COLLINSVILLE — In a major Class 2A, Region 8 showdown, Collinsville quarterback Kaleb Jones put on a show Friday leading the No. 6-ranked Panthers past North Sand Mountain 54-28.
Jones, a Division I college prospect, accounted for seven touchdowns in a win that likely secured the Panthers (3-0, 1-0) with a home playoff spot already. The win sets up an even bigger showdown next week as the Panthers travel to face defending Class 2A champion and No. 1-ranked Fyffe.
At home against NSM (1-1, 0-1), the Panthers started early and rolled throughout after stopping the Bison on fourth down and one at the NSM 34-yard line early in the game.
“They just kicked our tails,” said NSM head coach Keith Kirby. “They beat us in all phases of the game. We didn’t block well or tackle well.”
The game still stayed close early as Jones scored on a 2-yard run to make it 7-0 with 7:17 left in the first quarter. NSM fought back as Fernando Luna broke through several tackles and refused to go down on a 66-yard touchdown run. The PAT failed, though, leaving the Bison behind 7-6 with 6:20 left in the quarter.
Collinsville pushed the lead to 21-6 before the end of the first quarter as Malaki Orr scored on a 28-yard touchdown run and Jones added a 2-yard score.
NSM cut into the lead after Damon Gentle intercepted a Jones’ pass. Quarterback Landon Green connected with Lake Bell on a 15-yard scoring strike. Luna’s two-point conversion cut it to 21-14 with 7:46 left in the half.
The Panthers came right back when Jones scored on a 37-yard touchdown run. Collinsville executed a perfect onside kick as they added to the halftime lead. Jones scored again, on a 1-yard run, to push it to 34-14 at halftime.
The Panthers put the game away in the third quarter, scoring twice to make it 47-14. Jones connected with Michael Tucker on touchdown passes of 25 and 22 yards.
The Bison kept fighting as Green threw two touchdowns in the final quarter, the first a 22-yard score to sophomore Derek Bearden and then a 30-yarder to Gentle.
Jones, though, scored once more, on a 37-yard run to make it 54-28.
Jones finished with 141 yards and five touchdowns on 15 carries and completed 5-of-11 passes for 113 more yards and two more scores. On defense, he intercepted a pass. Orr added 130 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.
Collinsville finished with 418 yards, 305 rushing, on 54 plays.
For NSM, Green finished 19-of-25 passing for 214 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Luna rushed for 81 yards and a score on five carries. Lake Bell caught eight passes for 82 yards and a score, while Jonah Pennington had five catches for 58 yards.
The Bison finished with 297 total yards, 83 on the ground, on 47 plays.