TAMPA — Brandon is a playoff team this year and its opponent Thursday night — Jefferson — was not.
The Dragons wanted to send a message that they deserved to be playing next week. It was delivered loud and clear in a 47-19 victory to end Jefferson and first-year coach Jeremy Earle's season 6-4.
"It was a great first season for me, magical," Earle said. "We wanted to show tonight that we were good enough and deserved to be a playoff team. We were motivated by this game and wanted to send a message that they got the wrong team."
Brandon got on the board first when Tyler Clark returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. It was clear pretty quickly the Eagles would not hold the lead for long.
Power running by Jefferson's Shaquille Speights tied the score on the next possession for the Dragons when he ran up the middle for a 7-yard score.
Speights would soon add another score and Jefferson used its defense to score 33 unanswered points to close out the half. Two touchdowns came in the final minute when Charles Booth ran in a 6-yard fumble recovery for a score and Marquell Jackson ran an interception back 42 yards on the last play of the half.