Cougars even record with long comeback against Spring Mills
Spring Mills had halfback Demetreus Jalepes running wild against Jefferson’s defense. The Cardinals were able to diminish Jefferson’s ground game. And the home-side crowd was warming to the idea of a Spring Mills upset of the invading Cougars.
The Cardinal second-quarter lead was 17-0 after Jalepes flew past the 10-player front of the Jefferson defense for long-range touchdowns of 54 and 72 yards and additional points came on a successful 32-yard field goal effort from Miguel Pereira.
It was then the chameleon-like complexion of the night changed colors from Cardinal red to Cougar maroon . . . and Jefferson began its comeback with the last two scores of the second period.
But there was still a near-herculean task in front of the Cougars, who accepted the heavy-lifting role to finally push on to a 28-24 win.
Still trailing by four points in the third period, the Cougar march was temporarily subdued by Spring Mills and Jalepes again. After his apparent length-of-the-field touchdown run was negated by a penalty near the Cougar end zone, Jalepes got his third score of the football-weather evening . . . and shoved the Cardinal lead back to 11 points.
Jefferson had quickly ridden the unending string of pass completions from Isaac Myers to either James King or Scooter Gaskins in notching its two first-half scores.
King took a 57-yard scoring throw from the left-handed Myers . . . and then collaborated on an even longer scoring play of 68 yards with Myers to slice the Jefferson deficit back to 17-13 by halftime.
When Jalepes had invaded the Jefferson end zone it was a 24-13 Spring Mills lead after almost three quarters of up-and-down-the-field football.
Still in the third quarter, Spring Mills appeared to put its winning stamp on the game once and for all.
Colton Henson intercepted a Myers pass and then Gregg Tenney had a 30-yard reception down to the Jefferson six as time expired in the third period.
But it all came unhinged for the Homecoming celebrants when a fumble squirted into the Jefferson end zone and the opportunistic Cougars recovered it for a touchback.
In quick order, Gaskins, who had 11 catches as did King, was on the receiving end of a 29-yard touchdown throw from Myers, Jefferson was back within three points at, 24-21.
Just a short time later, Jefferson had fully reversed its fortunes and dulled Spring Mills football/Homecoming evening when King had his third scoring reception from Myers. Jefferson had pulled ahead, 28-24 . . . and that’s where the scoreboard stayed.
Myers had seemingly outdueled Jalepes.
Myers had completed 28-of-42 throws for 436 yards and four TDs (and two interceptions).
Jalepes had run 17 times for 190 yards and three scores.
Jefferson had stayed very much in the running for a Class AAA playoff berth with its 3-3 record. And Spring Mills had slipped late and left for the Homecoming dance with a 2-4 overall record.