Stymied by a Valle Catholic defense that just wouldn’t let Jefferson execute its game plan, the Blue Jays tasted defeat for the first time this season Friday at home. The Warriors defeated the Blue Jays, 20-0, dropping Jefferson’s season mark to 5-1.
“Offensively, we weren’t able to control the line of scrimmage, which in turn took us out of what we wanted to do,” said head coach Alex Rouggly after the game. “Our defense played very well for four quarters, but give credit to Valle, they played even better defensively.”
How good was the Valle defense? Jefferson came into the game averaging 50.2 points per game. How good was the Valle defense? It held the vaunted Blue Jay rushing attack to just 139 yards (3.48 yards per carry). But despite all of that, Coach Rouggly said there was never a doubt the team had a chance to win.
“Our kids fought and they believed,” he said. “That’s all I can ask for as a coach. We just came up short tonight. We made some mistakes at key moments with penalties and such, but we’ve got to be able to learn from those mistakes and get better.”
Valle took a 14-0 lead into halftime with two scores in the second quarter, one on a one yard plunge, and the other, a 19-yard TD pass. At halftime, the Blue Jays tried to make some adjustments and came out with a different approach in the second half.
“We spread things out a bit in the second half and were able to move the ball,” said Rouggly. The biggest play came at the end of a drive in the third quarter. After a Tommy Moon interception gave the Jays the ball on their own 44 yard line, Jefferson moved the ball down the field. They got a couple of breaks thanks to Valle penalties, and then pushed the ball down to the one yard line. On fourth and one, Andrew Graves was stopped short of the goal line, and the Warriors took over.
Valle regained momentum, scored another touchdown in the fourth quarter, and left with a shutout victory.
A look at the stats really shows a Jefferson team many hadn’t seen before. Moon led the team in rushing with 67 yards on eight carries. Ben Breeze gained 34 yards on 12 carries, and Graves added 31 yards on 15 carries. Moon was five-for-seven passing for 36 yards, his top target being Graves who caught four passes for 26 yards.
The defense was solid, led by Daniel Mcwhorter with eight tackles and five assists. Moon had eight tackles, two assists, and an interception. Colby Ott contributed seven tackles along with two interceptions. Dawson Jakoubek had five tackles and three assists, while Erik Eisenbeis had five tackles and two assists.
“I was extremely proud of our kids’ efforts for 48 minutes,” commented Rouggly. “There are a lot of positives we can take from tonight. We will continue to build on those and be better from them.”
Jefferson will hope to rebound on Friday as they go on the road for a game against the Grandview Eagles. Kickoff is at 7:00 p.m.