(Jefferson County) The Jefferson Blue Jays started the season strong in their home opener, defeating Fredericktown 28-6.
The Blackcats started with the football, but a bad snap on the second play of the game set the tone for Fredericktown. Jefferson, conversely, took their first drive all the way to the endzone on a run from senior running back Max Schnitzler.
The Blue Jays would add another score in the first quarter on a five yard catch from senior tight end Bennett Pemberton. a missed point after made the score 13-0 in favor of Jefferson.
In the second quarter, Jefferson would score a third touchdown on a short run from senior quarterback Kole Williams. Junior Karsen Haefner was able to execute a holder pass on a fake field goal to make the score 21-0.
Fredericktown was battered by injuries in the first half. Senior tight end Carson Cheaney sat out most of the first quarter before returning after halftime. Junior quarterback Eason Wood went down with an upper body injury halfway through the second quarter and did not return to the game.
The Blackcats turned to true freshman quarterback Kasen Whitener to save the game. Already down three scores, Fredericktown had nothing to lose. Whitener executed a seven play touchdown drive, capped off by a one yard rush from junior running back Ethan Marler.
Blackcats junior kicker DJ Baca missed the point after, keeping the score 21-6 in favor of the Blue Jays.
Jefferson added a final touchdown of the half from a sixteen yard catch from senior wide receiver Nate Breeze, who boxed out two Fredericktown defenders to make the catch. the Blue Jays would extend the lead to 28-6 with just 11 seconds left in the half.
The second half of action lacked scoring, but had its fair share of big plays. Fredericktown forced an interception in the red zone early in the third quarter, but failed to move the ball on the ensuing drive.
The Blue Jays were then stuffed on the goal line twice before missing on a fourth down conversion.
Kasen Whitener tossed a pick in the fourth quarter, and the Blue Jays proceeded to run out the final eight minutes of the game.
Jefferson head coach Matt Atley’s team practiced outside this week. They pushed back practice times to 7 p.m. to acclimate their bodies to the heat. As a result, they produced almost 400 total yards on offense. Atley praised his quarterback’s performance after the game.
Blackcats head coach Steve Williams and his team experienced all kinds of adversity, but the silver lining was the play of his young quarterback.
Next week, Jefferson travels to Cuba. Coach Williams and Fredericktown will play at Herculaneum.
Full game audio:
Fredericktown Coach Steve Williams Postgame Interview:
Jefferson Head Coach Matt Atley Postgame Interview: