Jacksonville’s playoffs hopes faded away as the clock counted down in the Red Devils’ 21-14 loss to the Mills Comets.
While Jacksonville can still finish in a tie for fourth in the conference if they beat Pulaski Academy this week, they would lose out on the tiebreaker.
Too many turnovers and inconsistent play brought the Devils down again against the Comets.
Jacksonville fought back with big plays in the second half after trailing 14-0 at halftime.
Mills held the ball for most of the third quarter, but an interception by Red Devil linebacker Durrell White was returned 88-yards for a touchdown near the end of the third.
After Jacksonville’s defense stopped Mills on downs early in the fourth, the offense went to work for a game-tying touchdown drive.
Reggie Barnes completed a pair of big first down passes, including a 21-harder to Robert Harris.
Later on fourth-and-goal from the 14, Barnes had his pass to Harris tipped, but the ball came down to a waiting Terrell Moore for the touchdown that tied the game 14-14.
A breakdown on special teams came back to hurt the Devils. The Comets returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards down to the Jacksonville 11-yard-line. Mills scored on the next play to retake the lead and set the final 21-14 margin.
Jacksonville lost a pair of fumbles in the game, while also throwing two interceptions. The Red Devils had two other fumbles, although one came on the scoring drive and didn’t prove costly.
One of those interceptions came by Caleb Price late in the game while forces to pass and trying to come from behind. Barnes was knocked out of the game on the previous drive. A junior, Price did complete three of five passes, showing some accuracy for the future.
Barnes passed for 140 yards, while Lamont Gause was held to 64 yards by the speedy Mills defense. Four fumbles also contributed to Gause’s lower than average total.
Jacksonville travels to Pulaski Academy on Friday to wrap up the season. The Bruins have run roughshod over the conference since joining, but the Red Devils still have the firepower to pull off an upset.
Pride and the chance to ruin Pulaski Academy’s perfect season are plenty of reasons for the Red Devils to come out playing hard with a sense of purpose.