Photo/James Pugh

Losses, even though they may be few and as is the case for West Jones, leave a bitter taste.

After the Mustangs 35-0 win over county and Region 3-5A rival South Jones Friday night in Soso, head coach Scott Pierson asked his team how they felt now that the bitter taste of last week’s 23-17 overtime loss to Laurel was as good as gone. 

West Jones used a 25-point second quarter at Mustang Stadium to get back to its winning ways. The Mustangs improve to 7-2 overall, 4-1 in region play. 

“We did well in spurts [tonight] I thought,” said Pierson.

At least seven West Jones players got in on the scoring action in the second quarter. Tymko Foster got things started on the first play of the quarter. His punt block on special teams sent the ball out the back of the end zone for a Mustangs safety. At that point, West Jones led South Jones 5-0 as 11:51 clock ticks remained in the second.

After a big return by Antonie Kirk set West Jones up 10 yards away from the goal line on the ensuing free kick, junior running back Jasper Jones scored from a yard out three plays later to increase its lead to 12-0. Jones finished with 59 yards on seven carries.

West Jones used tricky on its next possession to go up three scores, 18-0, over its county rival. On a reverse pitch from quarterback Alan Follis, senior backup QB Dusty Cook found senior wide-out Jalen Graham 52 yards out for the Mustangs second touchdown Friday night. Cook also contributed to the Mustangs only score in the second half – a 14-yard pass to senior Jared Knotts. Cook finished 4-of-4 passing for 101 yards. 

Midway through the second, Follis connected with Kirk from 40 yards out to keep the West Jones offense rolling. The Follis, Kirk score and Walker Thompson PAT gave West Jones a 25-0 lead. Towards the end of the first half, Thompson booted a 27-yard field goal to round out the scoring in the first half. 

The senior punter/kicker and Ole Miss commit put West Jones on the board for the first and only time in the first quarter as his 37-yard field goal attempt sailed through the uprights. A 42-yard catch and run by junior back Micheal Neal on a screen pass set up West Jones and Thompson in field goal range on the scoring drive.

Neal finished with 80 all-purpose yards, including 38 yards on 11 carries. 

South Jones had just 93 yards of offense against the Mustang defense. Senior quarterback John Mitchell was sacked once and tackled four times for a loss.

The nation’s No. 10 SDE and Alabama commit Byron Young had a pick in the first quarter, thanks in part to a blocked Mitchell pass by teammate Sley Lyon.

The win puts West Jones in a potential showdown for the No. 2 spot in Region 3-5A. The Mustangs closes out the regular season vs. Wingfield next week and Brookhaven in the week that follows. 

The loss for the South Jones, however, does not entirely hurt their chances at a playoff spot. A win over Brookhaven next week and a win over Wingfield the following week will give South Jones the No. 4 seed spot in Region 3-5A and a playoff berth. 

Kickoffs are slated for 7 p.m.