Sunshine qualifies for playoffs

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sunshine High School guaranteed themselves a shot at the post-season with their 24-6 win over John Essex High School Saturday night.

In a game where both offenses could put together few drives, Tigers head coach Jonathan Jenkins praised his defense for stepping up and making big plays.

“We’ve scraped by to win some games before, but our defense finally stepped up this time and won one for us,” he said.

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After a scoreless first quarter, the Hornets (1-5, 0-4) fumbled the ball on their 21 yard line, giving Sunshine good field position. Tevin Griffin topped off the short drive with a four-yard rushing touchdown. Quarterback Marcus Lee took in the two-point conversion, giving the Tigers an 8-0 lead.

Griffin would back in the second quarter to score, this time on defense. He tackled a Hornet rusher for a safety, extending the lead to 10-0.

Sunshine’s offense looked as if they might open the game up in the third quarter. They drove 54 yards, with Griffin capping the drive with a six-yard run for the touchdown. After a failed two-point conversion, the Tigers extended their lead to 16-0.

But John Essex answered back immediately. They drove down the field in under two-minutes, with Zachery Fluker finding the end zone to pull the Hornets back within 10 after a failed conversion attempt.

The Tigers’ Adrian Davis would put the game away in the fourth quarter, returning a Hornet fumble 17 yards for a touchdown. Lee hit Remel Mickens for the two-point conversion, ending the game at 24-6.

“It was a hard-fought, defensive battle,” Jenkins said. “Really, both teams had what really only amounted to one offensive drive each.”

Jenkins praised the JEHS defense, saying “they hit us all night long.”

While Sunshine has not secured a playoff spot, they have guaranteed themselves at least the right to play in a tie-breaker for a spot in the playoffs.

The Tigers (5-2, 3-2) can secure their playoff berth outright when they face off against A.L. Johnson next week during Sunshine’s homecoming. A.L. Johnson will show up in Newbern looking for a win that will make them playoff eligible.

“It’s going to be an interesting game,” Jenkins said