BRUCE – The 60th Skuna River rivalry game went to Calhoun City, with a little help from J.R. Jennings.
The Wildcats’ quarterback passed for 167 yards and two touchdowns Thursday to lead Calhoun City to a 28-12 Division 1-2A victory over the rival Bruce Trojans.
Calhoun City (6-5, 5-1) set the tone early when Aaron Thompson returned the opening kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown.
Jennings found Thompson for a 35-yard scoring strike, then hit Demarius Howard for a 49-yard TD pass to give the Wildcats a 21-6 first-quarter lead.
Bruce (2-8, 2-4) scored on runs of 14 and 3 yards by Shaq Bush but was hindered by four interceptions.
“Our secondary is really strong,” Calhoun City coach Perry Liles said. “We’ve got some guys who have been playing there for a long time and that’s one of the strengths of our defense.”
Howard scored on a 2-yard plunge into the end zone with under two minutes left in the third quarter and finished with 60 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.
Nick Smith led the Trojans with 83 rushing yards on 11 carries while Bush added 60 yards and two touchdowns.
“We had opportunities,” Bruce head coach James Ray said. “I thought we were kind of shell shocked coming out in a big game with a big atmosphere. We got behind early and just couldn’t overcome it.”
Calhoun City locks up the No. 2 seed in 1-2A while Bruce finishes fourth in the region and will travel to either West Bolivar or Hollandale-Simmons next week for its playoff opener.
Bruce leads the Skuna River series 36-22-2.