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By Jeff McClintock
Jefferson Forest welcomed the Bassett Bengals to town Friday night.
The Cavaliers were looking to get into the win column for the year, but Bassett had other ideas in taking a 42 -7 victory over the host Cavaliers.
Daniel Martin got the party started for Bassett, taking the opening kickoff 70 yards for the score. Jefferson Forest took the ball on a decent march on its first possession, only to turn it over on downs at midfield.
Bassett then drove down to the Jefferson Forest 10 yard line, using a mixture of running and short passes.
Looking to go up by 14 early in the first, Bassett quarterback Mason Maples kept the ball on a sweep around the right side, where he was met by Jefferson Forest linebacker Aaron Bannister, who stood him up and stripped him of the ball.
Bannister returned his new-found prize all the way to the end zone for a 90-yard fumble return to help the Cavs pull even with Bassett, at seven apiece.
That would be the last of the JF scoring, as Bassett took advantage of turnovers, penalties, and short field position to build a 21 -7 halftime advantage.
Still, there was hope for the Cavs.
The second half started with Jefferson Forest going three-and-out on its first series.
Bannister recovered another Bassett fumble at the Cavaliers 40 yard line, but the team paid him back with little, as another three-and-out forced the Cavs to punt.
Well, it forced them to set up in a punt formation, anyway. Punter Dylan Sims was unable to handle the snap on the attempt, and Bassett was back in business at the Jefferson Forest 12 yard line. Bengal speedster Shaq Finney scored on a short burst off the left side to push the Bassett advantage to 21.
Finney was not finished giving grief to Jefferson Forest. On the next Bassett series, he intercepted an errant Marcus Jones pass at the Bassett 49 yard line.
This time, however, the Cavalier defense stiffened and forced a Bassett punt. Looking to get something going on offense, Forest came out throwing, with John Ayers leading the charge. His second attempt was picked off by Bassett defender Eddie Bowman, who ran it back for a 48 yard touchdown, to give Bassett a commanding 35-7 lead with two minutes left in the third quarter.
Jefferson Forest’s next two offensive drives were marred by two false starts and one personal foul, and ended when Finney took another Ayers pass 65 yards to paydirt, for the final margin.
The Cavs were done in by: Finney, who accounted for three scores and had four interceptions; seven total turnovers; and an offense that found little success via the run or the pass.
The Cavs were only able to put up 71 yards through the aerial game
One of the few bright spots may have been Tyler Fowler’s 53 yards on 11 carries.
That the Cavs have a bye this weekend seems to be a good thing.
The team has many facets of its game which need polishing, to say the least.
It seems the Cavs have a way to go before they host E.C. Glass on Sept. 24.
Based on this Bassett game, it is a very long way, indeed.