MCCRORY - With 4:06 left in the third quarter, Junction City found itself trailing McCrory 30-16 after a 12-yard touchdown run by Cason Campbell and successful 2-point conversion.
For many teams, that touchdown would've dealt a mortal blow to their opponent.
But for the Dragons, who have played in the state finals in each of the last three years, it proved to be only a temporary setback.
In the span of 11:24, the Dragons ripped off 34 unanswered points to outlast the Jaguars 50-30 in the second round of the 2A playoffs at Joe Hart Field on Friday night.
Junction City (8-2), winners of six straight, advance to the 2A quarterfinals where they will face Poyen, a 48-26 winner over Dierks.
The Jaguars (5-4), the runner-ups in the 3-2A, saw their season end in the second round of the playoffs for the second consecutive year.
Jamal Johnson, who had 222 yards on 26 carries, got the Dragons' comeback started with a memorable 19-yard touchdown run, eluding several would-be tacklers before making his way back across the field to find the end zone.
Gabe Richard then connected with Devontay Gilbert on the 2-point conversion to pull the Dragons within 30-24 with 2:31 left in the third quarter.
The Dragons then recovered the ensuing kickoff and quickly went to work.
A.J. Ivory, who scored three touchdowns in the Dragons' first-round playoff win over Marked Tree last week, repeated the feat against McCrory, scoring on a 3-yard run to tie the game with 1:31 to play in the third for the second of his trio of touchdowns.
A junior, Ivory finished with 124 yards in the win.
The score was tied 30-all going into the final stanza, but the Dragons' defense came up with a huge stand to keep the game tied.
The Jaguars quickly drove into the red zone, but hurt themselves with penalties, eventually turning the ball over on downs.
Junction City then used some chicanery to take the lead, as Gilbert got the call on an end-around and raced 71 yards to paydirt to give the Dragons their first lead of the game with 9:52 to play.
Richard then found Cam Frazier to make the 2-point conversion successful to give the Dragons a 38-30 lead.
The Dragons' special teams came up with another big play by recovering a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, and Junction City quickly capitalized.
After hooking up on the 2-point conversion moments earlier, Richard fired a 45-yard strike to Frazier to extend the lead to 44-30 with 7:11 to play in the game.
The Jaguars turned the ball over on downs on their next possession, and Ivory capped the scoring in the contest with a 7-yard run with 3:07 left.
McCrory led 6-0 at the end of the opening period on a 25-yard strike from Campbell to Brayden Davis, and the Jaguars extended their lead to 14-0 in the second period on a 2-yard run by Campbell.
But the Dragons answered with Ivory scampering 48 yards for a score with Johnson's 2-point conversion making it 14-8.
But as was the case all evening long, the schools traded blows, and the Jaguars responded with a big play of their own with Lacoya Tucker scoring on a 54-yard run and Campbell's run on the 2-point conversion made it 22-8.
Junction City again answered with Johnson scoring on a 3-yard run on fourth-and-goal, and the Dragons got a huge play from A’Donnis Jones, who recovered a fumble in the end zone on the 2-point conversion to pull Junction City within 22-16 at intermission.
The score remained unchanged until Campbell's aforementioned touchdown at the 4:06 mark of the third quarter and successful 2-point conversion made it 30-16 before the Dragons stormed back.