East Jackson's R.J. White scores on a touchdown reception Friday (Nov. 1) in the Eagles' 45-31 loss to Morgan County. 

In a game that wasn’t decided until the final minutes, East Jackson lost a shootout to Morgan County 45-31 at home Friday (Nov. 1).

Eagle running back Nino Brown — coming off a 240-yard effort the previous week — scored three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving), including two in the fourth quarter. His final touchdown cut Morgan County’s lead to 38-31 with 6:02 remaining in the contest. But the Bulldogs (7-2, 4-1 Region 8-AAA) — the second-place team in the region — put the game away with a touchdown with 2:03 left.

"Our guys were excited to be in a game only down seven (points) late in the fourth and know you've got a shot ... just be in that situation, that competitive environment in the game against a quality program like Morgan is obviously encouraging," East Jackson coach Cameron Pettus said. 

In addition to Brown’s three scores, the Eagles (3-6, 0-5 Region 8-AAA) got a touchdown reception from R.J. White (four catches for 67 yards) and a field goal from Brice Vandiver. Freshman Randy Smith made his first start, filling in for an injured Greg Huggs (high-ankle sprain), and threw for 175 yards and two touchdowns on 10-of-20 passing. 

"It was his first official start, and I thought he did really well," Pettus said. 

Meanwhile, Brown's night included 148 rushing yards on 34 carries in addition to his three scores (one of which was a 36-yard touchdown catch). He's closing in on 1,200 yards rushing on the season with 1,164 yards through nine games. 

"We couldn't be more excited about a young man," Pettus said. "He's just grown and developed this year as a leader and as a football player."

The Eagles' performance in the loss drew praise from Morgan County's coach, Bill Malone, during the postgame handshake with Pettus. The Bulldogs beat East Jackson 45-0 last year. 

"He said, 'Trust me, from the outside looking in, you guys are doing great things and you can just tell you guys are building something,'" Pettus said. 


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.