Jefferson Takes Care of Evansville
By: Brian Burkhart
“It feels great to get a big win on their homecoming, now they know how we felt last week,” said winning quarterback Andy Braheir. Jefferson bounced back from its first loss of the season last week against Edgerton, winning at Evansville 35-20 in a Rock Valley Conference North Division game Friday night.
Senior running back Garrett Blaeske had the big night, racking up 216 yards and two scores as Jefferson (3-1, 5-1 overall) improved to 3-1 in conference play. After completing zero passes in last week’s homecoming loss, Eagles Brahier stepped his play up early in the game. He found his big tight end Cory Welper for an 18-yard touchdown pass to give his team an early 7-0 leading in the first quarter.
This was before Kevin Sanchez gave the Eagles a 14-0 lead with a 32-yard punt return in the second quarter. After Evansville cut the deficit to 14-7 with a Matt Sperry 4th & Goal quarterback sneak, Blaeske brought the lead to 21-7 at halftime with a 1-yard run as time in the second expired.
After halftime Eagles senior Garrett Ebert added to the lead with a 12-yard touchdown run to make it 28-7 late in the third, but the Blue Devils (3-3, 2-2) hung around with a 30-yard touchdown run by Isaiah Shell to keep things interesting 28-14. Blaekse, who ran 34 times for 175 yards and two touchdowns, also caught a pass for 41 yards to finish with 216 total yards. He added his second 1-yard touchdown run of the game to seal it late in the fourth 35-14 with 3:55 left in the game.
The Blue Devils though on their homecoming weren’t going down easy; on the ensuing kickoff Nathan Redder took a 94-yard kick off return to the house. After getting the extra point blocked the score was 35-20 with three minutes left in the game.
When the Eagles got the ball back they could taste victory, after a few strong runs by Blaeske and a kneel down the Eagles went home victorious. The Eagles Ebert ran 24 times for 145 yards and a touchdown while Brahier hit on three-of-four pass attempts for 84 yards and a touchdown score in the victory.
Jefferson Head Coach Steve Gee was happy with the win but knew last weeks loss to Edgerton was critical to their conference title hopes. “I thought our team bounced back great tonight, last week we really needed that win against Edgerton but now all we can do is hope someone else can knock them off for us.” The Eagles now have sole possession of second place in the Rock Valley North but are still staring up at 4-0 Edgerton and think what could have been last Friday night.
The Eagles will host an undefeated Brodhead team next week and the Blue Devils will travel to take on Beloit-Turner.
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