In likely the final home game of their up-and-down careers the Jonesville Comet seniors went out with a bang — showcasing heart, tenacity and camaraderie, all while taking out crosstown rival Quincy 41-6 on homecoming.
Seniors like John Sigler, Logan Jenkins, Evan Lobdell and Jay Bearden, just to name a few, may never get to experience a playoff game — unless they run the table the final three weeks — but they showed what kind of pride and talent they can embody when at their best.
Sigler ran for 199 yards and scored five touchdowns three different ways and Lobdell and Jenkins had plenty to do with Quincy’s star running back Michael Brewer gaining just 88 yards on 20 carries.
Comets head coach Joshua Lindeman said this team has been a joy and privilege to be a part of and he was happy to see his seniors make the most of a special moment.
“First of all, this group has come a long way, they played hard, especially (the seniors) sitting over there on the hill. And that’s what their emotions were,” Jonesville head coach Joshua Lindeman said. “They understand that even if we are to win out we’re never going to be hosting a playoff game, no 6-3 teams host playoff games. This was it, their last hurrah, and we made a big deal of it this week.”
Sigler got things started in memorable fashion, breaking three tackles and out-muscling several Orioles’ defenders on his way to a 71-yard touchdown up the right sidelines, to give his team a 7-0 lead just three minutes into the contest.
He would later score on a 54-yard run which was keyed by a Kory Kidder block, and a 43-yard touchdown scamper where he burst through the middle. He also caught Spencer Nielsen’s lone pass of the evening, a 30-yard bomb for a touchdown, not long after returning a punt over 40 yards for a score.
Lindeman wasn’t afraid to profess his love for the driven Comets’ back.
“(Gosh) he should have never been a quarterback. He loves (being a running back), he’s great there and he played with heart and emotion,” he said, after Sigler started just his sixth game as a halfback. “He told me he was going to have a big game and as you can see, he’s over there in tears and he loves it. I love him, I wouldn’t trade him or those seniors — I know we’re only 3-3, but our coaching staff wouldn’t trade them for any team in the entire world.”
On the opposite side of the ball, the Orioles’ offense never gave up, it just couldn’t solve a quicker, more physical group of Comets who limited them to one touchdown, a week after they put up 58 points on Springport.
“They played better than we did,” Quincy head coach Dave Bach said. “Our kids played hard, we just didn’t execute there in the beginning with a couple of turnovers and turnovers will kill you. Turnovers and penalties in critical situations kill you.”
When Brewer wasn’t trying to find open real estate, quarterback Shane Rider was constantly under heavy pressure, evident by his numbers — 6-for-18 for 70 yards and an interception.
His lone interception was returned 26 yards for a touchdown by Bearden, midway through the first quarter.
Bach said the Comets did a good job of plugging up the middle, forcing them to go outside, and the opposing defense was as good as what he’d seen on film.
Lobdell had two long sacks in the fourth quarter and was causing havoc all night long, something he was proud of when the clock struck triple zeroes.
“We talked all week about how we needed to contain the outside and not let Brewer get outside because we knew he was fast and quick and slippery, so we had to keep him inside where our whole defense is and that’s what we did,” he said. “It felt great. I knew we had to win this game and I did my part.”
Lindeman said his defensive unit is just beaming with confidence, even after a hard-to-swallow loss at Reading, and his defensive ends were nothing short of stellar Friday.
“Logan Jenkins and Evan Lobdell jumped all over it, they played a great game,” he said. “And I think that really disrupted them because they like to pitch outside and setup their (isolations) inside, and our defensive ends did a good job of staying home and making sure that if Brewer was going to get yards it was going to be between the tackles.”
Bach said his goal is to just have his team continue to get better everyday, starting Monday, even though there postseason hopes have been dashed.
At 3-3, Lindeman’s team is still alive in the state playoff hunt and at least one Comet likes his squad’s chances at running the table.
“We’re doing it, we’ve got it,” Lobdell said.