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Playing in a town noted for its beds, Jefferson Forest stayed awake the entire game, taking Bassett, 32-7.
Playing their best football of the young season, the Cavs improved their overall record to 2-1 as Rashad Hall and Colby Rhodes, once again, put up the points.
Hall, en route to a 177-yard night, posted the first two touchdowns of the evening. The first was set up by a Jeff Brown-induced Bengal fumble on its own five yard line. Chip Taylor recovered. Hall’s second, a one-yard dive, put the Cavs ahead for good.
Rhodes’s two insurance tallies came on a 70-yard punt return and a 40-yard passing strike from Hunter Hannell.
“Colby Rhodes is one of the best return guys around,” declared JF Head Coach Don Rice.
Forest’s final touchdown came on Jeff Brown’s three-yard plunge into the end zone.
This one wasn’t as close as the score indicates.
JF was nailed with a stream of penalties, all at the most inopportune times. The infractions cost the Cavs points off the scoreboard.
Flag Day is supposed to take place in June, but it was celebrated in September on the fields of Bassett.
Colby Rhodes had a second punt return for a touchdown nullified. For the game, Rhodes had five lengthy punt returns. Three were called back (in fairness to our zebra friends, one was called back on a blatant and obvious clip).
Harrison Loy made a spectacular grab of a Hunter Hannell bullet, then dashed 30 yards for the end zone only to find his score stricken from the scoreboard because of a hold.
A third score, by Hall, was also negated by an infraction.
It got so that upon scoring, the Cav players’ reaction wasn’t to congratulate one another, it was to eyeball the field for the faintest trace of a yellow hankie.
In the first half, alone, the Cavs were called for nine infractions, while the Bengals had but one.
The Cavs led at the intermission, nonetheless, 13-7. The Bengals had scored when Patrick Blankenship caught a pass from Mason Maples. Blankenship fumbled, and teammate Jerel Lane pounced on the ball as it rolled into the end zone.
Other than that, the Cavs yielded little. Make that nothing. Make that negative yardage. For the half, in fact, the Bengals had posted -6 yards of total offense. That’s negative six yards.
The Cav defense took on the appearance of what folks expect from a Jeff Forest unit.
Running multiple looks off of its base 4-3 defense, the Cavs thwarted any aspirations by the Bengals.
Scott Davis had a terrific game and may have had too much fun doing so. Sometimes, the senior would line up at noseguard. Other times, he’d be found at the middle linebacker spot.
Fellow linebackers Jeff and Andrew Brown seemed to be ball hawking everywhere. The non-relatives teamed up for a trio of quarterback sacks.
A few other defenders that stood out were defensive linemen Chip Taylor and Michael Yost. That is a weighty duo which seems to use size to advantage.
Coach Rice points to his pass rush as the linchpin of his team’s defense. Guys like Taylor and Yost help to make that happen.
In total, the Cav defense teamed up for seven sacks.
This was the Cav defense’s best game by every conceivable measure: points allowed, yardage yielded (101 yards), sacks, passing yards (59), rushing yards (42).
The second half showed that the outcome of this one was never in doubt. Hall and Ryan Glavis proved a potent pair from out of the backfield.
Each time one of them touched the ball, it was certain to result in at least a five-yard pickup. “We wore them down a bit,” acknowledged Rice.
Glavis ran for 70 yards on the evening, to go along with Hall’s 177,
Of course, those guys aren’t doing it all on their own. Offensive linemen Tre Ward, Chris Box and Chris Peltier rated out highest among a solid group.
Meanwhile, quarterback Hunter Hannell had a nice evening of it. The senior went 5-of-10, for 91 yards. His sole interception came at the end of the game. “Hunter is meticulous in what he does,” assessed Rice. “He’s realizing he doesn’t have to force things.”
Offensive coordinator Mike Watts, who has been calling the offense, “did a great job,” in Rice’s opinion.