MONROE — Jefferson clinched its first region title since 2016 with a dominating 26-7 win over Monroe Area Friday night.
The Dragons (7-1, 5-0 Region 8-3A) chewed up the Hurricanes defense for a season-high 371 yards rushing on 57 carries. Jefferson threw just one pass but it was for a 23-yard touchdown from Colby Clark to Dawson Crawley.
Clark, meanwhile, was unstoppable with 232 yards on the ground on 37 carries and three touchdowns on runs of 20, 6, and 25 yards.
Monroe Area (6-3, 3-2) was held to just 103 total yards of offense and ran just 36 plays. The Jefferson defense stymied the Hurricanes ground game, which managed just 26 yards on 21 carries (1.23 yards per carry). Monroe Area had more return yards (152) than actually yards on offense for the game.
The win for Jefferson also snapped a 17-game home win streak for the Hurricanes.
“Just really proud of our guys,” Jefferson coach Gene Cathcart said. “That’s a tough place to play and to be able to come in here and do something that hadn’t been done in a while is a big accomplishment.”
The game was scoreless through the opening nine minutes until Clark scored on a 20-yard run to cap an 89-yard drive for a 7-0 lead.
Monroe answered quickly getting a 90-yard kickoff return to set up a Selatian Slaughter 9-yard pass to Brandon Moody to tie the game. It was all Dragons after that.
Clark capped another Jefferson drive to end the first quarter with a 6-yard scoring run for a 13-7 lead and the two teams went scoreless in the second quarter. Monroe Area had a chance in the waning seconds of the second quarter to grab the lead but the Jefferson defense staged a goal-line stand to maintain the lead.
“That was a huge moment for us that also went along with the start of the third quarter,” Cathcart said. “Just really proud of our defense. That’s two weeks in a row that we’ve had a red zone stop like that.”
Jefferson came out to start the third quarter and put the game out of reach. Clark and Crawley connected on their TD pass to cap a 12-play drive for a 19-7 lead to open the second half. After a quick stop by the defense, Clark finished it off with a 25-yard scamper for the final score as both defenses clamped down in the fourth quarter.
The Dragons will close out their regular season next week at home against rival Jackson County.