Jacksonville Daily Progress
The Lancaster Tigers turned out to be every bit as good as advertised.
The No. 11-ranked Tigers (10-1) manhandled the Jacksonville Indians in wire-to-wire fashion, winning the Class 4A, Region II, Division II, bi-district contest 34-2 on Thursday night at Forney's City Bank Stadium.
The Tigers will advance to face either Lucas-Lovejoy or Hallsville next week in Area play.
Meanwhile, Jacksonville (4-7) sees its season, the first under the direction of head coach Chris Taber, come to end as a result of the loss.
The Tribe qualified for the state playoffs this year, after failing to qualify in 2011.
Jacksonville's one and done post-season streak unfortunately continued Thursday — the Indians have not advanced out of bi-district since the 2004 season.
Lancaster broke the scoring ice by scoring a touchdown on its second possession of the evening.
That's when Washington State-commit Demarcus Ayers went to the sky and connected with Nick Harvey for a 48-yard scoring reception.
Following the Brent Griffin point after touchdown, the Tigers, the top team from District 15-4A, led 7-0.
The Tigers added another first-stanza score with 47 ticks left in the opening segment when Nick Alexander hauled in a 21-yard touchdown pass from Harvey — Ayers and Harvey both spent time under center for the Tigers.
Jacksonville's only points of the night came when Darrell Minifee blocked Griffin's PAT try with Londedric Taylor retrieving the ball and racing it all the way back into the opposite end zone for two points.
Speaking of Minifee, the senior wideout was able to set a new school record in the third quarter when he caught his second pass of the game and his 63rd of the season, which allowed him to surpass the old mark (61) set by Jamaal Wynne in 1994.
Minifee, who is receiving significant recruiting attention from several D-I schools, also ends his days as an Indian with the all-time school record for most catches in a career (153) and the most yards (2,161) in a career as well.
As the old football saying goes, to be able to win, a team must be able to run the football and stop the run.
The Tribe, the fourth-place team from District 16-4A, had great difficulty in doing both against a Tiger team that has been ranked as high as No. 2 in the state this year.
Lancaster, who has around 10 NCAA Division I commits or prospects on this year's squad, racked up 534 total yards to 101 for Jacksonville.
The Tigers carried the ball 52 times 349 yards while the Indians were limited to just 25 total yards on the ground.
Sophomore quarterback Carter McCown was held in check as well.
McCown went 10-31-1 for 76 yards against one of the most formidable defensive units that the Tribe had faced all season.
Dadrian Franklin led Jacksonville in receiving with four grabs for 55 yards.
Ayers was his team's kingpin on offense.
He carried 16 times for 133 yards and went 4-12-0 — 105 and two touchdowns via the air.
Alexander had two catches for 65 yards and a pair of scores to lead the talented Tiger receiving corp.
Twenty seven Indian seniors played in their final game for Jacksonville on Thursday.