|Wildcats bounce Bearcats in annual backyard brawl|
|Friday, November 01, 2013 8:31 PM|
By TREY SMITH
SPENCERVILLE — Jefferson traveled to Spencerville Friday night to compete against the Bearcats in one of the premiere rivalries in high school sports in the state of Ohio.
The Wildcats likely secured a home contest in next week’s playoff opener with a 35-21 victory in a Northwest Conference tussle.
Jefferson (9-1, 6-1) also secured a tie for the league title.
Jefferson came into the game without sophomore linebacker Dalton Hicks in the starting lineup but showed no letdown in their defensive tenacity, stopping Spencerville on their first drive of the game.
After the Bearcat punt, the Red and White began their opening drive at their own 15. Jefferson made short work of the possession, going right at the Bearcat defense with a balanced offensive attack and scoring on a 1-yard run from Zavier Buzard.
Spencerville received the ball at the 40 after the ensuing kickoff bounced out of bounds and seemed to be gaining a little momentum after the Jefferson score. However, Ryan Kerby sparked the Wildcat defense with a tackle in the backfield on third down. Spencerville attempted to convert on the fourth down but was stopped at the line scrimmage by a host of Wildcats, giving Delphos the ball.
Jefferson ended the first quarter with possession of the ball and a third down at the 5-yard line. After getting the ball down to the 2, Spencerville held strong, stopping the Wildcats on a fourth-down attempt at the 1.
The Bearcats had very little turf to work with and were forced to punt from their own end zone after yet another stand from the Jefferson defense. The Red and White set up shop from the 33 in Spencerville territory. The offense continued to make short work of its drives, this one resulting in a touchdown pass from Austin Jettinghoff to Ross Thompson. Kurt Wollenhaupt added the PAT , extending the Jeffcat lead to 14-0.
Spencerville bobbled the following kickoff but picked up the loose ball and returned it all the way down to the Jefferson 37, their best starting field position of the night. They were able to capitalize on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Mason Nourse to Anthony Schuh.
Delphos ended its ensuing drive with a punt after a 3-and-out. The Bearcats regained possession at the 30 but again could not get much going against the Jeffcat D. After a 3-and-out, the Wildcats received the Bearcat punt with 1:26 left in the half and three timeouts. They had to use one timeout after a sack by the Bearcat defense with 58 seconds left. The play following the timeout included a connection between Jettinghoff and Thompson, resulting in a 60-yard score.
Jefferson’s defense contained the Spencerville offensive attack and sent the game to halftime with the Wildcats leading 21-7.
Jefferson started the second half on offense. It didn’t take long for them to get hot again. They picked up five first downs on 15 plays and used up over half the time in the third stanza, capping off the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run from Buzard on fourth down to up the lead to 28-7 after Wollenhaupt’s kick.
The Spencerville offense possessed the ball for the remainder of the third quarter and continued its drive from the 25 of the Wildcats to start the fourth. The Bearcats found the end zone for the second time on a Nourse pass to Zach Goecke from the 6, reducing the Wildcat lead to 28-14.
“There were a lot of bright spots for us this season; I’m very proud of our seniors this year. Now we need to get ready for next year’s off-season; we played a lot of young guys and will have some new holes to fill,” commented Spencerville Coach John Zerbe.
Jefferson gained control of the ball at their own 30 after the Spencerville kickoff. They continued to eat up the clock by attacking the Spencerville defense with a healthy dosage of rushes and first downs, with Jettinghoff finishing the drive by hitting Thompson in the corner of the end zone over the top of the Spencerville secondary from 15 yards out, extending the lead to a commanding 35-14 score.
The Bearcats went to their hurry-up offense with time running out, scoring with 2:45 left on a Schuh 12-yard run and adding the extra point by Logan Vandemark.
Spencerville was forced to kick and recovered at midfield. They were backed up to their own 43 after third down due to a personal foul — also a loss of down — and Jefferson regained possession after an incomplete pass.
Jefferson entered the victory formation with a minute left and kneeled the clock out, sealing the win and a share of the NWC title.
“I was very proud of our guys tonight; they were resilient and bounced back after last week and came out here and got the job done. I’m proud for these kids bringing home a share of the NWC title for the first time since 2001,” commented victorious Jefferson Coach Bub Lindeman.
JEFFERSON 35, SPENCERVILLE 21
Score by Quarters:
Jefferson 7 14 7 7 - 35
Spencerville 0 7 0 14 - 21
1ST Downs 22 12
Rushes/yards 44/205 46/103
Pass/att/int 14/20/0 3/7/0
Pass yards 194 31
Total yards 399 184
Punts/avg 1/30 3/34
Penalties/yds 3/35 4/40
Fumbles/lost 0/0 0/0
Rushing- Zavier Buzard 34-148-2, Jordan McCann 6 -51, Ross Thompson 1-2.
Passing- Austin Jettinghoff 14/20/194/0/3.
Receiving- Tyler Mox 6-54, Thompson 4-95-3, Joe Gorman 3-34, Trevor Dudgeon 1-11.