JONESBORO — The Jonesboro Hurricane lost more than a football game Friday night at Cooksey-Johns Field.
Senior quarterback Cross Jumper suffered a broken tibia and fibula late in the first half of the Hurricane’s 49-28 loss to Conway, head coach Randy Coleman said Saturday.
Coleman said Jumper, a Division I baseball recruit who has verbally committed to Tennessee, underwent surgery Friday night and faces five to six months of rehabilitation.
In two-plus games, Jumper accounted for more than 1,000 yards total offense, including 836 yards passing.
“Just disappointed for Cross, just because he’s playing so well and every athlete, you work up toward your senior year,” Coleman said. “It’s such a good senior class and he’s the leader of it. Just disappointed for him. He was playing so well.”
Rykar Acebo, a 6-foot-4 junior, stepped in at quarterback for the Hurricane.
Acebo was 10-of-16 passing for 182 yards Friday night, throwing two touchdown passes and one interception.
Coleman is confident in Acebo, who saw playing time in the season opener against Little Rock Catholic when the Hurricane moved Jumper to running back for a couple of possessions.
“Rykar played really well. We always thought of them as 1A and 1B, and he proved it,” Coleman said. “Cross is a bigger, stronger kid, so he was really effective running the ball, but Rykar will play well from here on out. What it changes the most is knowing that Rykar is there, it gave you the freedom to do a lot of stuff with Cross. We don’t have the flexibility we would have had with both of them.”
Jumper was 10-of-18 passing for 202 yards and a touchdown Friday, finding Kavon Pointer on a 72-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.
He also added 56 yards on seven carries.
Jonesboro (1-2) was down 14-10 at halftime after Tenison Roscoe kicked a 29-yard field goal in the second quarter.
Conway (2-1) scored three touchdowns in the third quarter, two coming on passes of 50 and 61 yards.
Roscoe kicked a 32-yard field goal in a quarter that ended with Jonesboro trailing 35-13.
Acebo threw touchdown passes of 59 yards to Will Barre’ and 53 yards to Pointer in the fourth quarter, also connecting with Brock McCoy on a two-point conversion pass.
Pointer finished with three receptions for 138 yards and two touchdowns.
Connor Clark caught nine passes for 108 yards, while Barre’ finished with four catches for 84 yards and a touchdown.
Coleman pointed to first-half miscues against the eighth-ranked Wampus Cats, including two turnovers inside the 20-yard line that kept the Hurricane from leading at halftime.
“Those were chances we could have put points on the board and gone into halftime with the lead, and it’s a different outcome possibly,” Coleman said. “I think we had five turnovers total. Obviously they had several explosive plays and they had 540 yards of total offense. Explosive plays on defense and turnovers on offense, that will get you beat every time.
“But the good news is after our three non-conference games, the things we’re doing are fixable. Against a good football team, you’re not going to be able to win when you turn the ball over, and we have to tackle better to limit explosive plays.”
Jonesboro is off this week, then opens 6A-East conference play Sept. 25 at El Dorado.