Lithia Springs had plenty of opportunities to match Maynard Jackson on the scoreboard but miscues got in the Lions’ way as they suffered their second shutout loss of the season, a 14-0 homecoming setback during Region 6-AAAAA competition Friday night.
Lions senior Nanakofi Sarpong threw for 111 yards and rushed for 89 yards in Lithia Springs’ third straight loss.
Lithia Springs had the advantage in time of possession especially in the second half but they repeatedly fell victim to turnovers during key moments of the game.
With the Jaguars ahead 7-0 in the first quarter, Lithia Springs marched down to Jackson’s 11 but William Jones, who had a 30-yard reception during the drive, caught a pass from Sarpong out of bounds in the end zone on fourth down.
Now up against a 14-0 deficit late in the second quarter, Sarpong used his arm and legs to get the Lions back in Jaguars’ territory but on his longest run of the drive he fumbled inside the 5 and Rashad Jordan recovered the ball for Jackson (5-2, 3-1).
After halftime, the turnovers continued to mount for the Lions (1-6, 1-3) even though they kept the Jaguars out of the end zone the rest of the way.
On the Lions’ second drive of the third quarter, they moved the ball to Jackson’s 24 but the possession ended when Sarpong was picked off by Lyntavious Tucker. Then midway through the fourth with the ball just inside the Jaguars’ territory, Sarpong tossed the ball across his body and was intercepted by Dequantes Watts.
“They dominated time of possession but we got stops when we needed to,” Maynard Jackson coach Eric Williams said.
After an interception by Jordan Danzy, the Lions reached Jackson’s 22 in the closing moments but a chop-blocking penalty and fumbled snap on fourth down negated a touchdown and possible recovery during an onside kick.
“We had a lot of people out first of all so we just tried to survive,” Williams said. “We jumped out on them good but for some reason we are having problems finishing off games. We just didn't execute like we should have in the second half.”
Before suffering an injury, Roderick Hammond threw touchdown passes to Antron Davis and Rashad Jordan. However, Hammond’s main target was Cario Googer, who hauled in seven catches for 141 yards.
Both teams were plagued by penalties. Lithia Springs had 12 for 130 yards and Jackson totaled 14 for 135 yards.