Following a season-opening, 55-23, win over Millbrook at Shenandoah Junction on Friday, Aug. 27, Jefferson football coach Craig Hunter may have wondered a little bit if the momentum the Cougars showed in that win over the Pioneers would carry over to last Friday’s game in Stephens City against the Sherando Warriors.
If, indeed, he had any questions or doubts regarding the Cougars’ ability to keep the tide rolling in their favor, they were answered early in the game with Sherando on Friday.
With quarterback Sammy Roberts directing the potent Jefferson offense, the Cougars put 27 points on the scoreboard in the first half on their way to a 41-14 win, running their record to 2-0.
The win snaps a long-standing losing streak to Sherando. Jefferson hadn’t beaten the Warriors in their last 13 meetings on the gridiron.
“Friday’s win was big for our team, keeping the momentum going from week one,” Hunter said.
Through two games, Jefferson has outscored its opponents 96-37. As an added incentive before Friday’s game with the Warriors, the West Virginia Class AAA power rankings showed Jefferson had picked up more votes, moving it closer to breaking into the top 10, receiving 11 votes in the also-receiving votes section of the poll.
Jefferson continued to state its case for moving up in the rankings toward a possible spot in the top 10 by having its way with the Warriors.
The Cougars took advantage of numerous miscues on the part of Sherando, especially in the first half, to convert on nine third-down situations. Roberts hooked up with receiver Spencer Powell on a pair of touchdown passes. The first Roberts-to-Powell TD strike came less than a minute into the contest, covering 16 yards on the play.
Jefferson recovered a Sherando fumble on the Warrior 20-yard line. Three plays later, the Cougars were in the endzone.
Running back Evan Tewell, who rushed for 172 yards and a pair of TDs against Millbrook in the season-opener, had another big game for Jefferson against the Warriors, rushing for 156 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
For the game, the Cougars finished with 410 yards in total offense, its best offensive output yet on the young season. That breaks down to 208 rushing yards and 202 in passing yardage.
Hunter was very impressed with the offensive output, noting it was a balanced attack against the Warriors, who were held to seven points in each half.
“We were able to establish the run early, then take shots in the passing game when we had the opportunity,” he said. “The defense was stout and was able to get pressure and tackle well.”
Bryson Fleming scored two touchdowns for Jefferson during Friday’s game. Roberts completed 12 of 21 passes. Powell had seven catches for 164 yards.
“We still have room to improve in some areas,” Hunter said.
Now comes Jefferson’s first big test of the young season.
The Cougars travel to Inwood on Friday to take on the 1-1 Musselman Applemen at 7 p.m. Musselman, ranked No. 6 in the most recent West Virginia Class AAA power ratings, suffered a 56-14 loss at the hands of No. 1 Martinsburg last Friday.
Hunter knows the Applemen will bounce back in a hurry.
“I expect this to be a physical game,” Hunter said. “Yes, they lost to Martinsburg, but are a well-coached team. They are a team who plays aggressive and they tackle well. We have to be prepared this week.”