MARSHALL — Jacksonville’s Andrew Black threw for 164 yards and two touchdowns and Chris Ruffin returned an interception 100 yards to lead the Indians to a 50-38 victory over Marshall in a must-win District 14-4A showdown Friday night at Maverick Stadium.
Both the Indians and Mavericks were coming off disappointing district openers a week ago and both had struggled early in the season. A win, the first of the season, evened the Tribe’s district record at 1-1. Black, a sophomore quarterback, showed signs of maturity, though, especially in the second half.
The sophomore quarterback was 12 of 19 passing with scoring strikes of 34 yards to Dadrian Franklin and 53 yards to Darrell Minifee. Black also added scoring runs of 2 and 1 yard to the ledger against the Mavericks, who fall to 0-2 against the district and 1-4 overall.
Sha’kill Mosley added a 12-yard scoring run to go with a 68-yard touchdown run by Austin Gipson to wrap things up for the Tribe.
The difference in the contest proved to be the second half. Jacksonville trailed 26-15 at halftime before roaring back to outscore the Mavericks 35-12 in the third and fourth quarters.
Ruffin’s pick and return for the distance (100 yards) was pivotal. For one Marshall, trailing 36-32 was going in and a touchdown there would have given the Mavericks the lead. It didn’t happen though.
The loss was another tough one for the Mavericks, who fell to Kilgore a week ago in their district opener. Marshall quarterback Alandric Tutt rushed for 147 yards, scoring on runs of 34 and 2 yards. Despite the two interceptions, Tutt was 18 of 28 passing for 319 yards with scoring strikes of 10 yards to Chris Williams, 25 yards to Tremayne Bender, 67 yards to Williams and 42 yards to Williams.
Williams, a junior, finished with seven receptions for 141 yards and three touchdowns.
Marshall visits Hallsville and Jacksonville returns home to face Kilgore next week.