North Marion entered their District 5-5A contest allowing only 33 points in their last eight district games including their three district wins this season by a combined score of 120-17. That all came to a halt as district foe Eastside left Stan Toole Memorial Stadium with a 42-41 overtime win.
Eastside quarterback Sir Jackson- a 2-Star recruit by some recruiting services, led the Rams all night through the air finishing with 4 touchdown passes. Keandre McCray caught two touchdowns with Seth Brown and Jamari Walker each catching a touchdown pass.
Trailing 34-28 late in the fourth quarter,North Marion quarterback Brody Hall (218 yards 4 TD passing) went back to his top receiver on the night, Georgia commit Reggie Wilkerson (123 yards receiving 3 TD) for a 43-yard touchdown pass with 2:24 left and tie game at 34. Wilkerson was flagged for excessive celebration as he dove into the end zone unnecessarily. Eastside elected to enforce the 15-yard penalty on the extra point making David Hatcher extra point attempt more like a field goal from the 35 yard line and the Rams cashed it in by blocking the attempt holding the score at 34 all.
North Marion would still have their chance in regulation as defensive lineman Aaron Pringle sacked Eastside quarterback Sir Jackson who would fumble and North Marion recovered with 30 seconds left in the fourth. North Marion, who were held without points three times in the red zone in the first half, would again be held without a touchdown or points for that matter as David Hatcher’s 33-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Sir Jackson sending the game into over time.
In overtime it didn’t take the Colts long to strike as Hall hit another Wilkerson, this time Marvin, on a 10-yard touchdown pass. After the extra point was true North Marion led 41-34.
Sir Jackson (206 yards 4TD passing) and his squad from the Eastside of Gainesville were unfazed as they took their overtime possession and scored on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Jackson to Walker to pull within one point at 41-40. Eastside decided enough was enough and went for the two-point conversion. Jackson found Walker again in the end zone for the conversion and the 42-41 win, a win that crowns them District 5-5A champs.
Eastside improves to 5-3 overall, 4-0 in the region with their lone remaining district game coming against win-less Sante Fe (0-7; 0-3). Sante Fe plays Belleview (2-5; 0-3) in district play tonight.
North Marion, who saw their consecutive streak of nine district champions end, now must fight to make the playoffs in a pivotal road game at Dunnellon to close the district schedule next Friday night.
“We have to win next week, plain and simple”, North Marion head coach Craig Damon said.
Sophomore James Allen continued to show his worth with 133 yards rushing on 28 carries with 2 touchdowns.
Scoring Summary: North Marion: James Allen 46-yd TD run 7-0 NM
Eastside: Sir Jackson to Seth Brown 24-yd TD pass (PAT failed) 7-6 NM
Eastside: Dantez Willis 3-yd run (2-pt.reception by Tracy Williams) 14-7 Eastside End 1st
North Marion: Brody Hall to Reggie Wilkerson 17-yd TD pass 14-14 Tied
Eastside (set up by blocked punt): Dantez Willis 1-yd TD 21-14 Eastside
North Marion: James Allen 3-yd TD run 21-21 NM Halftime
Eastside: Sir Jackson to Keandre McCray 15-yd TD pass 28-21 Eastside End 3rd
North Marion: Brody Hall to Reggie Wilkerson 18-yd TD pass 28-28 Tied
Eastside: Sir Jackson to Keandre McCray TD pass 34-38 (PAT failed) Eastside
North Marion: Brody Hall to Reggie Wilkerson 43-yd TD pass (Unsportmanlike Penalty on NM, PAT failed) 34-34 Tied End of 4th
North Marion: Brody Hall to Marvin Wilkerson 10-yd TD pass 41-34 NM
Eastside: Sir Jackson to Walker 5-yd TD pass (Walker 2pt) 42-41 Eastside Final