Guy Ellis

The Jay Bulldogs (7-3, 6-1) football team celebrated some large milestones last Friday night.

In one contest they had defeated their cross-county rival and clinched a district championship and a home playoff game.

While JHS fans and students have had a week to celebrate, the team and the coaching staff enjoyed a slightly shorter respite.

“We’ll enjoy this tonight but it’s back to work on Monday getting ready for Wagoner,” Bulldog head coach Shane Holland said after last week’s season finale victory in the Delaware County Bowl. “They’re a fast and athletic team.”

The Wagoner Bulldogs, 7-3 on the season with a fourth place finish in District 4A-4, travel to Earp Stadium tonight as the high school football playoffs begin across the state.

Quarterback Prince McJunkis leads Wagoner offensively. The 6’0, 175 lbs junior is a threat both through the air and on the ground with his scrambling ability.

McJunkis’s favorite receivers this season have been 5’9, 145 lbs senior Paul Golden and 6’3, 175 lbs junior Jordan Robinson.

“We’ll have to play very disciplined on defense,” Holland said in a phone interview this week. “We can’t give up the big play. They want to throw the ball downfield and we can’t let them get behind us.”

To that end Jay will present a defensive backfield led by junior Kyle Shambaugh and senior John Davenport. Davenport has nabbed six interceptions this season while Shambaugh has pulled in three.

Jay linebacker Delmo Crouch is the leading tackler on the team with 115 stops. The senior has three interceptions this season, including one last week that was returned for a touchdown.

“We’ve had a good week of practice,” Holland said about his troops. “They’re excited to be in the playoffs and to have a chance to play a team like Wagoner.”

One way for JHS to contain the Wagoner offense is to keep them off the field. Jay has presented a balanced offensive attack this season splitting rushing and passing yardage at 1542 and 1471, respectively.

“We want to control the clock and to do that we’ll need to have success running the ball,” Holland said. “To help open up the running game we’ll need to throw the ball well.”

The Jay running game is led by Bubba Baker. The junior is averaging over five yards a carry and has six touchdowns for the season.

Last week senior Casey Loomis had a big night for Jay. Besides rushing for over 100 yards he was also the leading Bulldog receiver with three catches and booted a 33-yard field goal late in the game to help seal the win.

Jay enters tonight’s game with a clean bill of health and no injuries to the regular starters.

“We’re very healthy,” Holland said.