The Jefferson R-7 Varsity Football team did exactly what they needed to do in the final game of the regular season. The Blue Jays defeated the St. Vincent Indians last Friday night, October 22nd, by the score of 20-14, getting them primed and ready to go for the first round of playoffs, sitting firmly in second place in their district.
The game was not the typical Jefferson dominance that has become the norm this season. The now 7-2 Blue Jays fought all game and found a way to win, not by racking up touchdowns, but by keeping the Indians out of the end zone.
Elated with his team’s performance, Head Coach Alex Rouggly said, “Tonight was a wonderful night for high school football. We were extremely proud of all of the kids’ efforts this evening against a good St. Vincent football team. Our defense played tough, and our offense was able to establish the ground game, while completing some big passes in key moments.”
It took almost the entire first quarter, but Jefferson got on the board before St. Vincent. With only 13 seconds to go, Sean Usery took a handoff 14 yards in for a touchdown to give the Blue Jays a 7-0 lead.
In the second quarter, again nobody scored until 42 seconds remaining in the half. This time, it was Blue Jay Quarterback Drew Breeze hitting Chase Politte for a 41-yard touchdown reception. The extra point missed, but Jefferson took a 13-0 score into the break.
The Blue Jays added another touchdown in the third quarter. Colton Richardson got the final handoff of the drive from three yards out to punch it in for another seven points, making it a 20-0 game with 8:12 to go in the quarter.
On the next St. Vincent possession, less than two minutes later, the Indians scored on a bomb from 55 yards out to put seven of their own on the board. It was now a 20-7 game.
Fortunately, the Jefferson defense held strong for the remainder of the third quarter, and most of the fourth. St. Vincent would finally break through again with only 3:23 left in the game to score their final touchdown. Jefferson ran out the clock, making the final score 20-14.
D. Breeze had a solid outing. He threw 11 passes and completed eight, with one touchdown. Richardson had six of those catches for 43 total yards while Politte had one catch for 41 yards and a touchdown.
The offense primarily moved the ball on the ground. In fact, Jefferson ran the ball 47 times for 243 yards. Usery did the majority of the work, with 21 carries for 104 yards and one touchdown. Sam Stokes rushed 15 times for 92 yards, and D. Breeze scrambled six times for 34 yards.
However, the defense was the key to victory. In fact, collectively they had four sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery. Usery was everywhere with seven tackles and Mason Campbell had five of his own plus a sack. Nate Breeze also made four tackles while Stokes added three tackles and a fumble recovery. Brady Sadler came up big with three tackles and a sack himself, and Politte made only one tackle, but also had an interception.
Rouggly summed up the game with this, “Anytime you can go down to St. Vincent and come away with a victory, it’s a big deal. This is a tough place to play. Our kids had adverse conditions come at them and they battled through those. I couldn’t be more proud of our overall resiliency in tough spots. This is a game that will make us better for our playoff run.”
Finishing on a win is a big confidence boost. The Jefferson Blue Jays will now host Kelly on Friday, October 29th at 7 pm in the first round of the District Playoffs.