McKendree moves into final day

COLUMBIANA, Ala. — McKendree University teammates Blake Jackson and Trevor McKinney won their individual matchups in the semifinal round of the Carhartt Bassmaster College Classic Bracket presented by Bass Pro Shops at Lay Lake on Wednesday, advancing to the championship round of the elimination-style event.

It is the second-straight season when regular season teammates will compete for a spot in the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk after Cody Huff and Carter McNeil from Bethel University squared off last season.

“It’s superexciting, especially coming in being the seven seed and eight seed,” McKinney said. “I think it says a lot about our program at McKendree and the caliber of our anglers. We just fish hard. It wasn’t likely we were going to make it to the last round, but I think it says a lot about Blake and I and a lot about McKendree as a whole.”

Using a shad colored Rapala DT 6 crankbait, Jackson caught 9 pounds, 8 ounces on Day 2 to defeat University of North Alabama’s Cole Thompson, who caught 4-9. Jackson said he has been running main-lake points and channel swings and has found success on a few key areas that have baitfish present.

“There is a lot of bait on a few of these points in 15 to 30 foot,” Jackson said. “These fish are pushing the bait on these points and that’s when I’m catching them. It’s really a timing deal.

“When you catch one, normally you are going to have a little bit of a flurry for 15 to 20 minutes.”