High School Sports

A sideline catch. 95 yards. ‘I think it turned the game around,’ Jones County coach says

The Jones County offense came out firing early Friday night.

And they never let up. The Greyhounds routed the perennial powerhouse Northside Eagles 56-33.

The Greyhounds offense is led by a group of dynamic weapons in running back Andrew Carner and wide receivers Jontavis Robertson and Maleek Wooten. Quarterback Hunter Costlow is a field general who made all the right throws.

“We talked about people doing their job for four quarters and I really believe our whole sideline were doing their job,” Jones County head coach Mike Chastain said. “That’s what it takes to beat a program like Northside.”

Carner’s running game forced respect from Northside and allowed the Greyhounds to run the football. Costlow tossed touchdowns to multiple Greyhounds Friday night, including a pair to Wooten and another to Robertson.

“Hunter can really throw the ball and they can’t key in on one receiver. We’ve got four good receivers,” Robertson said. “If you stop one, then there is another one ready to bust out.”

Chastain is in his first season with the Greyhounds after leading the Warner Robins Demons to back-to-back state title appearances, and he’s gotten off to a hot start with a high-powered offense.

“All the offensive coaches, they do a phenomenal job,” Chastain said. “We got four receivers that can do it anytime, we got a running back who can take it to the house and an offensive line that is really good.”

The Greyhounds can score from anywhere on the field and it was on full display against Northside, last year’s state title runner-up. Carner opened the scoring with a 43-yard touchdown run.

“If he (Carner) gets a crease, it’s to the house,” Chastain said. “He really can go.”

Later, Wooten caught a pass from Costlow in the first half that turned into a 95-yard touchdown after a circus catch on the sideline. This ignited the Jones County offense that led 35-20 heading into the half.

“Maleek, that catch he made on the sideline, I think it turned the game around,” Chastain said. “That is probably one of the best catches I’ve ever seen in my life.”

In the second half, it was more of the same as Costlow picked apart the Eagles defense with a 52-yard touchdown pass to Robertson to put the game out of reach at 56-27 heading into the fourth quarter.

Northside would add a score late, but the Greyhounds lead was too large. The win is a statement for Chastain and the Greyhounds.

“They (Jones County) just kept battling all and I am proud of them,” Chastain said. “That whole offense is special right now. ....People don’t put 56 on Northside.”

While the defense struggled early on to slow down the Eagles rushing attack, Chastain says they got better into the night.

“I can’t say enough about our defense,” Chastain said. “They bowed their necks in the second half…it was a team effort.”

With the loss, Northside moved to 1-2 and will take on Whitewater on the road next week. Jones County will travel to Union Grove as it looks to remain undefeated.

“You can’t let that win beat you next week,” Chastain said. “You got to go to work the next week and do the little things right and play good ball the Jones County way.”

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Justin Baxley is the fan life reporter at The Telegraph and writes stories centered around entertainment, food and sports in the Macon community. Justin joined the Telegraph staff after graduating from Mercer University in May 2017 with a degree in criminal justice and journalism. During his time at Mercer he served as the sports editor for The Cluster.
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