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Cougars need help to reach Class AAA playoffs

By Staff | Nov 4, 2016

Chronicle photos by David Pennock

“Spread the wealth” could have been South Hagerstown’s credo. “Let Isaac Myers do it” might have been Jefferson’s answer.

After scoring its first points on the game’s third play and then absorbing Jefferson’s best punches when the Cougars managed to tie things, the Rebels had the last points to spill the home side, 39-33, on Homecoming night in Shenandoah Junction.

The loss shoved the Cougars back to 4-5 overall and left them needing losses this week by other teams statewide in order to wedge their way into the 16-team playoffs.

South Hagerstown, now 6-3, staved off elimination from the playoffs, but are still something of a longshot to reach the Maryland postseason.

The schools face a one-win and a winless opponent this week with Jefferson seeing Washington and the Rebels meeting North Hagerstown.

Once Jayswah Sanon scored on a 31-yard run just moments into the game, and McKenzie moved through a gaping hole from the Cougar four on the first play of the second period, Jefferson would trail until its two consecutive scores made it a 33-33 stalemate.

The opportunistic Rebels had points from McCook, Lincoln Ikwubuo, McCoy Dutrow and Sanon again en route to their in-doubt win.

Myers, Jefferson’s quarterback, was the main instrument in the Cougars managing 558 yards of total offense to South Hagerstown’s 248 yards of offense.

With 254 passing yards and another 193 yards on the ground, Myers accounted for 447 yards of total offense.

Jefferson had 25 more offensive plays than did the Rebels, who tried to protect sophomore quarterback Timmy Townsend as much as possible. Townsend completed two passes (one for a score) and had two intercepted.

In the second period, a pair of misfortunes befell the Cougars. Running back Jeremy Beach was injured, forcing wide receiver Jimmy King to become a running back . . . and the half ended at the Rebel 21 when with but 1.9 seconds remaining, Myers’ hurried pass attempt to the goal line was incomplete — leaving Jefferson behind, 20-12, at the intermission.

South Hagerstown’s longest lead was at 33-18, but Jefferson touchdowns from Scooter Gaskins and Myers brought the count back to 33-33 midway through the fourth quarter.

Two major penalties against the Cougars influenced the final score.

On the Rebels last scoring drive, a 15-yard, late hit on the sideline was assessed, shoving South Hagerstown even closer to Sanon’s last run for points. And after reaching the Rebel 19, the Cougars were penalized for holding and from the 32, Myers’ fourth-down throw to the goal line was broken up.

Jefferson should reach the playoffs if a short series of happenings fall their way, but they’ll get only 12 ratings points from beating winless Washington and need for Fairmont Senior, Handley, Springs Mills and Hedgesville to win to receive bonus points. Hedgesville and Spring Mills play each other, so one point is guaranteed from that game.

It seemed that “Spread the wealth” had outdone “Let Isaac Myers do it” on Homecoming night in Shenandoah Junction.