By Charlie Chitwood
The Jefferson High Bulldogs scored five touchdowns through the air and raced past district rival Hughes Springs by a 48-36 count in last Friday’s key District 8-3A match at W.F. Lockett-Bulldog Stadium. The victory was Jefferson’s fourth straight and saw the Dawgs (5-2, 2-0) remain tied atop the district standings with fourth ranked White Oak (7-0, 2-0) and Redwater (5-2, 2-0).
The victory also avenged a 63-28 pasting by Hughes Springs from the season before, when an injury-depleted Bulldog squad simply couldn’t stop the Mustang offense. Best of all, Jefferson is set up with an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth tomorrow night (Friday) when it travels to face the winless Sabine Cardinals (0-7, 0-2).
“The big picture scene is that we’re 2-0 in district play,” said head coach Antwain Jimmerson.
“That’s definitely the most important thing in a five-game district schedule. The dominated us last year. You really have to give Coach (Steven) Young credit for his defense – they focused on the running game and kept them from being on the field all night.”
Jefferson opened the scoring on a 39-yard Andre Boone-toT.Q. Jackson strike that put the Dawgs up 6-0 with 5:53 left in the first quarter. Jackson hauled in his second Boone heave early in the second, taking the hitch and racing 73 yards for another Bulldog touchdown and a 12-0 lead.
Hughes Springs got back in the game with a 60-yard touchdown run by Tony Kemp and added a two-point conversion to make it 12-8, but the Dawgs responded with back-to-back scores within 74 seconds of one another late in the quarter.
Trey Hodge found Jackson on a 29-yard strike at the 3:51 mark, then hooked up with Taylor Smith on a 53-yard catch-and-go with 2:37 remaining that opened up a 26-12 advantage.
Freshman kicker Landon Fuquay nailed both PAT kicks to give Jefferson a little extra room after the touchdowns.
With a 26-14 lead entering the third, Jefferson struck first immediately after the bands left the field. Hodge threw his third passing touchdown of the night, finding Kepha Luster for a 47 yarder that, coupled with Fuquay’s bullseye, put the Dawgs up 33-14 just 25 seconds into the quarter.
Hughes Springs responded with a one-yard plunge by Bo McIntire to make it 33-20, but the Dawgs added two more scores in the third quarter – a 55-yard scoring run by Hodge with 3:36 remaining, then a 29yard scoring scoot by speedy freshman Dee Black with just 45 seconds remaining in the frame.
Hughes Springs posted a couple of fourth-quarter touchdowns to make the score closer than was the game played.
Jefferson’s Bulldogs racked up 545 yards in total offense, easily outdistancing the 418 yards posted by Hughes Springs. Six different ballcarriers helped the Dawgs rack up 221 rushing yards on just 23 carries while the passing combo of Boone and Hodge accounted for another 324 yards through the air (10 of 18 passing with five touchdowns and no interceptions).
Maurice Rudd and Eric Gipson each had two receptions for 26 and 41 yards respectively, but it was Jackson’s…
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