GREAT FALLS — Mother Nature played havoc with Andrew Jackson's game at Great Falls, delaying the second half of Friday night's contest until Monday afternoon.
For the Red Devils, it was not so much the weather as it was self-inflicted mistakes that led to the 30-27 loss to the Volunteers.
Andrew Jackson started off quickly.
On the first play from scrimmage, Gavin Clyburn took the quarterback draw and raced 80 yards to make it 6-0. After Tyler Denkins' 41-yard field goal made it 9-0, Great Falls put together its best drive of the first half.
Clark Schofield found Shaquille Simpson in the front corner of the end zone from 26 yards out, and then the two connected again on the two-point conversion to make it 9-8 in favor of the Volunteers.
Andrew Jackson capitalized on a Great Falls fumble when Ryan Phillips found Bobby Delly down the seam for a 30-yard touchdown to make it 16-8. Andrew Jackson got its running game going on its next touchdown drive, led by Gavin Clyburn and Javaris Clyburn. Javaris Clyburn scored from 18 yards to make it 23-8 Volunteers. Andrew Jackson had a chance to add to its lead before halftime, but David Jeter picked up a Volunteers fumble and returned it 63 yards to make it 23-14 before lightning postponed the game until Monday.
Great Falls, led by the running of Ernest Talford, looked as if the time off had helped. Talford's 2-yard run cut the Volunteers' lead to 23-21 at the end of the third quarter. Great Falls had the momentum, but then fumbled it away -- literally. Andrew Jackson's William Cunningham scooped up the ball and returned it to the Red Devils' 30. Five plays later, Delly found Quincey Grier open in the end zone to make 30-21.
Great Falls had one last chance when Talford intercepted Delly and returned it 70 yards to make it 30-27 Volunteers with 1:23 left. Andrew Jackson's Cody Ussery recovered the onside kick, ending Great Falls' chances.
Andrew Jackson's Gavin Clyburn rushed six times for 132 yards and a score. Talford had 119 yards on 26 carries and a touchdown, as well as the 70-yard interception return for a score for Great Falls.
After the game, Great Falls coach Ken Schofield said, "We went with our goal package because that gave us our best production," when talking about the adjustments his team made from Friday to Monday. "Andrew Jackson has good size and speed," he added. "We played a decent game, but made too many mistakes to beat them."
Great Falls, which was scheduled to have two weeks off because two teams were dropped from their schedule, has picked up a game with Camden Military Academy for this Friday.
"Any play is beneficial for us, particularly our offensive line," Schofield said. "We are going to have to play our best to beat them."