Saturday May 28th, 2016 4:30AM

New-look offense propels Dragons over Rabun <b>(VIDEO)</b>

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter
JEFFERSON -- The demise of the Jefferson offense may have been just a tad premature.<br /> <br /> Evan Shirreffs, Sammy Williams, and Dalton Hill used the season-opener against rival Rabun County Friday night as their own personal showcase for Region 8-AAA.<br /> <br /> The Dragons piled up 503 total yards, scored on five straight possessions in the first half, and ran away with a stunning 50-14 win at Memorial Stadium in a game many expected to be as close as last year's overtime thriller between the two foes.<br /> <br /> Even Jefferson coach Ben Hall admitted he was anxious to see how the new-look offense, sporting two new running backs, a quarterback coming back from injury, and a rebuilt line, would respond against a Wildcats team expected to challenge for the Region 8-AA title<br /> <br /> "We had some changes and I liked what I saw from the offense early," Hall said. "Even though we had a big second quarter [22 points], we made a lot of mistakes we won't be able to make down the road. Overall I was pleased but we have plenty to work on."<br /> <br /> The Dragons defense was not to be outdone forcing three Rabun County turnovers and effectively shutting down preseason All-State selection Charlie Woerner, who was limited to just 79 yards receiving and one touchdown catch on four receptions.<br /> <br /> "I feel we're going to be pretty good on defense and they made some big plays," Hall said. "I think the heat played a little factor for them because they had so many going both ways. But (Rabun's) going to be a good team all year."<br /> <br /> Williams was the early star for the Dragons piling up 59 yards in the first half and scoring on consecutive possessions to give them a quick 14-0 lead less than nine minutes into the game.<br /> <br /> Hill also had a huge first half catching, a 45-yard pass from Shirreffs to set up Williams first score and then adding a 7-yard TD run in the second quarter. He also contributed to a Dragons' defensive safety, pinning Rabun County on its 1-yard line late in the half with a beautiful punt. Cooper Young tackled a Rabun ballcarrier in the end zone on the next play.<br /> <br /> Hill then scored the Dragons final touchdown of the half on a 55-yard pass from Shireffs where he outraced a Rabun defender the final 30 yards.<br /> <br /> "Dalton did have a good game," Hall said about Hill's first half. "That's the kind of play we need all season from him."<br /> <br /> Jefferson's Gage Lawson also booted field goals of 18- and 28-yards in the first half.<br /> <br /> Rabun County could not get untracked in the early going. The Wildcats had three punts and two turnovers in their first five possessions. Jefferson took advantage of both mistakes to build the quick lead. <br /> <br /> Their first turnover came after Collin Grant connected with Woerner on a 48-yard pass to the Dragons 27. But Grant was picked off by Tradd Porter on the next play and it took just three plays for Jefferson to cash in on the takeaway.<br /> <br /> The second Rabun turnover came after the Wildcats had stopped the Dragons at the 1 and held them to a Lawson field goal. But two plays later Jefferson's Maverick McKinney slammed into Grant, knocking the ball loose for Trent Sorrells to recover at the Rabun 8. Hill scored on the next play to make it 24-0.<br /> <br /> The Wildcats lone bright spots came when they blocked a Hill punt and then Grant and Woerner connected for a 19-yard TD pass on the next play. Dawson Hendricks scored from 6-yards out with 3:04 left in the game for their other score.<br /> <br /> "You can't make mistakes like that against a team as good as Jefferson," Rabun County coach Lee Shaw said. "That first turnover kind of took the wind out of us a little and we never recovered. We did some good things but we also have a lot to work on. Our goal is to learn each week and get better and more prepared for the region."<br /> <br /> The Jefferson offense picked up right where it left off in the third quarter. The Dragons went 75 yards in three minutes, highlighted by a 34-yard pass from Shirreffs to Hill to the Rabun 1. Colby Wood scored one-play later for a 43-7 lead.<br /> <br /> The starters then came out of the game for both teams as the reserves finished the final 16 minutes.