“Never count Bob Jones out.
The Patriots drove 82 yards in less than a minute, capped by a Caden Rose 2-yard keeper with 39 seconds left in the game, to beat Mainland (Fla.) 39-36 tonight at Milton (Ga.) High as part of the Freedom Bowl series. The thrilling victory came a week after Bob Jones marched 93 yards on 15 plays last week to edge Christian Brothers (Tenn.) 17-16.
Class 7A, No. 5-ranked Bob Jones (2-0) moved much quicker on it’s latest game-winning drive. The Patriots got the ball at their own 18-ard line with 1:26 left and Rose connected with Jaydon Hill and Donavon Brown for gains of 37 and 43 yards, respectively. Rose then called his own number and found the end zone for the winning score.
Mainland (0-2) followed by moving to the Bob Jones 46 on a Taron Keith to D’Andre McMillian 28-yard pass. The next play resulted in an incompletion, and players began leaving the field as the scoreboard showed no time left. However, the referees added one second, giving Mainland a final play, but the Bucs could only manage a short gain.
RELATED: Scoring summary
Mainland had gone ahead 36-32 when McMillian took a screen pass from Keith and turned it into a 44-yard touchdown with 1:31 left in the game. That score came three plays after Blake Sadusk picked off Rose. Bob Jones receiver and Alabama baseball commit Dylan Ray suffered an injury during the turnover and did not return.
“If we had lost that game, it would have been on me,” Rose said. “I threw an interception when we needed to go down and score. I knew I couldn’t let down my teammates.
“I saw D-Ray go down. He went down because of something I did. I’ve been best friends with him for a long time, and I knew I couldn’t let him down. I had to go do good right there.”
Game ball: Rose was again the catalyst for a game-winning drive. He finished 18-of-24 passing for 403 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Rose completed 10 passes of at least 20 yards, and five of at least 30 yards. He also had a 24-yard touchdown run in the final minute of the first quarter.
Bob Jones stat sheet: Brown caught five passes for 122 yards. He opened the scoring with a 27-yard touchdown grab early in the first quarter. Ray had six receptions for 83 yards, including a 17-yard TD on a drag route midway through the second quarter. Jacob Fruehwald kicked a 24-yard field goal. John-Michael Riley converted a 2-point conversion run.
Mainland stat sheet: McMillian ran for 144 yards and two touchdowns (1 yard, and 37 yards on a toss right) on 30 carries. Keith made a habit of avoiding pressure and extending plays. He completed 17-of-24 passes for 253 yards, and connected with Da’Onte Ireland for a 34-yrd TD late in the second quarter. Keith also hit Shawn Daffin on a 2-point conversion pass. Sadusk scored on a 2-yard run, and Ethan Gettman kicked a 30-yard field goal.
By the numbers: 227 – Passing yards for Rose in the second half; 1 – Turnover on downs by Mainland. The Bucs drove to the Bob Jones 28 in the second quarter and went for it on fourth-and-1, but Branden Fearn broke up a pass; 2 – Bob Jones punts. Mainland punted once; 16 – plays on Mainland’s first touchdown drive, which covered 64 yards. It was the longest drive, in terms of plays, for either team.
Coachspeak: “Just another great job by our team. It looked like we were down and out, and we go 80 yards and score with less than 60 seconds left for the second week in a row. I think that gives you a lot confidence that, anytime you’re in that situation in the future, we know that we can do it. Huge win for our team.” — Bob Jones coach Kevin Rose.
They said it … : “The deep ball had been open all night. Our guys were playing just a little bit better than theirs, so I gave Donavan a chance and I gave Jaydon a chance; those are two of the best receivers on the field, and they went and made a play.” — Caden Rose”
Recap from al.com.