When the Jaguars got off to a slow 0-2 start to the season, Broad Street head coach Damaris Mitchell had to make some changes to the offense and move James from receiver to quarterback.
“We has some injuries to both our starting quarterbacks and they struggled picking up the offense,” Mitchell said. “We wanted to keep Devante in his natural position, but we had to make a change. Devante has done a great job of learning the position. We knew he had a good arm, but the last few years we have been blessed with good QBs so we kept him at receiver.”
James’ ability to lead the offense and make plays aided the Jags as they picked up their second win with the senior under center with a 30-0 win victory the Ray Brooks Tigers Friday.
James led the Jags’ offense by completing 7-of-12 passes for 122 yards with two scores while also rushing for 156 yards on 17 carries for two scores. James also had a 35-yard fumble return for a touchdown.
The win improved the Jaguars to 2-2, while the Tigers fell to 1-4.
With 9:22 remaining in the first quarter, the Jags put their first points on the board when James connected with Ladarious Walker on a screen pass that went 25 yards for the score. The two-point conversion failed, but Broad Street led 6-0.
Broad Street forced a Ray Brooks punt on the next possession and were moving the ball well, but the drive stalled when the Ray Brooks defense stepped up and backed Broad Street up to a fourth-and-21. With the ball deep in Tigers’ territory, Mitchell elected to go for it and James did not make his coach regret the decision as he dropped back to pass. When he could not find an open receiver, he tucked the ball and scrambled for a 25-yard touchdown run. The conversion attempt failed, but the Jags led 12-0.
The next Ray Brooks possession ended badly with a turnover as Broad Street’s Corey Alexander intercepted a pass from the Tigers’ Syderrick Maiten. The Jaguars couldn’t muster any offense off the turnover and was forced to punt.
The game went back and forth into the second quarter with each team punting the ball away. The Jags found themselves with the ball with three seconds left in the first half. James dropped back to pass and threw a ball as time expired to the corner of the end zone for Walker who was draped by two Tiger defenders. Things turned out awesome for Walker and the Jags as he made an incredible one handed catch with a defender holding one arm, while Walker was falling to the ground for the score. The conversion attempt failed, but the Jags led 18-0.
In the third quarter, Broad Street added another score as Ray Brooks attempted a pass that fell behind the line of scrimmage. James was Johnny-on-the-spot as he picked up the ball which was ruled a fumble and returned it 38-yards for the score with 6:49 left in the third for a 24-0 BSH lead.
James scored again on a 35-yard run in the fourth quarter for the team’s final score and a 30-0 lead.
Carmen Banger led the defense with seven tackles and a forced fumble, followed by William Horn with eight tackles and Alexander and Traterrious Britton with an interception each.
The Jaguars will be back in action against the Ruleville Central Tigers at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Ruleville. Ray Brooks will be off this week and won’t play again until Sept.28 when the team travels to French Camp.