Photos by Erin Keith
Information by Joe Keith
Music to their ears.
For many, opera is considered the art form that comes closest to expressing pure emotion. It is a dramatic story told through song.
The Jonathan Alder High School football team has definitely experienced many emotions throughout this season.
Early on, the Pioneers were admittedly struggling, but they have found their voices of victory at the most opportune time.
On the same day in 1883 which marked the opening of New York City’s famed Metropolitan Opera, the Jonathan Alder football squad sang their victory song for the fourth consecutive week by defeating visiting Shawnee 36-28. The Braves mounted a furious fourth quarter comeback that fell just short.
It was Shawnee that got on the board first with a one yard dive by Max Guyer.
The Pioneers responded quickly as two minutes later Will Heisler broke through the middle and took off on a 67 yard touchdown scamper.
The next two-plus quarters, Jonathan Alder dominated the contest.
JA’s Cam Jewell closely mirrored Heisler’s TD with a 68 yard scoring jaunt of his own to wind down the first quarter.
In the second quarter it was Jewell from long distance again, this time gathering up 82 yards on the way.
The Braves tried to cut into the lead, but an interception by Alder’s Jonathan Keith with just 35 seconds before the half secured the Pioneers’ 21-7 advantage at the intermission.
Special teams made a statement for Alder in the third as a Shawnee punt was blocked and recovered by Pioneer Jackson Bennett on the 30 yard line. A pass Interference penalty in the end zone moved the ball to the five yard line, where Alder quarterback Tabor Headings eventually took it in for a touchdown.
Early in the fourth, Jewell made easy work of a four yard scoring run. The extra point was an adventure as Keith took a bad snap and passed to Chase Maynard for a two-point conversion.
Trailing 36-7 with eight minutes remaining, Shawnee caught a spark.
First, quarterback RJ Griffin had a 12 yard TD run. Then they added another scoring run before Griffin tacks on yet another rushing TD (and a two-point conversion) following an Alder fumble.
Eventually, the Pioneers were able to run out the clock.
Alder now waits to find out who (and where) the post season has in store for them next Friday night.