The James Clemens Jets made school history Friday night. Vanderbilt commit Jamil Muhammed led James Clemens (7-2 7-0) to the Class 7A Region 4 championship with a 36-23 win at Austin Stadium.
Both teams entered the contest undefeated in Region 4 play seeking to win the title. Muhammed once again showed off his dual-threat capabilities as he threw for two touchdowns in the first half. One of those for eight yards to Chris Hope and the other a 25-yarder to Trevor Hunziker.
In the fourth quarter Muhammed rallied his team with scoring runs of 4 and 19 yards.
James Clemens enjoyed a 14-9 lead at the half, but saw that lead evaporate in the third quarter as the Black Bears pulled away 23-14.
Austin QB Kulyn Hubbard threw an 80 yard pitch and catch for a TD and Jacob Dortch recovered a fumble in the end zone for their second touchdown of the third quarter.
Muhammed erased a 23-21 deficit with his 19-yard TD scamper with 7:56 to go, then threw to Chris Hope for the two point conversion and a 29-23 lead.
In the fourth quarter after starting a drive at its own 29, Austin drove to the Jets’ 37 after two first downs but the drive stalled as Hubbard threw an incomplete pass on fourth-and 8 and the Jets took over on downs. Muhammed, at the helm, then marched his team down the field 63 yards in eight plays capping off the drive with a Dylan Blackburn one-yard scoring plunge to cap off the win.
Muhammed completed 11-of-17 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran the ball 21 times for 116 yards and two more scores. Blackburn carried 16 times for 72 yards and one score, Hunziker had three catches for 44 yards and a touchdown, Chris Hope had two catches for nineteen yards and a score. The Jets finished with 354 yards of total offense, 226 of those rushing the football.
“The ultimate goal is to win the state championship,” said Muhammed. “This is a special step toward that goal.”
“I think it was a good game. I think both teams played really hard. It was a very emotional game, a physical game, and I’m just proud of our kids,” said Jets head coach Wade Waldrop. “We just got locked in and started to do the things we needed to do. Nobody panicked, and that’s what I’m most proud of. We put our guys through a lot of adversity and kept telling them we’ve been here before and to respond the way we need to, and the guys responded.”
James Clemens now gets ready for a tough first-round playoff game against Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa.