Shaw has leaned heavily on the legs of running back Trey Ragas the past few years.
Friday night was no different as Shaw defeated West Jefferson 44-14 at Hoss Memtsas Stadium.
Shaw coach Scott Bairnsfather wanted to make sure West Jeff got a heavy dose of his star tailback.
“We came in wanting to give it to Trey as much as possible,” he said. “He is one of the best backs in the state. Our offense begins and ends with him. Everyone knows that, so it isn’t a hard choice to make.”
Ragas was virtually unstoppable: He finished with 262 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Matt Keller tossed touchdown passes of 8 and 35 yards, and he ran for a score from 5 yards with 5:39 remaining.
West Jeff pulled within two scores just after halftime after some nice runs by senior quarterback Coley Ransaw. Ransaw put the Buccaneers on the board by plowing in from the 1-yard line, and in the third quarter he answered a Shaw touchdown with a 16-yard TD run.
Ransaw finished 14-of-26 for 271 yards and an interception.
“We needed to take care of some things, and we just didn’t get it done,” West Jeff coach Cyril Crutchfield said. “We knew that we needed to make some changes, and we just didn’t follow through. They have a talented team, and they just took it to us tonight.”
Defensively, the Eagles made West Jeff one-dimensional. The defense gave up 310 yards but recorded an interception and forced a safety.
The Eagles went into halftime up 21-0 thanks to the tough running of Ragas. He posted 157 yards in the first half on just 14 carries, including when he surged out of a pile-up for 39 yards and his second score.
West Jeff had some promising drives behind the arm of Ransaw. He hit receivers for gains of 18, 37, 21 and 20 yards but failed to get any points on the board. Each surge was marred by penalties to end what would have been drives deep into Eagles territory.
Ragas punched the Eagles’ second score of the game from 2 yards out with 2:17 remaining in the first quarter. The touchdown spotted the Eagles a 14-0 lead going into the second quarter. Shaw started its opening drive inside Buccaneers territory at the 45; nine plays later, Keller found Allen for 8-yard touchdown.
West Jefferson’s David Carter finished with 50 yards on 19 carries. He added 86 receiving yards.