Cougars deal Fairmont Senior first loss
Using its own effective pass offense and Fairmont Senior turnovers, Jefferson remained firmly in the picture for another playoff berth with a 35-24 win over the previously undefeated Polar Bears.
Now 4-3 overall, Jefferson became a little more entrenched in the top 16 teams in the Class AAA ranks with the victory in only its second home game of the season. There will be 16 teams called to the 2016 playoffs that begin in mid-November.
With Isaac Myers guiding the offense, making important stops on defense and even downing runners on special teams, the Cougars bumped the Polar Bears from the top spot in the state’s Class AA field.
The Polar Bears had quarterback Jake Abbott try to emulate the carry-the-load effort of Myers but he lost two fumbles and two pass interceptions to Scooter Gaskins to account for all four Fairmont Senior turnovers.
Jefferson lost three fumbles in winning for the third consecutive time after a 1-3 beginning to the season. The Polar Bears had won their first six games, including a victory over Class AAA opponent University High.
Jefferson’s first lead came on a 54-yard Myers-to-Richard Ramseier pass. After a Polar Bear field goal, the Cougars would lead, 14-3, when Myers found Gaskins on a short slant pattern in the Fairmont West end zone.
In short order, Abbott had scored on an 11-yard sweep and two-yard blast through the middle . . . and the invading Polar Bears had a short-lived, 17-14 lead.
When Jeremy Beach scored from the 10 just before the first half closed, Jefferson took a 21-17 lead into the band-livened intermission. It was a lead the Cougars only built on in the second half.
Ramseier caught his second scoring pass from Myers to boost the Cougar advantage to 28-17 after Beach had added his fourth extra point.
Fairmont West’s quest was all but snuffed when Myers plunged in from the two to extend the Cougar lead all the way to 35-17.
Abbott would be sacked four times on his team’s next three possessions . . . and when he remained upright he had was hurried and forced to scramble for anything positive he found.
A cosmetic score by the visitors in the last throes of the game made it an official 11-point victory for the Cougars.
Martinsburg, South Hagerstown and winless Washington comprise Jefferson’s last three games. All three games are at home.
A playoff visit would be Jefferson’s third straight season with it in the 16-team postseason.
And the success against Fairmont Senior would be a major reason the Cougars reached at least an 11th game here in 2016.