SPRING MILLS – There was some good news and some bad news coming out of Jefferson’s football game at Spring Mills on Friday.
First, the bad news.
The Cardinals, behind the running of Chase Henson, and the passing of quarterback Keon Padimore-Johnson, rolled to a 55-28 over the Cougars.
Now, the good news, at least for Jefferson.
Friday’s scheduled game at Riverside, in Kanawha County, located in the southwestern part of West Virginia, won’t be played. Kanawha is one of four counties in the Mountain State which has gone to red on the West Virginia Department of Education’s School Alert Map, as of last Saturday, Sept. 19.
This means there is a substantial community transmission issue in Kanawha County. The red status means only remote learning is allowed. No extracurricular activities or practices may be held.
Since the map is updated each Saturday, Kanawha County, as well as Fayette, Mingo and Putnam counties, won’t be doing anything this week, perhaps longer, depending on when and how the colors on the map change.
Unless Jefferson can find another school in the state with an open date this Friday, the Cougars will have an unscheduled bye week. Since playing this Friday is unlikely, Jefferson coach Craig Hunter said this will give the Cougars a chance to allow some nagging injuries to heal.
“We’re a little banged up right now,” Hunter said. “We’ll use this time to work on a few things in practice, let these guys get their injuries on the mend, get ready for our next game.”
Jefferson’s next scheduled game is at home on Friday, Oct. 2, against Frankfort at 7 p.m.
The extra time off would also give the Cougars a chance to work on their offense.
Sure, Jefferson’s passing game last Friday against the Cardinals generated 267 yards, with quarterback Sammy Roberts completing 16 of 35 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns, but it’s something the Cougars don’t want to rely on exclusively.
“We sort of had to go with the pass because we fell behind,” Hunter said. “We would like to have a more balanced offense, mix up the runs and passes.”
The Cougars, who went 3-7 last year, are for the most part, in the midst of a youth movement. Jefferson has just eight seniors this year.
Jefferson runs a spread offense, which puts typically puts the quarterback in a shotgun formation and spreads the defense. The spread offense may also use up to five receivers.
This helped the Cougars keep the game somewhat within reason. Otherwise, Spring Mills may have won the game in a blowout.
Roberts, a junior, threw a pair of TD strikes to sophomore wide receiver Spencer Powell.
He hit Powell with a 64-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter, then went to Powell again in the fourth quarter with a TD pass good for 45 yards.
Roberts threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to senior Nathan Muhle in the second quarter for Jefferson’s first score of the game. Sophomore Evan Tewell scored on a 1-yard plunge in the fourth quarter for the Cougars’ final touchdown of the game.
Oren Humphries converted all four of his extra-point kicks.
Roberts said Jefferson (1-2) didn’t play as well last Friday as it did the previous week in a 42-33 win over Greenbrier East. “We need to do a better job,” he said.
The Cardinals had 287 rushing yards and 163 in passing, Henson and Padimore-Johnson each had two touchdowns.
With such a young team, the focus on Jefferson is to get better, gain more experience with each game.