Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

3A football: Jefferson 43, Land O'Lakes 22

TAMPA — As if fully cognizant of the Bright House Sports Network cameras surrounding them, the Jefferson Dragons chose to deliver an ensemble performance for their regional TV audience.

On a comfortable, cloudless night at Dr. Sam Horton Stadium, the only break the Dragons gave Land O'Lakes (9-2) were commercial ones. In arguably its best, most balanced effort of the year, Jefferson (9-1) amassed nearly 400 total yards in a 43-22 playoff triumph.

The victory sets up a Jefferson rematch against Class 3A, District 8 foe Lakewood at home in Friday's 3A region semifinals. Jefferson topped the Spartans 27-6 in October.

"We had a couple of busts, but overall we got the win," said junior quarterback Quentin Williams, who threw for 191 yards and three touchdowns. "Our motto is when the offense executes the score takes care of itself."

The Dragons' stars? There was a veritable constellation of them.

In addition to Williams, junior Demetrius Russell ran for 110 yards on only 14 carries; lanky wideout Andre "The Freak" Davis had seven catches for 84 yards and two touchdowns; and the offensive line kept Williams from sustaining little more than a grass stain.

Additionally, the Dragons had no turnovers, were whistled for only five penalties and converted two crucial short-field opportunities into touchdowns.

"I'll have to look at the film; I'm sure there are some little things here and there that we can get better at," coach Mike Fenton said. "I was satisfied with the tempo of it and our offensive line I think played one whale of a game."

Two critical Gators miscues resulted in a 14-point halftime deficit. On his first possession of the game, Gators coach Matt Kitchie opted to go for it on fourth-and-1 from inside his 45. Jefferson held, and LaDarius Moye scored from 4 yards out six plays later.

Then with less than a minute remaining before halftime, punter Gary Myrick mishandled a long snap in his own territory and was swarmed by Dragons defenders, giving Jefferson possession at the LOL 29. Four plays later, Williams scored from 6 yards to make it 23-9.

Land O'Lakes' first-half highlight: an apparently improvised Stevie Weatherford shovel pass to Alex Robinson on a broken play that resulted in a 22-yard touchdown to cut Jefferson's lead to 9-7. Such was the reason the hosts entered the game intent on keeping the ball from Weatherford.

"We wanted to help our defense out a little bit and try to control the clock a little bit … because we felt he was pretty dangerous," Fenton said.

Weatherford finished with 210 yards, three touchdowns and only one interception.

"You can't fault Weatherford for his game," Kitchie said. "We just made some crucial mistakes at the wrong time."

Jefferson 43

Land O'Lakes 22

3A football: Jefferson 43, Land O'Lakes 22 11/20/09 [Last modified: Friday, November 20, 2009 11:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. College World Series: Gators, LSU face off in all-SEC finals

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — The matchup for the College World Series finals bolsters the case for those who say the best baseball in the land is played in the SEC.

    Florida’s Brady Singer, delivering during a CWS win over Louisville last week, is scheduled to start tonight against LSU.
  2. Jones: Fox Sports Sun shows depth in Rays coverage

    TV and Radio

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) makes a run home for a score in the in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  3. Brian Boyle says returning to Lightning a 'huge option'

    Blogs

    As former Lightning forward Brian Boyle approaches free agency this week, he said he's trying to stay busy.

  4. Rays journal: Blake Snell to rejoin rotation, Erasmo Ramirez heads to bullpen

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Blake Snell is rejoining the Rays' rotation, but the move has as much to do with helping the bullpen as it does with Snell's improvement during his time at Triple-A Durham.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.