LAKEWOOD, Ohio — Last year? Perhaps.
This year? Ah, not so much.
Maybe if the Jefferson football team of 2010 would have played the St. Edward team of 2010 it would have been a better game.
As it was, the matchup of respective reigning state champions was no contest Saturday as the host Eagles cruised to a 52-13 victory at Lakewood Stadium.
While Jefferson is rebuilding after losing most of its starting lineup to graduation, St. Edward has not suffered much of a fall-off. It was a physical mismatch.
"Everybody has a plan until you get hit in the mouth and then you have a decision to make," Jefferson coach Jeremy Earle said. "It is hard to prepare for or duplicate their physical style of play."
The Eagles scored on their first four possessions in running their winning streak to 20 straight games. The Dragons, Florida's reigning Class 3A champs, lost two fumbles and punted three times on their first five possessions.
The Eagles, winners of Ohio's big-school state title last season, have four players on the offensive line taller than 6-foot-3 and weighing more than 290 pounds.
"That was a very, very, very big and physical offensive line," said Jefferson senior defensive lineman Tyriq McCord, who is regarded as one of the top down linemen in the country by Rivals.com. "You can underline those words, big and physical."
St. Edward, ranked ninth in the nation by USA Today and first in Ohio by the Associated Press, rolled up 416 yards on the ground and 490 yards of total offense.
St. Edward led 31-0 before the Dragons scored. Senior receiver Adrian Jenkins caught a 19-yard scoring pass from sophomore Deiondre Porter with eight seconds remaining in the first half.
Despite giving up 52 points, the Dragons defense provided a highlight. Senior Charles Booth intercepted a tipped pass and returned it 77 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.
Earle alternated Porter and senior Tyler Small at quarterback. Porter completed 10 of 18 for 129 yards and Small completed 3 of 6 for 33 yards. Jenkins finished with seven receptions for 78 yards.
St. Edward 21 10 21 0 - 52 Jefferson 0 7 6 0 - 13
SE — Grant 26 pass from Fallon (Wilhelm kick), 10:38
SE — Aaron 17 run (Wilhelm kick), 6:50
SE — Aaron 10 run (Wilhelm kick), 1:00
SE — Aaron 33 run (Wilhelm kick) 9:10
SE — Wilhelm 33 FG 1:28
TJ — Jenkins 19 pass from Porter (Ruiz kick), :08
SE — Jones 16 pass from Fallon (Wilhelm kick), 9:48
SE — Fallon 7 run (Wilhelm kick), 6:27
TJ — Booth 77 interception return (run failed), 3:55
SE — Grant 8 pass from Fallon (Wilhelm kick), 0:50