Had Jamestown been able to convert even one of its four two-point conversion tries instead of none, the Eagles' final possession at Huguenot High would have had a lot more riding on it.
Jamestown rallied from a deficit of 34 points in the third quarter before falling 34-24.
The Eagles recovered an onside kick with 3:50 left in the game before Group 4A Dominion District opponent Huguenot registered a sack and fumble recovery to seal its second win of the season.
"(Coach Bryan Jennings) did a great job of preparing Huguenot over there," Jamestown coach Donnell Brown said. "But our guys just decided to play Jamestown football in the second half."
Jamestown was already down 20-0, but Chavon Fields’ 35-yard fumble return for a touchdown for the Falcons, on the Eagles' first play from scrimmage on the drive, made the second-quarter hole even tougher to climb out of.
Down 26-0, Jamestown put together a 38-yard drive on its next possession, before it stalled close to Huguenot’s red zone.
"Right there, you try to pump the brakes and slow it down," Brown said. "But we got to halftime and regrouped and played a much better second half."
Giving Huguenot a 20-0 lead, Falcons quarterback Merlys Manuel rolled to his left, dropped deep behind the line of scrimmage and unleashed a perfect pass to the back corner of the end zone to receiver Kevin Gayles.
Gayles camped out underneath the towering pass and pulled the ball down in a crowd of Jamestown defenders.
"He's a good player," Brown said. "He has good speed. He's a deep-ball threat. We knew all week that he was a deep-ball threat and a playmaker. We just didn't execute in the first half."
BY THE NUMBERS
Gayles, a 5-foot-11 sophomore, was the star of the game, totaling 159 receiving yards and three touchdowns on eight catches. On the game's opening score, he was not the intended receiver but snagged the tipped pass from Manuel and ran into the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown.
HE SAID IT
"Coach Brown always says there has to be a reason you're playing football," Jamestown senior safety Philip Neubia said of the second half. "We all found our reason."
Jamestown 0-1. Huguenot 2-0.
Jamestown: vs. Poquoson, 7 p.m. Sept. 8 at Poquoson Middle
Huguenot: vs. James River 7 p.m. Sept. 8 at Huguenot High