The Selma High School Saints rolled into Jackson on Friday night for a showdown with the Class 4-A Aggies looking for their third straight road win.
The dynamic combo of Tychius Caves and Tylen Campbell and untimely miscues in the center-quarterback exchange were the catalyst in the Saints 28-14 loss. The two defenses controlled play throughout the first quarter until Campbell, a speedy junior receiver, broke a tackle in the left flat, picked up a key block and raced 32 yards for the first score of the game with :27 seconds remaining in the opening stanza.
Selma’s offense struggled to find a rhythm against the athletic Aggie defense until midway through the second quarter when Javonte Stubbs set the visitors up at midfield with a 28-yard punt return. Fellow senior Dion Nelson put the Saints in scoring position with a quarterback keeper. On first down, his pass to Stubbs was tipped and intercepted inside the Aggie 5-yard line and ended returned to the Jackson 32-yrd line. From there the home team went on an 8 play, 68-yard drive chewing up nearly 5 minutes and capped it with a 14-yard touchdown reception by tight end Garrison Holly. The reception came after senior defensive tackle Artimus Edwards stopped Caves in the backfield, the Saints appeared to have recovered a fumble, but the play was ruled as a dead ball. Jackson intercepted another Nelson pass at their 18-yard line to end the half leading 14-0.
Jackson scored again midway through the third quarter as Caves, a sophomore, took a counter handoff, bounced outside of the defense and sped 36-yards for a touchdown after a pass interference call set the Aggies up in Saint territory. Robbin’s PAT set the score at 21-0.
A big sack by Kenterrious Carter on Jackson’s next possession gave the Saints momentum. Carter was joined by Cornelius Hosea, Kemari Eaton, and Tyler Davis, who all turned in solid defensive performances. Rod Ward was inserted at quarterback and provided a spark and rhythm to the offense. Ward and Sharod Martin made key runs to move Selma from deep in its own territory. Ward hit Nelson with a 26-yard touchdown strike that put the Saints on the board. Stubbs danced away from defenders for the two-point conversion and a 21-8 score.
Selma Head Coach Will Gandy instilled confidence in his team by calling for an onside kick. Nelson perfectly executed the kick and recovered the ball at the Jackson 45 yard-line. Stubbs went to the “Wildcat” and burst for 22 yards to the Aggie 14-yard line. Two plays later, he scored from 5-yards out behind a strong push from the offensive line. The two-point attempt failed leaving the score at 21-14 with 5:38 remaining in the fourth.
A defensive stop and score would give the Saints a chance at victory. The elusive and cat-quick Caves abruptly put the game on ice with a 76-yard touchdown off the counter play that kept the Saints guessing all night. Selma fell to 2-2 on the season and are scheduled to play Woodlawn of Birmingham at home Friday night at 7 p.m. at Memorial Stadium. COVID-19 restrictions are still in place. Check with Selma High School social media sites for updates.