Nothing but road trips ahead for winless Cougars
SHENANDOAH JUNCTION – An injury, a wayward snap over its punter’s head, too little offense and just enough points from much-penalized Spring Mills cost Jefferson a chance to break free from the bonds of the loss column.
Spring Mills was no world-beater in its shaky 25-8 win over the winless Cougars, now 0-6 on the year with only the road ahead now in the season’s last month.
Jefferson played five of its first six games at home, and the 17-point loss to the Cardinals was the closest game the Cougars have had.
The Cougars had an 8-0 lead in the second quarter after quarterback Corbin Pierson scrambled to score and quarterback-to-be Scooter Gaskins ran in the two-point conversion.
But then Pierson was injured and the game slowly spiraled downward for the Cougars from then until the discomforting end.
Pierson left. He didn’t return. Gaskins took over, taking snaps in the so-called “wildcat formation.” Jefferson couldn’t score in the second half, seeing an 8-7 lead at the half dwindle away as the Cardinals scored the 18 points the second half produced.
A 73-yard run by Evin Hurt past the Jefferson defense gave the Cardinals their first points. But the Cougars still clung to an 8-7 lead at the intermission.
Spring Mills’ first possession of the second half was ruined by a 15-yard, dead ball penalty near the entrance to the Jefferson end zone. After missing a 42-yard field goal attempt, the Cardinals saw Gaskins try to pass when being clutched by a would-be tackler. His wild attempt sailed about 25 yards across the field and was ruled a lateral when the Cougars recovered on their own two.
On fourth down, a snap to the Jefferson punter went over his head and out of the end zone for a safety and a 9-8 Spring Mills lead.
Just seconds after the Cougars made their free kick from the 20 following the safety, the Cardinals’ Trenton Kerns found Rohan Parchment on a 26-yard slant pass that ended in Jefferson’s end zone.
The Cardinals led, 16-8.
Penalties continued in a steady stream against the Cardinals.
Jefferson threatened once as the game faded. But a Gaskins’ pass was intercepted at the Cardinal 10 and returned 40 yards to midfield.
A 15-yard face mask penalty was walked off against the Cougars that led to a successful 31-yard field goal by Hunter Ketchens.
Ahead by a definitive 11 points, Spring Mills had successive sacks on the scrambling Gaskins.
The Cardinals were able to add DaQuan May’s 39-yard run for the night’s last points.
Spring Mills went to 4-3 in its quest for another Class AAA playoff berth.
Jefferson goes down three state highways to complete its season. Loudoun Valley (Virginia), Martinsburg, South Hagerstown (Maryland) and Washington are the last four teams until the end comes to the 2017 season.
The Cougars had a one-point lead at halftime against Spring Mills. But they couldn’t score in the second half, losing again.