SAINT ANTHONY – A 34-yard field goal in overtime was the deciding score as the Judson Rockets defeated the Johnson Jaguars 46-43 in Game 2 of the KSAT Pigskin Classic on Saturday afternoon.
The game-winning touchdown by senior kicker Adrian Cortes put the final exclamation point on a high-scoring affair that saw the Jaguars come back from a 27-7 halftime deficit.
Junior running back Nathaniel Stanley had a big game for the Rockets, rushing for 218 yards and two touchdowns. He was named the Jon Wayne Player of the Game.
A fumble by Judson on 4th-and-2 with 43 seconds left gave the Jaguars enough time to complete their comeback, as sophomore quarterback Ty Hawkins found wide receiver Caden Rizzo in the end zone for the tying score.
In overtime, two passes by the Judson defense stopped Johnson’s final possession and a missed field goal left the door open for the Rockets’ final shot.
“The kids played hard on both sides of the ball,” Judson head football coach Mark Soto said. “We went wild and that’s what we like.”
Judson’s offense rushed for 323 yards and four touchdowns, but Hawkins and the Jaguars refused to back down.
The dynamic sophomore quarterback completed 22 of 38 passes for the Jaguars and had four touchdowns. He was also good on the ground, rushing for more than 150 yards.
Judson’s Stanley gave the Rockets an early two-touchdown lead, bursting for a 54-yarder on second-and-10.
A punt return changed the momentum and turned the field for Johnson, but a costly penalty wiped a touchdown pass off the board. That didn’t stop the Jaguar offense, however, as they scored their first TD of the season on a 33-yard pass from Hawkins to senior Alejandro Tavarez, capping a five-play, 61-yard drive.
In the second quarter, Judson completed a 63-yard touchdown pass from senior Jaden Castillo to Jonathan Johnson, taking a commanding 20-7 lead.
An interception by linebacker Miles Davis off an errant shot by Hawkins gave the Rockets another scoring opportunity just before halftime. A long run by Stanley put Judson inside the 10-yard line, and Castillo capped the drive with an 8-yard run, making it 27-7.
But that’s when things got interesting in the second half and Johnson made his ill-fated comeback. Wide receiver Caden Rizzo caught a pass from Hawkins to reverse the field and a long touchdown run by Hawkins on fourth-and-1 cut the lead to 27-14.
Judson’s offense was unable to convert on their next possession and penalties initially pushed the Jaguars offense back, but Hawkins again led the team on another scoring drive, with Hawkins finding Lorenn Johnson’s return on a touchdown pass for cut the lead even closer, 27-21.
Judson then turned the tackle back to Johnson as Stanley broke open another long run to the 3-yard line. After three failed attempts to get into the end zone, Judson settled for a field goal to take a nine-point lead.
Hawkins then led the Jaguars on an 8-play, 90-yard drive in just under three minutes, capped by a 47-yard touchdown run by Tavarez to cut the lead to 30-28.
Two ensuing plays and another big run by Stanley brought Judson back within scoring distance with 9:26 to go in the game. Stanley again got the ball and found the end zone, pushing the lead to 37-28.
Hawkins, showing composure beyond his years, led the Jaguars down the field and in scoring position. On first-and-goal, Hawkins again completed a touchdown pass to Lorenn Johnson, cutting the deficit to 37-35 with 5:30 to play.
But like a tough fight, Judson answered with a long gain of its own on a completed pass from Castillo to Jonathan Johnson, and then Castillo capped the drive with a touchdown run.
A costly interception on first-and-10 gave the Rockets the ball and set up Judson’s ill-fated field goal attempt. Johnson would then go on to tie the game, sending it into overtime, where Judson ended the game with a field goal.
Both coaches, Mark Soto and TP Miller worked together at Johnson High School for the past two years, when Soto was the head coach and Miller the defensive coordinator. That’s where they helped lead the Jaguars to an undefeated 10-0 regular season, only to fall to New Braunfels in the first round of the playoffs in a 51-45 shootout.
Soto decided to return to his alma mater, Judson, to become their new head coach, which led to Miller’s promotion from defensive coordinator to head coach at Johnson. Soto’s job is to get the Rockets back to the playoffs, after missing last season with a rare 4-6 finish. For Miller, it’s about continuing to build on what Johnson brought him.
“I think Coach Soto and I, it’s all about the kids,” Miller said, as he turned his attention away from his first matchup against Mark on the other side of the court. “Obviously when we go out on the field we will always compete. It will be a friendly competition, but it’s about the community and the student-athletes.”
Judson: home vs. Austin Westlake, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m
Johnson: away v O’Connor, September 2 at 7pm
The KSAT Pigskin Classic is the first of its kind in the Alamo City and kicks off the 2022 high school football season. The event features six local high school football teams in three games in a one-day event at the Alamodome.
The August 27 triple whammy ends with Steele vs. Brennan. You can find out more information by clicking here.
Download the Big Game Coverage mobile app or visit the Big Game Coverage section for high school sports coverage, including live game broadcasts, from KSAT 12.
Copyright 2022 by KSAT – All rights reserved.