Brandt's 92-yard TD run sparks JCC

JACKSON -- Taking advantage of five Arrow turnovers, and riding the legs and right arm of Nathan Brandt -- along with the sure hands of Pat Garvin -- Jackson County Central earned a 20-0 homecoming football victory over Pipestone Area Friday nigh...

Brian Korthals/Daily GLobe Jackson County Central senior Nathan Brandt takes off on a 92-yard quarterback keeper for a second-quarter touchdown during Friday night's Southwest Conference football game in Jackson.

JACKSON -- Taking advantage of five Arrow turnovers, and riding the legs and right arm of Nathan Brandt -- along with the sure hands of Pat Garvin -- Jackson County Central earned a 20-0 homecoming football victory over Pipestone Area Friday night in a Southwest Conference clash.

JCC improved to 3-3 for the season and the Huskies are now 2-2 in conference action. The Arrows are 0-6 overall and 0-5 in the league.

"I want to thank you guys for your effort," JCC head coach Tom Schuller told the Huskies in his post-game huddle. "This was a victory that we desperately needed."

In a game that was closer than the final score would indicate, the Huskies utilized a pair of quick-strike scoring plays and also executed a successful two-minute drill to score three touchdowns.

The Arrows, meanwhile, put together several sustained drives and racked up 12 first downs -- nine in the first half -- but were unable to reach the end zone.


"We didn't get it done," PA head coach Troy Bouman told his team in his brief post-game talk. "We need to play better than that."

In the first half, the Arrows moved the ball -- both on the ground and through the air -- but fumbled three times, and the Huskies recovered each one of them.

After driving to the JCC 12-yard line on its first series, PA coughed up the ball and sophomore lineman Tyler Schoer recovered for the Huskies.

JCC had a 23-yard completion from Brandt to Garvin on its first drive, but gained little else.

The Arrows, behind the hard running of senior back Austin Faber, marched past midfield again. But JCC's Taylor Menke delivered a crunching tackle that knocked the ball loose and Schoer recovered again.

Once again, a Brandt to Garvin pass connection -- this one for 36 yards -- right in front of the JCC sideline, gave the homecoming fans an exciting moment.

But as the first quarter ended, neither team had scored.

The Huskies nearly scored early in the second quarter, after driving down to the Arrow 5-yard line. But a pair of incomplete passes and a holding penalty, changed a first-and-goal to a fourth-and-15 situation.


Trevor Hage's 32-yard field goal attempt looked good, but it was ruled wide left, keeping the 'zero's on the board.

"Both of us were moving the ball some, but we ended up shooting ourselves in the toes," quipped Schuller after the game. "But soon after, the biggest momentum swing of the game went our way."

PA junior quarterback Brandon Alfson completed several passes on an impressive Arrow drive, hitting Shelby Jones three times -- twice on slant patterns -- and Shandon Jones once.

Faber and Alfson mixed in a few runs on that drive and the Arrows marched from their own 22-yard line all the way down to the JCC 8.

But that 70-yard drive ended the same as the first two PA possessions had -- with a fumble.

This time it was sophomore linebacker Jordan Phibbs who made the recovery for the Huskies.

That was the first part of the big momentum swing that Schuller spoke about. The second part came on the very next play.

Brandt, who rushed 14 times for 147 yards, lined up in the shot gun and took the snap.


Finding a hole in the right side of the JCC line, Brandt burst through the opening and sprang into the clear --outracing all the Arrow defenders 92 yards for the game's first touchdown.

"I just saw a gaping hole and it seemed to open up more as I ran through," explained Brandt, who is a top-notch middle-distance runner for the JCC track team in the spring. "I picked up a good downfield block from Dan Knips and then I tried to find another gear and accelerate."

"That was a huge play," praised Schuller. "Nate has lightning speed -- and just ran away from them once he broke open."

Brandt's dash came on JCC's first play from scrimmage following the fumble recovery and with 3:08 to play in the first half, and the Huskies claimed a 6-0 lead.

"Those two plays -- the fumble recovery and the long touchdown run -- really turned the momentum our way," said Schuller. "Instead of maybe being down 8-0, we go up 6-0."

Energized by Brandt's TD, the JCC defense held the Arrows on their next drive, forcing a PA punt.

Starting at their own 35-yard line with 2:02 showing on the clock, the Huskies mounted the game's only touchdown drive.

Brandt completed a 23-yard pass play to Zach Copley that moved the ball to the Arrow 40. After a two-yard sack and a 9-yard completion (to Garvin) left the Huskies with a fourth-and-3 at the 33, Brandt found Copley again -- who made a diving catch -- at the 18-yard line for a key first down.


Four plays and two penalties later -- Brandt rolled left and fired a 9-yard touchdown strike to Garvin (six catches, 137 yards) in the left corner of the end zone, giving the Huskies a 12-0 lead with four seconds left in the second quarter.

Neither team moved the ball as well in the third period, but Garvin -- JCC's homecoming king -- came up with an unexpected play that increased his team's lead to 18-0 on the first play of the fourth quarter.

With 11:48 showing on the game clock, Garvin caught a shanked PA punt and raced 28 yards for his second TD of the night.

"I maybe should have got away from the ball or called for a fair catch," Garvin explained. "But no one was that close to me, so I just caught it, cut to my left and ran untouched to the end zone."

"That was a big play by Pat," praised Brandt. "He had a great game, coming up with a bunch of big plays and catches for us."

Brandt (9-for-16 passing, 173 yards) completed a slant pass to Joel Hartzler for the 2-point conversion, completing the game's scoring.

The Arrows put together a couple of drives in the closing minutes, as Faber picked up yardage on the ground and Alfson completed a couple of swing passes to Chane Amdahl for PA first downs.

But the Huskies, who gained 183 yards on the ground and picked up nine first downs, controlled the finish with good tackling, including impressive open-field takedowns by Joey Schmidt and Menke.


"Our open-field tackling was vastly improved tonight," said Schuller. "We made defensive stops when we had to."

Third-quarter pass interceptions by Colton Ward and Phibbs also helped the JCC defense stay in command.

JCC travels to Windom Friday, while the Arrows venture across the border to Madison, S.D.

PA 0 0 0 0 -- 0

JCC 0 12 0 8 -- 20

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