TOP-SEEDED Jefferson took on Kendrick Cherokees at Memorial Stadium in the first round of the AA playoffs, and the Dragons came out on their home field with a purpose in a 42-8 win.
Jefferson has now won 10 consecutive games.
Right out of the gate, coach T. McFerrin’s squad came out aggressively unleashing their central offensive threat, senior quarterback Bryant Shirreffs.
On the opening drive, Shirreffs accounted for 54 yards out of 72 yards. He went 3-5 through the air for 35 yards including a touchdown pass to freshman wide receiver Donnie Hatfield.
Things got even better for the Dragons.
The next drive started off with a fantastic 50-yard punt return by sophomore Rodney Carr that put the Dragons in great field position.
With a combination of Shirreffs’ legs and throwing ability he was able to drive the Dragons down to the one-yard line. Shirreffs finished with 87 yards passing on the night and 79 on the ground.
Junior Tristen Jackson finished the drive with a quick run up the gut for the touchdown to put the Dragons up 14-0. Jackson ran for 49 yards and two touchdowns on the night.
So far so good, but Jefferson had one minor hiccup on the night.
After dominating the majority of the quarter, the Dragons coughed up the pigskin after a quick pass to Chandler Thompson. The Cherokees recovered the ball and looked to take advantage.
Kendrick’s offense was centered around one player — running back Brandon Wade. Wade took on the majority of the carries and was good for four or five yards a carry. He carried the team into the end zone for a touchdown and a two-point conversion to trail Jefferson 14-8.
“They are big up front with great running backs,” McFerrin said.
This would be the only time the Cherokees saw the end zone all night.
Jefferson, before the half, scored on a 23-yard run by Jackson yet again to increase the lead 21-8.
“Even with a 21-8 lead, we were not comfortable” McFerrin said. “We had to make some defensive adjustments.”
The Dragons turned it up another notch in the second half. The defense forced a handful of three-and-outs and shutting out the Kendrick offense.
Jefferson was able to throw up another 21 points on the board, blowing out the Cherokees 42-8. The backup Dragon squad even saw some
playing time during playoff play.
Two touchdowns were through the air by the Shirreffs clan. One by Bryant to Jackson on a 20-yard toss. The second was from the younger Shirreffs to sophomore receiver Dalton Hill.
The other touchdown came on the ground by sophomore Sammy Williams on a 10-yard run. Williams finished with 63 yards on 10 carries. Jefferson finished with 207 rushing yards on the night.
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