The North Jackson football team used another fast start to keep its region record perfect.
The Chiefs bolted to a 34-0 halftime lead on the way to a 53-6 Class 4A Region 7 victory over visiting DAR Friday night at R.D. Hicks Stadium in Stevenson.
North Jackson (2-1, 2-0) has outscored region opponents Westminster Christian and DAR 63-0 in the first half the past two weeks.
“It’s just practice, preparation, doing everything right over and over again (and) just coming out, hitting full speed and clicking on all cylinders,” North Jackson head coach Joe Hollis, Jr. said of the Chiefs first-half dominance so far in region play. “We played with a lot of passion. We were physical up front. I thought the kids played really hard. The assistant coaches had a great game plan, they prepared really well and the kids went out there and executed.”
North Jackson outgained DAR 307-68 in total yards as it improved to 16-1 all-time against the Patriots, who have now lost eight straight games to the Chiefs.
Dalton Morris had a perfect night passing for North Jackson. The senior quarterback completed all eight of his passes for 174 yards and three touchdowns. Brady Cunningham caught four passes for 122 and three touchdowns for the Chiefs.
Morris hit Cunningham for a 22-yard touchdown pass less than three minutes into the game and Tito Vasquez kicked the first of his five PATs to give the Chiefs a 7-0 lead.
North Jackson went up 14-0 in the second quarter on Myron Walton’s 1-yard touchdown run, which came one play after his 40-yard reception. Cunningham’s 40-yard reception then led to Walton’s 5-yard touchdown run — Walton ran for 48 yards on six carries — for a 21-0 Chiefs’ lead. Morris added a 13-yard touchdown run before throwing a 35-yard touchdown pass to Cunningham for a 34-0 North Jackson halftime lead.
Morris connected with Cunningham for a 54-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to extend the Chiefs’ advantage to 40-0. After North Jackson’s lead grew to 46-0 on EJ Wilson’s 55-yard interception return for a touchdown late in the third quarter, DAR got on the scoreboard on Trey Bolt’s 25-yard touchdown pass. North Jackson closed the scoring on Diego Holt’s 21-yard touchdown run.
“Good to be 1-0 (this) week,” Hollis said. “That’s the goal, to be 1-0 every week. We’re going to get back to work. We’ve got some things to clean up in all three phases of the game. We’re going to do that this week.”
North Jackson hosts No. 3-ranked Madison Academy (3-1, 2-0) in a battle of region unbeatens next week.
› Jordan Eakin is a sports correspondent for The Jackson County Sentinel.