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John Essex gets first win of the season

In a battle between two winless teams, John Essex scored the last 14 points to pull out a 34-30 win over host Sunshine.

The Hornets (1-4 overall, 1-4 in 1A Region 3) trailed 30-20 midway through the third quarter before senior Jamie Daniels scored on a 21-yard run with 6:11 left in the third quarter. Junior A.J. Bennett caught a 56-yard pass from Letrelle Griffin for the game-winning score with 9:13 left in the game.

JEHS got on the scoreboard first when senior Tony Hill made an 18-yard run for a touchdown with 3:15 left in the first period. The conversion attempt failed, but the Hornets had an early 6-0 lead.

Sunshine (0-5, 0-4) then got into the game, as senior Shaun McAlpine made a two-yard touchdown run. McAlpine ran the two-point conversion to give the Tigers an 8-6 lead with 10:52 left in the first half.

SHS struck again when senior John May ran 21 yards into the endzone with 7:04 left in the second quarter. The two-point conversion by McAlpine made it 16-6.

John Essex responded when Hill made a 42-yard run for a score with 6:41 left in the second period. The conversion by Griffin trimmed the Sunshine lead to 16-14.

McAlpine scored his second touchdown of the game when he returned the ensuing kickoff 60 yards for a TD. The conversion by Tevin Griffin gave Sunshine a 24-14 lead with 6:28 left in the half.

John Essex was able to get in another touchdown before halftime, as Bennett caught a 25-yard pass from Letrelle Griffin to trim the Tigers’ lead to 24-20 at halftime.

In the third quarter, Sunshine expanded its lead when Tevin Griffin ran 25 yards for a score. The conversion failed, but the Tigers led 30-20 with 8:38 left in the third quarter. John Essex was able to score its two come-from-behind touchdowns to win the game.

John Essex visits J.F. Shields on Friday in a non-regional matchup, while Sunshine concludes its three-game homestand with a contest against regional foe Autaugaville.