West Jefferson wanted to put on a show for the homecoming crowd. It took time to get going, but eventually the Buccaneers offense imposed its will. West Jefferson defeated archrival East Jefferson 41-20, to take a homecoming victory at Hoss Memtass Stadium.
West Jefferson broke open the game — tied at 14-14 at halftime — with 21 third-quarter points, getting two touchdown runs, plus a two-point conversion run, from David Carter to pull away.
Carter’s 79-yard romp with 3:35 left in the third quarter gave the Buccaneers a 35-20 lead. That score answered Malcolm Robinson’s 2-yard TD run that closed East Jefferson within 28-20 just two minutes earlier.
Icing the victory, Cole Ransaw found Tim Kent for a 19-yard touchdown strike — their second scoring connection — to go up 41-20 with 8:25 remaining in the game. That score was set up by a fumble recovery.
Ransaw finished 10-for-17 passing for 204 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score, while Carter finished with 145 yards, including the pair of third-quarter TDs, on 13 carries.
West Jefferson coach Cyril Crutchfield said he told his team “to get back to the basics if you want to win this game. We can’t lay down and just do enough to stay in the game. We needed to run the ball effectively to limit their time with the ball.”
That message was well received as the Buccaneers responded with two swift scores after halftime to extend the lead to 28-14.
The first of those scores came from Carter on a 30-yard touchdown up the middle, giving West Jeff a 22-14 lead.
The second of those scores came after West Jeff recovered a botched kickoff return attempt by East Jeff at its 8-yard line. Two plays later, Ransaw darted in for an 8-yard touchdown run for a 28-14 lead.
Warriors coach Marc Martin said he felt his team “relaxed too early” after a strong first half. “We know what we do well, but we are very young out there,” Martin said. “We needed to limit our mistakes but couldn’t accomplish that.”
Ransaw found Kent a second time for a 12-yard touchdown pass to even the score at 14-14 heading into halftime. East Jefferson threatened to score just before halftime but was denied by a stingy Buccaneers defense.
Gerard Walker punched in his second touchdown from 7 yards out to give the Warriors a 14-7 advantage. He ran for 68 yards and two scores in the first half, despite being shut out on the scoreboard in the first quarter. He finished with 129 yards rushing on 18 carries.
After the teams traded punts in the first quarter, cornerback Rashaad Johnson intercepted the fourth down pass, setting the Warriors up in the red zone. Walker ran around the left side for a 12-yard touchdown to tie the score at 7-7 in the second quarter.
West Jeff wasted little time airing the ball out once the game got underway. Ransaw hit Damion Degruy for a 67-yard touchdown pass.