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Mistakes, poor start keep Jefferson winless

By Staff | Sep 22, 2017

Chronicle photo by David Pennock Jefferson’s Scooter Gaskins (11) advances down the field past Hedgesville defenders during last Friday’s game in Shenandoah Junction. The Cougars lost the game 42-20. Jefferson kicks off tonight at 7 p.m. against Keyser.

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION – Win-less and frustrated, Jefferson once again found itself behind early in its game against a rejuvenated Hedgesville.

Entering last Friday’s home game against the Eagles, Jefferson had bore the brunt of point-happy offenses in its first three games.

Following an alarming trend that has seen the Cougars unable to halt any opponent’s offensive tactics, Jefferson fell back early and saw the Eagles leave Shenandoah Junction with a 42-20 win, and a 3-1 overall record. Jefferson was 0-4 and attempts to remove the “zero” from its win column in another home game tonight against Keyser, owner of a 3-1 mark.

The pass-happy Eagles had a 14-0 lead after their first two possessions yielded positive results.

Even with the Cougars scoring twice in the second quarter, Hedgesville’s early-game advantage held up.

The Eagle’s Malakai Brown and Niyjere Smith, the receivers of choice for quarterback Jason Plotner, buoyed the Eagle offense with long-yardage catches as the visitors shook Jefferson’s confidence with the game’s first scores.

When Jefferson’s Corbin Pierson found Antoine Lewis with a 36-yard scoring throw, the Cougars had reason to believe a real comeback was in motion.

Even with all the eventual scoring the game featured, it was Smith’s 84-yard touchdown run with the ensuing kickoff following Jefferson’s first points that was probably the most important happening of the warm night.

Hedgesville had, in one play, completely reversed any emotion or budding momentum the victory-starved Cougars had mustered.

A Pierson run and Plotner’s pass to Brown were the other points of the first half, and the teams left the field to each school’s band at intermission.

Dame Fortune once more visited the Cougars in the first minutes of the third period when it punted and a Hedgesville player inadvertently touched the ball with Jefferson recovering the mistake. But the Cougars couldn’t move – again.

Brown’s 47-yard catch that landed him inside the Jefferson five gave Hedgesville more points and the lead ballooned to 42-14 when Keenan Smoot scored with his 15-yard interception return.

Pierson ran 23 yards for Jefferson’s final hurrah, but the Cougars still trailed by 22 points.

The Eagles owned the first quarter, still had the game in their talons in the last quarter and did enough in-between the many penalties they incurred to post a semi-comfortable win over the still-struggling Cougars.