|Jeffcats remain unbeaten with victory at Grove|
|Saturday, October 12, 2013 12:52 AM|
By TREY SMITH
COLUMBUS GROVE — Jefferson traveled 30 minutes east to Columbus Grove to go head-to-head with the Bulldogs in Northwest Conference gridiron action Friday.
The Wildcats remained perfect (7-0, 5-0 NWC) with a 42-28 triumph.
The ‘Cats jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead on their first drive with a 41-yard touchdown run from senior Zavier Buzard, set up by a 27-yard run by Jordan McCann along the right sideline.
Grove (1-6, 0-4) struck back immediately on its first drive on a quarterback draw from midfield.
Wildcat returner Tyler Mox seemed to grab some of the momentum back for Delphos, returning the ensuing kickoff to the 50. Grove appeared to have no answer for the Jefferson running attack as the Red and White marched down the field again, keeping the ball on the ground. After drawing the Bulldog defense in with nine rushing attempts, Jefferson quarterback Austin Jettinghoff connected with Mox for a 13-yard diving touchdown reception.
Kicker Kurt Wollenhaupt booted the following kickoff into the end zone for his first touchback of the season; Grove took over from its own 20. The Wildcats haulted the Bulldog offense, forcing a 3-and-out.
Jefferson took control at the 36 and wasted no time in finding the end zone again. Jettinghoff hooked up from long distance with receiver Trevor Dudgeon for a 54-yard gain to end the first. Buzard crossed the goalline on the first play of the second quarter just four plays after the huge pass play at the end of the first, giving the ‘Cats a 21-7 advantage.
Another touchback gave the ‘Dogs control at the 20. The defenses took control and forced five straight punts.
“This week’s defensive emphasis was very similar to last week’s; we knew we were going to have to play good assignment football against Grove’s option. In the first half,our safety started to cheat up, which set up for a few big pass plays over the top. We’re going to look at it on film and work on playing better at assignment football as we prepare for next Friday night against Montpelier,” stated a contented Jefferson coach Bub Lindeman.
Columbus Grove capitalized on a long pass play, scoring on a 39-yard pitch-and-catch to David Bogart.
Receiving the following kickoff at the 35, Delphos proceeded to execute its 2-minute drill with no success. Both teams entered the locker room at the half as Jefferson clung to a surprisingly close 21-14 lead.
Delphos began the second half on defense. Grove’s first possession ended quickly after being shut out in three plays and being forced to punt. The punt was muffed but picked up by Mox, who weaved his way through and broke multiple tackle attempts by the Bulldog special teams. After avoiding the last line of defenses, Mox took the ball 68 yards to the house.
The momentum carried over to the ensuing kickoff as Josh Kroeger stripped and recovered the ball from Grove returner Baily Clement to give the ‘Cats the ball in great field position. Despite the small amount of yards needed to score, Jefferson was forced to attempt a field goal from the 20 but missed the try.
Grove took over and proceeded to get within 28-20 — a 1-possession score — on a 3-yard touchdown run from Joey Warnecke, set up by a long pass play from Riley Brubaker.
Columbus Grove went for the ball again, trying its hand at an onside kick. Mike Cline for Jefferson fielded the kick at the 45 to set up the Red and White offense. The ‘Cats methodically moved the ball down the field, eating up the rest of the time in the third stanza.
Within the first minute of the last period, Buzard tacked on another six points for the Jeffcats with his third touchdown of the game, a 1-yard run. After the PAT, Jefferson gained an extra 7-point cushion, now leading 35-20.
Grove had an answer as Brubaker hit Bogart for a 42-yard touchdown. After the successful 2-point conversion, the ‘Dogs were down by just one score.
Buzard returned the following kickoff to the 22. The Grove defense forced Delphos into a 3-and-out, with Jettinghoff punting the ball down to the Grove 22. Grove spread the field, knowing that the clock was not on their side. Linebacker Ross Thompson recorded a key tackle for loss to end the Bulldog advance. Grove punted away and Jefferson took over at the 45. During the play, a major penalty was called against Columbus Grove for a personal foul. The following play resulted in a similar conflict.
“I am extremely proud of our team and how they handled themselves tonight. This was the first dogfight of the season for us and I have to give props to our seniors to keep our team under control and finish out the game,” Lindeman added.
Jefferson held its composure and finished out the game, adding an exclamation point and upping the score to 42-28 on a 35-yard TD rush by Buzard.
After a final stand by the Jefferson ‘D’, ending in an interception by Josh Teman, the ‘Cats set up the victory formation and ran out the clock.
Both teams will be on the road Friday: Jefferson at the Montpelier Locomotives (7 p.m.) and Grove at Paulding.
JEFFERSON 42, COLUMBUS GROVE 28
SCORE BY QUARTERS:
Jefferson 14 7 7 14 - 42
Col. Grove 7 7 6 8 - 28
DJ- Zavier Buzard 40 run (Kurt Wollenhaupt kick)
CG- Riley Brubaker 50 run (Joey Warnecke kick)
DJ- Tyler Mox 13 pass from Austin Jettinghoff (Wollenhaupt kick)
DJ- Buzard 1 run (Wollenhaupt kick)
CG- Bogart 39 pass from Brubaker (Warnecke kick)
DJ- Mox 68 punt return (Wollenhaupt kick)
CG- Warnecke 3 run (kick failed)
DJ- Buzard 1 run (Wollenhaupt kick)
CG- Smith 42 pass from Brubaker (2-pt pass complete)
DJ- Buzard 35 run (Wollenhaupt kick)
Jefferson Columbus Grove
1st downs 8 7
Rushes/yards 37/262 41/193
Pass/att/int 4/12/0 9/18/1
Pass yards 100 181
Total yards 362 374
Punts/avg 4/45 4/37
Penalties/yards 2/15 3/30
Fumbles/lost 0/0 1/1