<br /> <br /> Shirreffs finished with 253 yards passing. Williams had 61 yards and two touchdowns, Wood added 107 yards rushing and two scores, and Hill had 139 yards receiving and seven yards rushing and scored twice.<br /> <br /> Rabun County's offense managed 225 total yards, 113 passing and 112 rushing with most of that coming in the second half.<br /> <br /> Young had a huge game on defense for Jefferson. The senior defensive back finished with 12 tackles, 10 solo, one tackle for loss, a safety, an interception, and two pass break-ups in just over one half of work.<br /> <br /> <b>SCORING SUMMARY</b><br /> <b>Rabun Co.</b>......0......7....0....7 -- 14<br /> <b>Jefferson</b>.....14.....22....7....7 -- 50<br /> <br /> <b>First Quarter</b><br /> JEF -- Williams 3 run (Lawson kick) 7-0, 7:02<br /> JEF -- Williams 8 run (Lawson kick) 14-0, 3:43<br /> <br /> <b>Second Quarter</b><br /> JEF -- Lawson 18 FG 17-0, 11:04<br /> JEF -- Hill 7 run (Lawson kick) 24-0, 8:56<br /> JEF -- Hill 55 pass from Shireffs (Lawson kick) 31-0, 7:39<br /> RC -- Woerner 19 pass from Grant (Hernandez kick) 31-7, 3:40<br /> JEF -- Young safety 33-7, 1:42<br /> JEF -- Lawson 28 FG 36-7, 0:06<br /> <br /> <b>Third Quarter</b><br /> JEF -- Wood 1 run (Lawson kick) 43-7, 6:07<br /> <br /> <b>Fourth Quarter</b><br /> JEF -- Wood 11 run (Lawson kick) 50-7, 11:10<br /> RC -- Hendricks 6 run (Hernandez kick) 50-14, 3:04
© Copyright 2016
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 1 year ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 1 year ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 1 year ago )
Lanierland boys semifinals: Unbeatens Johnson, Red Elephants roll into finals
Both Gainesville and Johnson powered their way into the Lanierland Tournament finals on Monday. The two undefeated teams will meet Tuesday for the title at 8:30 p.m. at Chestatee.
10:01AM ( 1 year ago )
Lanierland girls semifinals: GHS, Lady Falcons advance to finals <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Flowery Branch and Gainesville each took impressive wins Monday to advance to the Lanierland Tournament finals...
10:00AM ( 1 year ago )
Girls basketball: Lady Tigers advance to Pickens Holiday finals
The Dawson County girls basketball advanced to the finals of the Pickens Holiday Classic after an 81-54 win over Riverwood Monday.
11:48PM ( 1 year ago )
High School Sports
FCA East-West contest gives one more shot for area stars to shine <b>(VIDEO)</b>
Talk to the coaches, players and fans lucky enough to take part on Friday, and it
12:13PM ( 1 year ago )
High School Football 2014: A special season brings with it many firsts
The FCA East-West All-Star Game wraps up the 2014 campaign tonight in Gainesville. And oh what a season it has been...
9:30PM ( 1 year ago )
Four area teams finish season ranked inside top 10
Four area teams ended the 2014 season ranked inside the top 10 of the Georgia Sports Writers Association Prep Football Poll.
10:55AM ( 1 year ago )
Friday Game Night
Kanaan leads Carb Day practice for Sunday’s Indy 500
He may be starting 18th in Sunday’s 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, but Tony Kanaan believes he has a car that can win the historic race.
By IndyCar Media
1:54AM ( 2 hours ago )
Markakis has 2-run single in 8th, Braves top Marlins 4-2
Nick Markakis hit a tie-breaking, two-run single off third baseman Nick Prado's glove with two outs and the bases loaded in the eighth inning and the Atlanta Braves beat the Miami Marlins 4-2 on Friday night for a rare home win.
By The Associated Press
11:06PM ( 5 hours ago )
Basketball: Area coaches see a 'positive' change to GHSA finals move
The response amongst northeast Georgia's coaches was overwhelmingly positive following the Georgia High School Association's announcement on Thursday that it will no longer hold its annual basketball championship games in the Macon Coliseum.
10:49PM ( 5 hours ago )
Braves recall Garcia, designate Brignac for assignment
Atlanta Braves utility infielder Reid Brignac has been designated for assignment and third baseman Adonis Garcia has been recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett.
By The Associated Press
9:17PM ( 7 hours ago )
VIDEO: Historic postseason brought countless top plays
This year provided perhaps the most successful overall postseason campaign in the history of the sport in this area. And we have compiled some of the best highlights involved in that campaign here...
9:05PM ( 7 hours ago )