Words by Skylar Lara | Images by Justin Hunter
The Jasper Vikings defeated the Carver (Birmingham) Rams 50-42 at Ki-Ro Gambrell Field in Jasper this past Friday Night. The win was the Vikings’ first of the season and David Reeves’ first as head coach.
“I thought we played well on offense and defense,” Reeves said after the victory. “Both ways, we played our hearts out and did everything we had to do to get the win.”
The homecoming crowd was on its feet early as the Vikings’ Will Johnson recovered a Carver fumble on the opening drive, which led to a successful Jasper field goal. But the Carver offense quickly responded, marching down the field for the touchdown. After a failed two-point conversion attempt, Carver led 6-3.
A few plays into the second quarter, Carver scored on a touchdown pass, and this time a successful two-point conversion extended the lead to 14-3.
Jasper eventually came alive on offense as quarterback Tanner Morrow connected with Carter Reed for a touchdown pass with 9:05 remaining in the second quarter. The next two possessions for Jasper were all Micah Pledger, as the sophomore back ran through the Carver defense and posted back-to-back touchdowns.
Carver squeezed in another touchdown with 2:20 left the half to tie the game at 22 heading into intermission.
In the second half, Breylon Terrell ran the opening kickoff back for the Jasper touchdown, and then Pledger broke away for a big run on Jasper’s second possession to set up a red zone touchdown pass from Morrow to Garrett Busby. As the third quarter was winding down, Pledger rumbled through the Carver defense and landed across the goal line for his third touchdown of the game.
Both teams swapped scores in the fourth quarter, Carver connecting on a touchdown pass and Jasper’s Morrow finding favored target Reed for yet another score.
Late in the game, Carver cut the Jasper lead to 8, but the effort was too late as the clock ticked down to a Viking victory.
“I’m really proud of the kids, the coaches, and all the support we get from the fans. We’re just going to keep moving forward and try to get better,” said Jasper Head Coach David Reeves.
The Vikings (1-6) host John Carroll next Friday in the final regular season home game. WL