The Cardinals (9-1) prevailed in a shootout against the Bulldogs in a Region 4-AAAA play-in game at Southern Crescent Stadium.
Jonesboro took an early lead during a wild first quarter that began with Dutchtown recovering its own onside kick on the game’s opening play. The Cardinals got their first two touchdowns less than a minute apart, starting with Artemus Mitchell’s 51-yard run on a double reverse, followed by a fake kick and run for a two-point conversion. After Jonesboro recovered its onside kick in Dutchtown territory, Cameron Sutton scored on a 35-yard run.
The lead grew to 21 points when Mario Atkinson tossed a short pass to Sutton, who raced 29 yards down the right sideline to the end zone. Three plays later, the Bulldogs connected on a 63-yard pass from Donovahn Jones to Brandon Thomas to get on the scoreboard.
The next score came after halftime, as Dutchtown took the second-half kickoff and ground out a long drive that was capped off by William Smith’s 18-yard scoring run off right tackle. Jonesboro needed only one offensive play to answer that, with Patrick Petty breaking loose on a 54-yard touchdown run.
Late in the third quarter, after a Jonesboro punt into the end zone, Smith burst up the middle for a 48-yard run, and two plays later Malik Barkley ran 30 yards for a Bulldog touchdown.
Petty scored again with five minutes to go in the fourth quarter, this time on a 38-yard run. But Dutchtown drove back down the field and Kaylon Epps found Thomas open in the end zone for a 19-yard score with 3:04 to play.
The Bulldogs tried an onside kick, but the Cardinals recovered at the Dutchtown 40 and ran out the clock, with Sutton scoring on a 3-yard run with 1:02 left. Sutton picked off a pass on the Bulldogs’ final possession.