Spalding lost its fifth straight game to fall to 1-5-1 overall and 0-3 in Division B while Jonesboro improves to 6-1, 2-1.
Sutton, who plays wide receiver/defensive back/punter, finished with 3 carries for 71 yards and 2 touchdowns and also had 3 receptions for 81 yards and a TD. The University of Tennessee signee even booted a punt 65 yards, just for kicks. Cardinals quarterback Atkinson finished 10 of 16 passing for 194 yards and 2 TDs on the night after a slow start passing the ball.
Spalding played better on Friday than it did at Riverdale last week, actually making plays on offense in the first half. The Jags even had 192 total yards on offense Friday.
But the mistake bug bit the Jags again, as they blew two red zone opportunities in the second quarter, turning the ball over on downs both times.
The Jags defense did a pretty good job in the first half to keep the team in the game. Jags linebackers Greg Thaggard and Anthony Bush sacked Atkinson and Larry McCord, Garrett Bell and Rodney Jackson also made great defensive plays in the half.
Sutton’s TD runs of 2 and 64 yards gave Jonesboro a 13-0 halftime lead.
Atkinson put the game away for Jonesboro in the third quarter, hitting Sutton for a 65-yard TD for the 20-0 lead. Cards running back Kenneth Hillman scampered 40 yards for another TD to start the fourth, but the point-after was blocked and Jonesboro led 26-0.
Sutton proved he was human after all, fumbling the ball on his last carry of the game minutes later. The ball was scooped up by McCord who rumbled 20 yards for a Spalding TD, making the score 26-7 with 4:36 remaining. Atkinson wasn’t fazed, however, tossing a 17-yard TD pass to Derem London a minute later. Spalding blocked the PAT again to make the score 32-7, Jonesboro. The Cards finished with 336 yards of total offense.
Spalding had two opportunities to score in the red zone in the fourth, thanks to hard running by Jags quarterback Monquez Sullivan and Jags running back Brandon Thomas (23 carries, 113 yards rushing). But on those two drives, the Jags lost a bad snap and threw an interception.
Spalding’s next game will be against Division B foe North Clayton Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium for homecoming.