TAMPA — Shaquille Speights rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown, and Jefferson's defense withstood a second-half King rally to hold on to a 29-16 Class 6A, District 8 win Friday.
Jefferson caught fire with a little less than four minutes remaining in the half — turning two turnovers into touchdowns to seemingly blow the game open.
Jefferson (2-4, 2-2) first scored on an 8-yard run from Deiondre Porter that capped a seven-play, 56-yard drive. The next two King possessions quickly ended when Greg Windham threw interceptions to Jefferson defenders, including Charles Booth, who returned a pick 45 yards for a touchdown. Less than 30 seconds later, Porter threw a 53-yard TD pass to Adrian Jenkins.
King struck back with Windham touchdown passes in the third and fourth quarters to narrow the gap. After Windham, who completed 14 of 44 passes for 178 yards, connected with Chris Murray on a 22-yard scoring strike, King (3-4, 2-2) got within 13 points.
The Lions got an onside kick with two minutes left but the Dragons defense held, got the ball back and ran out the clock.
Rod Gipson, Times correspondent