ELKHART — Survive and advance.
Once the IHSAA state football playoffs start, that's all a team needs to do from week-to-week.
Friday night at Sharpe Stadium, the Jimtown Jimmies played a near-perfect first half and advanced to the second round of the Class 3A sectional with a 30-3 victory over Garrett.
The Jimmies, now 6-4, will travel to Tippecanoe Valley next Friday to take on the Vikings. Valley (6-4) advanced with a 19-14 victory over South Bend Washington on Friday.
"I thought we did an awful lot of things right in the first half,'' Jimtown coach Mike Campbell said. "They took it to us a bit in the third quarter, but we bounced back well in the fourth quarter and did to them what they did to us in the third ... ran the ball and took time off the clock.''
After a three-and-out on their first possession, the Jimmies scored touchdown the next four times they had the football to take a commanding 27-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Senior halfback Tre Washington got Jimtown on the board with a 45-yard scoring run with 5:34 to play in the first quarter, completing a 74-yard, six play drive to make it 7-0.
After a Garrett punt, junior Ethan Devol had perhaps the best run of the night, breaking three tackles just to get to the outside and then rambling 60 yards for another score to push the lead to 13-0.
"I really like how we're spreading the ball around,'' Campbell said. "I thought everyone really ran the ball hard and ran it well. Plus we were able to hit them with some big plays and that made a big difference.
After stopping the Railroaders on a fourth-and-two play early in the second quarter, Jimtown was on the board quickly again, as Clay Campbell scored from a yard out to make it a 19-0 game. Campbell found Washington for a 33-yard gain to the Garrett 10 to set-up the score.
Cole Thompson added the final touchdown of the first half, scampering eight yards for the score. After Campbell's two-point conversion run, Jimtown's halftime lead was 27-0.
But things started much differently in the third quarter, as the Railroaders dominated the line of scrimmage to open the half and drove 60 yards in 12 plays to score their lone touchdown of the game on a one-yard run by quarterback Levi Follett.
Garrett then recovered an onside kick at the Jimtown 49. But after running the ball well to start the quarter, the Railroaders threw four straight incomplete passes and turned the ball right over to the Jimmies.
On Garrett's next two possessions, the Jimtown defense stopped them on fourth down plays, including once when Follett was sacked for a 15 yard loss.
The Jimmies would score their final points with 5:03 to play when Isaac Daniels booted a 25-yard field goal.
"Garrett has some big kids in the backfield and they got their running game going in the third quarter,'' Campbell said. I think we ran six plays in the quarter, but out defense kept coming up big and making the key stops after their touchdown.
"We live to see another day and I'm excited to have at least one more week of practice with this group. We're heading to Tippecanoe Valley and it's been awhile since we've played there. We know we'll be facing a good football team.''
The Jimmies finished with 272 yards rushing, with Devol's 101 yards on 14 carries leading the way, while Thompson added 80 and Washington 65.
JIMTOWN 30, GARRETT 7
Scoring By Quarters
J — Trey Washington 45 run; Isaac Daniels kick; 5:34
J — Ethan Devol 60 run; kick blocked; 4:24.
J — Clay Campbell 1 run; kick failed; 8:29
J — Cole Thompson 8 run; Campbell run; 5:38
G — Levi Follett 1 run; Lane Gibson kick; 6:34.
J — Daniels 25 field goal; 5:03.
Garrett: Rushing — Seth VanWagner 12-68, Clayton Fielden 22-65. Passing — Levi Follett 8-18-56. Receiving — Tyler Walden 2-28, Ethan Harter 2-13.
Jimtown: Rushing — Ethan Devol 14-101, Cole Thompson 13-80, Trey Washington 4-65. Passing — Clay Campbell 2-4-40. Receiving — Washington 1-33, Ethan Devol 1-7.