HELENA-WEST HELENA- The Helena-West Helena Central Cougars (2-2, 1-0) came back from an early deficit to defeat the Jacksonville Red Devils (1-3, 0-1) 38-18 at Cad Polk Stadium.
The Red Devils took the game's opening possession 61 yard on 11 plays and ate up 3:59. Reginald Barnes scored on a 1-yard run, but the PAT was no good, leaving the Red Devils with a 6-0 lead with 8:01 remaining in the first quarter.
Helena-West Helena responded with a ten play drive of their own that stalled at the Jacksonville 10-yard line. Sagar Patel kicked a 27-yard field goal to put the Cougars on the board but still trailing 6-3.
After blocking a 40 yard field goal attempt by the Red Devils on the ensuing possession, the Cougars drove down to the Red Devil 15-yard linie on 15 plays, but the offense stalled again. Patel kicked a 32-yard field goal to tie the game at 6-6 with 6:08 to go in the first half.
After Anthony Lewis returned a Red Devil punt 68 yards to the Jacksonville 7-yard line, Helena-West Helena took its first lead three plays later when Keith Hays scored on a 4-yard touchdown run. Patel kicked the PAT and the Cougars led 13-6 with 2:36 to go in the first half.
After forcing a punt on the next possession, the Cougars went 61 yards on six plays. Brewer threw to Hays for a 5-yard touchdown reception with 27.1 seconds left in the first half. The PAT was wide right and Helena-West Helena led 19-6 at the intermission.
The second half was wild. Turnovers ended the half's first three possessions. The Cougars had two. The Red Devils had one. With 10:28 to go in the third quarter, Lamont Gause scored for Jacksonville on a 21-yard run. The Pat was no good and Helena-West Helena led 19-12.
The Cougars answered by taking the next possession 81 yards on seven plays. Brewer found Lewis on a 49-yard touchdown pass. The PAT was no good and the Cougars led 25-12 with 8:10 to go in the third, which was the score at the end of the third quarter.
The Cougars broke the game open with 4:40 left in the game when Brewer found Lewis again from 67 yards out. The PAT was no good and the Cougars led 31-12.
After an interception by Tiontae Williams, Brewer called his on number for a 27-yard scoring run. Patel kicked the PAT to make it 38-12 with 1:57 to go in the game.
Jacksonville scored on a 41-yard run Robert Knowlin with 6.9 seconds left. The try for two failed, making the final 38-18.
Cougar Coach Russell Smith was ecstatic after the victory. He said, "It's great to open the conference season with a victory. Jacksonville is very talented. We have to keep working hard and getting better each week. I am happy with how hard we played tonight."