Jones completed 15 of 18 passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns as the ninth-ranked Panthers edged the Tigers 43-33 in Class 1A, Region 7 high school football.
With the win, the Panthers (8-1, 7-1) assured themselves of being a No. 2 seed for the upcoming state playoffs. They’ll host R.A. Hubbard (6-3) on Nov. 2.
Valley Head (5-4, 4-4) had its five-game winning streak snapped, and its quest for the postseason also came to an end.
Collinsville wide receiver Deshawn Moore hauled in seven passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns. Fellow receiver Edgar Padilla caught seven passes for 100 yards and one score.
Despite all that, it was Valley Head that took a 20-16 lead into halftime.
That’s when Collinsville coach Alan Beckett decided it was time to talk some NBA.
“Hey, let’s embrace that we’re involved in a game and get excited about the challenge,” Beckett recalled telling his players.
“We’ve got to get a lot of energy. If Kobe (Bryant) or LeBron (James) were down by four at halftime, they would say, ‘Hey, we’ve got a game. Let’s go out there and win.’”
Collinsville took the lead for good on Daniel Bradford’s 6-yard touchdown run with 9:35 to play in the third period.
Jones added a 9-yard run, but Jonathan Cuzzort hauled in a 4-yard touchdown pass from Ben Kirby to pull Valley Head within 30-27 with five seconds left in the third period.
Moore gave Collinsville some breathing room when he caught a 48-yard scoring strike from Jones with 11:07 to play.
Bradford’s 16-yard run made it 43-27 before Valley Head closed the scoring on Dallas Gregory’s 1-yard TD with 2:28 remaining.
Valley Head took a 6-0 lead on Kirby’s 3-yard touchdowns pass in the first quarter.
The teams traded touchdowns in the second period. Moore had a 2-yard scoring reception for Collinsville, but Gregory answered with a 2-yard touchdown for Valley Head.
Padilla caught a 24-yard scoring pass, but Gregory scored again from a yard out.
David Hernandez closed the first-half scoring with a 34-yard field goal for the Panthers.
“Valley Head gave our defense fits,” Beckett said. “We didn't tackle well, but Coach (Russell) Higdon and Valley Head were a really improved team this year.
“I was proud of our offensive effort. We moved the ball really well. Our offensive line gave C.J. time to throw. DeShawn Moore and Edgar Padilla had seven catches each.”
Collinsville will play host to White Plains on Thursday night, while Valley Head will close out its season at Section on Friday night.
“It will take a huge effort to hang with a 3A team (White Plains) from a great region,” Beckett said. “We see it as a great challenge.”