

Another FUMA three-and-out led to a near carbon copy of the Jags first score when Gibbon found Smith again, this time on a 60-yard TD strike … on the same pass pattern to nearly the exact same spot on the field … to make it 14-0 at 10-29 of the first period.

They were going in again just minutes later when back-up quarterback Brennan Sim hit Lamarcus Gardner in stride for 27 yards to the Devils 25, but Gardner was stripped of the ball by Miguel Marshall and the Devils recovered at their 19.

Gardner made up for the mistake in a big hurry, though, snagging a Sim pass for a 40-yard gain to the Devils’ two that set up Brandon Ross’ TD run on the next play.
Michael Chapuseaux missed his first PAT of the night, but added 24-yard field goal with 2:06 remaining in the first quarter for a 23-0 lead.

From there USA’s sports information staff started passing out complimentary calculators in the press box because the game was officially ugly, and still in the opening quarter.

“We practiced on it (the long TD passes) all week,” said Smith, who finished with just three catches, but for 131 yards and the two TDs.

“I expected the first one.”
But, did he expect the second … on the same play?

“No, but when they told me it was coming my way again, I expected it,” he said with a sly smile.

Defensive tackle Montavious Williams returned a fumble 24 yards for another score for a 30-0 lead near the end of the first quarter, before Sauntan McGee ran in from two yards out and Anthony Mostella scored on a five-yard pass reception from Sim for a 44-0 halftime lead.

The rest of the game was no better for Fork Union.

Ralph Turner returned the second-half kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown, Clifton Crews recovered another Blue Devils fumble, this time in the end zone, for another score and Kelly Vail hauled in a 53-yard TD pass from third-team Jags QB Nick Owens to close out USA’s scoring.

The Devils lone score came on a 34 yards TD pass to Tyler McDonald from Myles McKee in the third quarter.

“Our (pass) protection was better tonight,” said Jones, who also gave the Devils credit for playing valiantly after arriving at 11:30 Friday night following a 15-hour bus trip.

“We played well.”