Home sweet home could’ve been the theme for the Jefferson High School football team on Friday night.
After failing to score a touchdown in last week’s 6-3 loss at Fredericktown, the Jefferson Blue Jays found the endzone five times in a 35-8 win over Cuba in front of the home fans in Week 2.
If there were any doubts how the Blue Jays would bounce back from the opening week disappointment, they put those to rest in the first half against the Wildcats, specifically the second quarter.
After a solid first quarter when Karson Haefner scored on an eight-yard TD run and Brandon Burford added the PAT, Jefferson led by a modest 7-0 margin. But after the initial 12 minutes, the Blue Jays put the game away with four touchdowns in the second quarter.
Sean Usery made it 14-0 on a two-yard run, followed by Burford’s kick.
After establishing they could score on the ground, they Jays went to the air for the next TD when Haefner connected on a 33-yard pass to the 6’2”Junior Nate Breeze. Burford’s PAT made it 21-0.
Jefferson was far from done with its first-half offensive explosion though.
Usery scored again, this time turning nothing into a dazzling 57-yard TD run. The Senior took the pitch, headed to the right side behind his guard and tackle and immediately was surrounded by Wildcats. But, with some hard running, Usery was able to break containment at the line of scrimmage, break another tackle seven yards downfield and yet another five yards after that, before finding daylight and streaking in all alone for the score. However, the two-point conversion failed, so the score was 27-0.
Usery wasn’t done putting points on the board either. He scored his third rushing TD of the quarter from two yards out. This time, the two-point conversion was good, making the score 35-0 at halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, Cuba scored its only points of the game in the fourth on a three-yard run. The successful two-point conversion made the final 35-8.
After mounting just 110 yards of total offense in week one against Fredericktown, Usery exceeded that all by himself Friday night with 116 yards rushing on just 14 carries and three TD’s. Haefner added 70 yards on just six attempts, including a TD. Sam Stokes contributed nine carries for 44 yards.
The Blue Jays as a team gained 199 yards on the ground to go along with 66 yards passing from Haefner for a total of 265. Breeze caught both of Haefner’s completions for those 66 yards and a score.
For the second straight week, Jefferson’s defense played lights out and held the opponent to less than 150 total yards.
Last week, the Blackcats managed just 144, this week Cuba fell short of that with 141 yards of total offense.
The defensive charge was led by Stokes with a team-high ten tackles. Mikey Frisk added eight and a sack. Max Schnitzler chipped in with seven tackles, while Konnor Armstrong was credited with four tackles and a sack. Usery was a star on both sides of the ball with four tackles and two pass break ups.
The Blue Jays put their 1-1 record on the line Friday, September 9th with a tough road trip to undefeated Herculaneum. The Blackcats are 2-0 after wins over Windsor and that same Fredericktown team that knocked off Jefferson in the season opener. Kickoff is set for 7pm.