ANNA — The Anna-Jonesboro Wildcats delivered another impressive offensive performance Friday, and it resulted in a perfect regular season.

Jayce Turner rushed for 174 yards and three touchdowns as the Wildcats beat Benton, 62-28.

Anna-Jonesboro ended the regular season at 9-0.

“This is awesome,” said A-J coach Brett Detering. “Our kids were 4-4 as freshmen. The way these groups have meshed together has made us what we are. It’s special for the seniors and the juniors as well.”

Sheldon McGrath intercepted a pair of Hamilton Page passes in the first quarter. Both of those picks led to touchdowns from Turner, and A-J grabbed a quick 14-0 lead.

“I came back to try out to be more than just a kicker,” said McGrath, a defensive back. “None of us expected this outcome; we just put in the work in the summer.”

Page threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Cade Thomas, and Benton sliced the deficit to 14-7 late in the first quarter. But on the ensuing kickoff, Arieh Hart scampered 85 yards for a score to make it 21-7.

“That was a huge play,” Detering said. “We kind of killed their momentum right away and made them go back out there and run plays again. Hart did some great things in our kick game.”

Bryce Osman ran for a short touchdown for A-J, and Benton responded. Page found Thomas again, this time for a 48-yard score to make it 27-13.

But Osman threw a 62-yard touchdown pass to Hart, and A-J took a commanding 34-13 lead.

Osman and Page each ran for touchdowns late in the second quarter, and A-J led 41-21 at halftime.

“I’m really proud of our offensive line,” Detering said. “We’ve put up a lot of points this year, and those kids have continued to practice and go to work every week. Sometimes the hogs up front don’t get a lot of notoriety, but they deserve a lot of credit.”

Osman ran for a 45-yard score early in the third quarter and a 6-yard touchdown moments later. That gave the Wildcats a 55-21 lead.

Osman rushed for 90 yards and four touchdowns for A-J.

Blane Pankey rushed for 125 yards for Benton (5-4). Page threw for 225 yards and four touchdowns. Thomas caught five passes for 172 yards with three touchdowns.


On Twitter: @SIprepsports


Sports reporter

Scott Mees is a sports reporter for The Southern Illinoisan covering prep sports.

Load comments