fog.png
Friday December 13th, 2019 4:29PM

Jefferson scores 21 unanswered points to beat Appling, 28-7

By Bo Wilson Sports Editor
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

JEFFERSON — If there’s one thing Jefferson coach Gene Cathcart was correct on about Appling County, it was the massive Pirate line of scrimmage. 

But all of his doubts and questions coming into the second-round Class 3A playoffs were erased as his option offense and nasty defense wore down the Pirates in a 28-7 win Friday night at Memorial Stadium. 

"It's a special group," Cathcart said. "They have such good leadership distributed throughout all four grades. They've just bought into what we do. It's not sexy or will get us any speaking engagements, but it fits our kids, our toughness. They play with tremendous heart. We always talk about player/player, coach/player, coach/coach chemistry and this group certainly has that."

Jefferson quarterback Colby Clark took matters into his own hands, churning out 126 yards and four touchdowns, including a 33-yard touchdown run on a 4th-and-1 to spark the Dragons' offense and give them a lead, 14-7, in the third quarter.

"That fourth down, Mike Dolittle, Matt Stephenson, Ken Ray and Justin Myer did a good job of getting us in a good play," Cathcart said. "They really sold out to what they thought we were going to do. When we broke the line of scrimmage, Colby wasn't going to be denied. That was huge."

The first meeting between the two schools produced what most might have expected between two of the state’s top offenses and defenses in the opening half -- a 7-7 tie. 

"I was a little worried at the half," senior quarterback Colby Clark said. "We needed something in the second half. I said we can't quit, no matter what happens, we're going down with a fight. And that's what we did."

The second half was a different story, however, as Jefferson showed why they have the top rushing attack and No. 3 defense in the state, scoring 21 unanswered points and racking up 246 total yards of offense while holding Appling County to just 167 total yards, 48 in the second half. 

"They adjusted a few things trying to get us from running on the outside," Clark said. "So we just ran straight at them with Kade (McNally) and me. So we just pounded that over and over and just hit them where they were weak."

McNally ended the night with 64 yards on 10 carries.

The Dragons' defense opened the second half fast and furious, rushing Appling quarterback Jeremiah Holmes to force a fumble and a 4th down.

On the next series, Clark converted the 4th-and-1 for a 33-yard TD run. The score began the Dragons' charge on offense.

"It was just two heavyweight boxers that just kept getting in body blows," Cathcart said. "They fell behind. They would rather be running the ball so they had to press and get out of their comfort zone. If you would have told me at halftime, if we get four possessions, we'll win this football game."

The Dragons got five possessions in the second half with Clark cashing in three of them for TDs -- 33, 1, 3. 

"It's just one of those things, it's not sexy," Cathcart said. "Boring and practicing over Thanksgiving is fine with us."

By virtue of the GHSA coin toss earlier this week, the Dragons will go on the long road to Crisp County next week. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.

"Certainly we know that's a long road trip, but what a great opportunity for our guys," Cathcart said. There's something special about practicing over Thanksgiving. A team's legacy of being able to practice over Thanksgiving is really just a special thing."

SCORING SUMMARY

Appling County 7 0 0 0 7
Jefferson  0 7 14 7 28

First Quarter
APP -- Jeremiah Holmes 2 run (Carlos Escalante kick), 5:29 

Second Quarter
JHS -- Colby Clark 2 run (Levin Jones kick), 2:56

Third Quarter
JHS -- Clark 33 run (Jones kick), 6:22
JHS -- Clark 1 run (Jones kick), 2:29

Fourth Quarter
JHS -- Clark 3 run (Jones kick), 4:20

© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Jefferson scores 21 unanswered points to beat Appling, 28-7
If there’s one thing Jefferson coach Gene Cathcart was correct on about Appling County, it was the massive Pirate front seven.
9:45PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Boys soccer: Knights' Shirley stepping down
After 11 seasons at the helm, Johnson boys soccer coach Brian Shirley is resigning, effective immediately...
3:50PM ( 6 hours ago )
Basketball: GHS to host first-ever basketball showcase
The Gainesville basketball program will hold its first-ever Chicken City Classic on Monday and Tuesday, a basketball showcase featuring a combination of 13 boys and girls teams.
3:45PM ( 6 hours ago )
Sports
Tigers, Red Devils renew long-dormant 'rivalry' in 2nd round
Commerce coach Michael Brown seemed to remember it like it was yesterday...
12:05PM ( 1 day ago )
Playoffs 2nd round caps: Seven area teams look to continue playoff push
Seven northeast Georgia area teams are still alive in the Georgia High School Association playoffs as the playoffs enters the second round on Friday night...
8:04AM ( 1 day ago )
Gaining the Edge: Union County beats S. Atlanta for first playoff win
The Union County football team made history with its first-ever playoff win on Friday night at Mike Colwell Memorial Stadium.
11:45AM ( 2 days ago )
High School Sports
Playoffs: History, upsets highlight 1st round playoffs
Northeast Georgia area teams got off to a hot start in the 2019 Georgia High Association playoffs Friday night...
8:28AM ( 6 days ago )
Defense sparks Panthers to historic playoff win
Brian Allison clutched the football almost as if it was a prized egg...
2:00AM ( 6 days ago )
North Hall pounds out another playoff win at The Brickyard
North Hall rushed 66 times, including the same play 45 times, and rallied from a pair of deficits to beat Lovett 24-21 in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs at Lynn Cottrell Field at The Brickyard...
1:59AM ( 6 days ago )
Friday Game Night
Coaches Corner: Long road trips ahead for several area playoff teams
Seven area teams -- Buford, Commerce, Dawson County, Jefferson, North Hall, Rabun County and Union County -- all advanced to the second round of the Georgia High School Association playoffs.
1:05PM ( 8 hours ago )
ASW: Football playoffs head to 2nd round; Union's Allison and Commerce's Brown join the show
On this week's AccessSports Weekly, the crew takes a look back at the first round of the Georgia High School Association football playoffs and looks ahead to the second round.
3:30PM ( 1 day ago )
Playoffs 2nd round caps: Seven area teams look to continue playoff push
Seven northeast Georgia area teams are still alive in the Georgia High School Association playoffs as the playoffs enters the second round on Friday night...
8:04AM ( 1 day ago )
Jefferson starts slow but finishes strong in 49-17 win
It was a slow start but Jefferson finished strong in a 49-17 win over Sonoraville Friday night at Memorial Stadium in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs.
By AccessWDUN Staff
1:52AM ( 6 days ago )
Jefferson hammers Jackson County, 55-0
Jefferson (8-1, 6-0 Region 8-3A) scored 34 points in the first half to blow out rival Jackson County, 55-0, Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
By AccessWDUN Staff
1:27AM ( 2 weeks ago )