JEWELL — Before the season began, Jewell football coach Will Beatty made a prediction: “Pretty much any team that’s bigger than us is someone to watch out for.”
The Blue Jays, then, were on equal footing — so to speak — with the Sherman/Condon Huskies, Jewell’s opponent Friday night at Sam’s Field, home of the Jays.
The Huskies may have been been bigger in size, but not in numbers, as both squads entered the game with eight players.
Before they could even blink, the Jays trailed 24-0 after one quarter.
But the Blue Jays held their own in the second half, and by the time the Class 1A contest ended, Sherman/Condon had scored an 84-49 win.
The 21 touchdowns was a lot — even for six-man football.
Sherman’s athleticism won the first half, but Jewell’s endurance seemed to win the second half.
The Huskies built a 36-13 halftime lead, and the second half quickly turned into a fitness battle — in other words, “Who could tackle who?”
Which neither team won.
Sherman outscored the Jays 48-36 in the second half, which included a 30-27 fourth quarter (and quarters in six-man football are only 10 minutes long) in favor of Jewell.
The final quarter took nearly an hour to complete, simply because of all the scoring.
The fourth period included six scoring drives of three plays or less, and three one-play scoring drives.
Most exciting of all, it was a battle between the two workhorses for each team: Sophomore Braden Carnine of Sherman/Condon, and junior Aiden Bixel of Jewell.
Carnine held the edge at halftime, rushing for 170 yards on just eight carries in the first two quarters. He was also 5-for-5 passing for 65 yards and two scores.
Bixel had 97 yards on 11 attempts in the first half, but the 6-foot, 200-pound back for Jewell soon made up the difference, and then some, in the second half.
While Carnine finished with five touchdowns and 333 yards rushing on just 14 carries (over 23 yards per run), Bixel managed five scores of his own and 361 yards on the ground, on 24 attempts.
Bixel had both of Jewell’s one-play scoring drives, on runs of 37 and 87 yards. Carnine scored on a 55-yard effort for Sherman’s one-play drive.
Sherman sophomore Gill Witherspoon added 158 yards rushing on 16 attempts, while Jewell sophomore Bradley Rogers gained 39 yards rushing with two touchdowns.
The Blue Jays drop to 1-5 overall after their only nonleague game of the season, while Sherman improves to 4-2, one week after losing to Joseph, the No. 1-ranked six-man team, 61-6.
Jewell finishes the season next Friday at home vs. Crow.