SPRINGTOWN — Before the 2016 season, the Jonesboro Eagles had never reached a state championship game.
Now they’re going to their second straight.
Senior standout Wyatt Young scored seven touchdowns for the high-powered Eagles in an 83-56 shootout win over the Bulldogs in the Class 1A Division I state semifinals on Saturday at Springtown’s Porcupine Stadium. With the victory, Jonesboro (13-1) advances to the state title game for the second straight year, and will face the same opponent as last year in Borden County. The state game will be 11 a.m. Dec. 20 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
There was no shortage of scoring in this one, but Tioga (11-2) couldn’t ever completely slow down Young and the Eagles. Young ran for six touchdowns and also scored on an 18-yard interception return.
How prolific were the Eagles on this night? They scored three times in the final 96 seconds of the first half – on an Andy Sarmiento 39-yard run, Young’s pick-six and a short Young plunge, taking a 48-34 edge into the halftime break.
Cade Kimbrell scored four times for Tioga, including ripping off a 71-yard kickoff return, but it wasn’t enough to keep pace with the Eagles. For Jonesboro, Ethan Lilljedahl chipped in a pair of TD runs and Gage Bragewitz made a nice 19-yard scoring pass to Anthony Lopez.
Jonesboro has finished each of the four seasons prior to this one with just one loss. If the Eagles manage that feat this year, they’ll capture the program’s first state title.