Photo/James Pugh

North Pike quarterback Alijah Martin found the seam he’d been searching for all night. A burst up the middle then drifting right, Martin’s biggest gain Friday night of 69 yards put West Jones’ attempt at a third-straight Region 3-5A shutout in serious jeopardy late in the third quarter. 

With North Pike 10-yards away from a score, West Jones showed why the hype has been around its defense all season. The next four plays for North Pike and its offense vs. West Jones and its defense yielded a loss of 24 yards and a turnover on downs. 

West Jones didn’t allow North Pike to come that close again in the final quarter as the Mustangs improved to 6-1 on the season and 3-0 in Region 3-5A with a 37-0 win at Mustang Stadium in Soso. 

Click on the link to see video hightlights and a postgame interview with West Jones head football coach Scott Pierson:

The Mustangs have yet to allow a score in region play thus far and has four total shutout wins this season. 

Neither team found success on offense in the first quarter. Eight offensive drives ended with punts, four by West Jones and four by North Pike. On a fifth North Pike punt attempt, now into the second quarter, the ball snapped too far right tipped off the punter’s hands and into the back of the end zone for a West Jones two-point safety. The first points of the contest energized the West Jones offense. On the ensuing drive and led by sophomore quarterback Adam Follis, West Jones marched 47-yards downfield for its first offensive score Friday night. Follis capped off the drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Tajrick Randolph with 7:25 left in the second quarter. West Jones led North Pike 9-0.

Follis finished with 74 yards passing on six completions. The sophomore QB also rushed for 10 yards on five carries and a touchdown. His rushing score followed his passing touchdown in the second quarter. On the offenses’ ensuing drive, Follis dashed in the end zone on a two-yard QB keeper up the middle. The scoring drive gave West Jones a 16-0 lead after its successful PAT. 

West Jones added three more rushing touchdowns, two in the third quarter and one in the fourth. Three different running backs contributed to the Mustangs lead in the second half. Junior back Jasper Jones led in rushing yards with 75 on 13 carries. His three-yard TD run put West Jones up 30-0 with 5:18 to go in the third. 

Senior Micheal Neal had 73 yards on 12 carries, 35 of those came on his touchdown drive early in the third quarter. He capped off the four-play, 35-yard drive with a six-yard TD run. 

Sophomore running back Kentrell Pruitt added the final touchdown run for West Jones. His one-yard burst in the fourth quarter finished off West Jones’ offensive night. Pruitt finished with 26 yards on five carries. 

Damion Cunningham led West Jones on defense with eight solo tackles and 2.5 sacks. 

West Jones travels to Laurel next week for the biggest Region 3-5A matchup of the regular season. The winner will likely win the region title. North Pike (2-5, 1-2) will host South Jones in Week 9. Kickoff for both games is scheduled for 7 p.m.