By SHELIA LANGBARTELS, O.D.
The Jefferson Bulldogs completed their regular season schedule with a perfect 10-0 record for the first time since 1994. In a 62-7 victory over the Redwater Dragons, the Bulldogs amassed 432 yards (312 rushing and 120 passing), while holding Redwater to only 123 total yards.
Redwater received the opening kickoff and the Dawg defense immediately went to work. Tackles for loss by Dylan Polver, Trace Smith and Malik Cannon forced a Dragon punt on 4th down and 20. On Jefferson’s first offensive play of the game from the Bulldog 37-yard line, quarterback Trey Hodge dashed to the Redwater 13. Dee Black scored his first touchdown of the game on a 13-yard rush, and Landon Fuquay added a PAT to give the Dawgs a 7-0 lead with 9:35 left in the first quarter. After the kickoff, Jefferson’s defense notched another 3-and-out to force a Dragon punt. Black returned the punt to midfield, where the Jefferson offense would take over. Hodge passed to Trace Smith, who drug several Redwater defenders with him as he fought to get into the red zone. Hodge
passed to T.Q. Jackson for a Bulldog first down on the 2-yard line, and then Black once again found the end zone. Fuquay’s PAT was good, and Jefferson took a 14-0 lead with 6:03 left in the first quarter. On Redwater’s next offensive series, they went for it on 4th and 2, but Jefferson’s Kannon Glover made a tackle behind the line of scrimmage, and Jefferson took over on downs on the Redwater 37-yard line. The Dawgs ended up punting and the first quarter ended 14-0, Bulldogs on top.
The Dawg defense continued their dominance in the second quarter, forcing the Dragons to punt. On the first offensive play of the series, Hodge handed off to Black, who scampered 64 yards for his third touchdown of the night. Fuquay kicked the point after, and Jefferson increased their lead to 21-0 with 11:23 left in the second quarter. After the kickoff, the Dragons rushed for 1 yard on two plays, before the Bulldogs forced a fumble. Tyler Cherry recovered the fumble on the Redwater 14-yard line, where Hodge and the Jefferson offense took over. Hodge passed to K’Von Smith to the 1-yard line, and then took the ball into the end zone on a QB keeper. Fuquay’s PAT was good, and the Bulldogs stretched their lead to 28-0 with 9:13 left in the first half.
Following the kickoff, Redwater’s offense gained their first 1st down of the game, but the Dawgs blitzed on a 2nd & 7 play, and the Dragons fumbled. The fumble was recovered once again by Cherry. On the second play from scrimmage, Jefferson’s Black rushed 33 yards to the end zone for his fourth TD of the game. The PAT by Fuquay was good to make the score 35-0 with 7:10 left in the half. After the kickoff, Redwater coughed up the ball again, and Glover recovered it. Tybo Williams had a couple carries, and then Hodge threw a 6-yard pass to Smith. On the next play, Hodge found Smith again for a 37-yard touchdown pass. After the Fuquay PAT, Jefferson’s lead was 42-0 with 2:55 still left in the first quarter. On Redwater’s next offensive series, Jefferson’s Henry Hill forced a fumble, and Cherry made his third fumble recovery of the game. Jefferson’s offense once again took the field and started on Redwater’s 15-yard line. Williams rushed twice to take the Dawgs inside the 5, and then leapt several defenders on his way into the end zone. With no PAT, Jefferson took a 48-0 lead into halftime.
Lyrik Rawls started at quarterback in the second half, and he and Williams worked their way down to the Redwater 2-yard line. Rawls scored from two yards out on a QB keeper, and Fuquay kicked the point after. Jefferson’s lead was 55-0 with 6:49 left in the third quarter. The Dragons burned up the clock on a drive to the Bulldog 11-yard line to end the quarter.
Redwater scored their first and only touchdown of the night early in the fourth quarter to shrink the Bulldog lead to 55-7. Following the Redwater kickoff, the Bulldogs started on their own 31. Cannon got into Dragon territory on a 20-yard rush, and then Travon Johnson dashed 49 yards for the Bulldogs’ final touchdown. The PAT by Fuquay gave Jefferson the 62-7 win over the Redwater Dragons.
Trey Hodge had an outstanding night, despite only playing in the first half. He generated 170 yards of offense (120 passing, 50 rushing), and had a 90% passing rate. Hodge threw for 1 touchdown and rushed for another. The leading receiver was Trace Smith with 77 yards on 3 catches and a touchdown. Dee Black had another exceptional game with 116 yards on only 5 totes (23.2 yards per carry) and 4 touchdowns, all in the first half. Tybo Williams also had an excellent performance with 61 yards and a touchdown.
Tyler Cherry led the defense with an astounding 3 fumble recoveries, one of which he caused. He also had 9 tackles for the night. Other fumbles were forced by Kannon Glover, Henry Hill, and Dylan Polver. Glover and Hill each had 13 tackles, and Glover also recovered a fumble. Brennan Varnell was also a dominating force with 9 tackles in the game.
The Bulldogs will take on Mineola in the Bi-District playoff game next Friday, November 16, at 7:30 P.M. The game will be at Pine Tree’s Pirate Stadium in Longview.
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