Led by Donte Sincere’s 216 yards rushing and two touchdowns, Thomas Jefferson ran to its fourth win of the season, defeating Grace King 33-23 Saturday afternoon at Joe Yenni Stadium.
Sincere carried the ball for all but one play on a crucial drive for Jefferson that put it up by 16 and consumed most of the fourth quarter.
“I’m exhausted, but it helped my team win, so I’m willing to do it,” Sincere said. “It’s the first time I carried the ball that many times. It’s a positive thing for me.”
Jaguars coach Kevin Kelly said the ground game was big.
“The key was our offensive line and our running back,” Jaguars coach Kevin Kelly said. “We pounded the ball and played a more physical game than they did.”
In addition to Sincere’s big day, Tyler Butler scored three touchdowns.
The Jaguars (4-2) opened the game by driving 61 yards for a touchdown. They fed running back Sincere for 54 yards on nine carries, but it was receiver Tyler Butler who capped it with a 4-yard run on fourth down. Sincere found the end zone himself on Jefferson’s next drive for as 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Grace King (2-4) responded. After it finished off a long drive with a field goal, the Irish caught a break when Jefferson mishandled a punt snap from their own end zone and managed to kick it just 4 yards to set the Irish up at the 8-yard line. Derek Friloux punched it in from 6 yards out to bring the Irish within 14-10.
The Jaguars came up with a series of big plays when they needed them. Tyler Lavergne completed his first pass of the game on a 36-yard strike to Tyler Butler to the Irish 21 and then hit Butler again two plays later for a 17-yard touchdown with 15 seconds remaining in the half to put the Jaguars up 20-10 after a missed two-point attempt.
King answered on the opening second-half drive. Anthony Marino scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak on fourth-and-goal to make the score 20-17. The drive was kept alive by two Jaguars penalties on third down.
Jefferson hit the big play again with another Lavergne touchdown pass to Butler, this time for 47 yards. The Jaguars extended their lead entering the fourth, but only to nine after a missed extra point. However, they were able to get a stop and put the game away on Sincere’s long drive.