Cavalier bounce back

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JF storms back to beat Staunton River, 42-24

By Mike Forster

  Momentum is a fickle mistress.  She plied her wiles on the fields of Moneta Friday evening.  When she was through, the scoreboard read:  Jefferson Forest 42, Staunton River 24.

That final tally represented quite a reversal of fortunes.  For those who looked up at the Staunton River scoreboard a mere three minutes into the contest, it read this way:  Staunton River 14, Jefferson Forest 0.  One play into the second quarter, the board showed River with a 21-7 lead.

But, for the next 35 minutes, the Cavs turned up the juice and turned the tables on their hosts.

“These kids could have folded,” said JF Head Coach Don Rice, waving toward his charges, afterward.  “Instead, they rose to the challenge.”

Chief in helping the Cavs rise to that challenge was quarterback Marcus Jones.  The senior seemed to do it all, as he ran for nearly 200 yards, threw for 120 more, scored three touchdowns and passed for another.

But it was River that forced him to step up.


Early shocker

Four plays into the game, Staunton River fullback Chris Tyree burst through the two-hole on the left side and didn’t stop running until he found the end zone 74 yards later.

Three plays into JF’s first possession, Jones threw an interception to River’s Sam Jennings, who returned it to the JF 35 yard line.  A facemask penalty on the play pushed River to the JF 20.

From there, Jarret Moon dove off right tackle against a shell-shocked Cav defense.  Moon fought his way across the goal line for a 14-0 River lead.

This one appeared to be heading to rout-ville when three plays later, Adam Daponte picked off another Jones pass.  

That pick, however, was negated by a facemask call on a would-be sacker of Jones.

The Cav signal-caller then seemed to calm down and to calm those around him.  On the next snap, Jones dashed left on a broken play, picking up 15 yards.  A personal foul call on the Eagles put him in business on the River 36.

A pass to Ryan Gingrich moved JF to the 20.  A dump pass to Chad Pinigis moved JF inside the 10, and Jones fought his way to paydirt from there.

River reestablished its two-TD margin on its next possession.  Tyree, Moon and quarterback Deshawn Martin took turns throwing themselves into the fray, with marked success.  Martin capped off the scoring drive with a 22 yard dash around right end off the option.

Two series later, however, Jones & Company struck back, going 85 yards in 14 plays.  Key to that drive was  a 19-yard completion to Gingrich on a fourth-and-five from the River 38 yard line.

The drive was completed when Jones ran behind his “Fat Look” backfield of Michael Yost (310 pounds), Colby Tomlinson (240) and Pinigis (205), diving in from two yards out.

JF tied the game following a botched punt attempt by River deep in its own territory.  Pinigis and Chris Tidwell got the block on that ill-fated attempt, giving their team the ball on the River 24.

From there, Jones completed a 19-yard pass to Dro Herrera and followed that up with a 5-yard bullet to a diving Cody Loveday in the end zone.

“High school football is a game of momentum,” said SR Head Coach Chuck Poston.  “We had it, but (JF) never gave it up.”

The second half belonged to JF.  Jones went on a 40-yard dance on the third play of the half, and it was JF 28, Staunton River 21.

The Eagles’ best chance came toward the end of the third quarter.  After Cortland Frederick recovered a JF fumble on the River 40, Martin pieced together a drive that brought the Eagles to the JF five-yard line.

A holding penalty, however, pushed the Eagles back to their 15.  A bouncing fumble was nearly lost, though recovered by Ryan Willis on the 30.  From there, Martin had a spectacular run to the 11, and Adam Daponte booted a 28-yard field goal.

On JF’s next possession, though, Jones put the game away.  He had a 40-yard completion to Dominquie Royal that got the Cavs to the red zone.  From there, Tyler Fowler’s number was called until he blitzed into the end zone under escort of Cody Gehman.

Jones had a 42 yard romp in the middle of the fourth to cap the scoring.  


Game notes

-Missing Mikey Wallman at inside linebacker, JF defensive coordinator Mike Watts adjusted to a 6-1 look, with his safeties (Alex Cox and Bailey Corell) playing a linebacker/safety hybrid.

-Coach Poston had high praise for JF quarterback Jones.  “Having #2 (Jones) is like you play against 12 players,” he said.

-Poston also had kind words for JF kicker Dylan Sims, who had five of his six kickoffs result in touchbacks.  “We never got position,” he noted.  “We could have (world champion sprinter) Usain Bolt as our return man, and it wouldn’t matter.”

-In the preseason, Poston has wrestled with two very good options at quarterback. In this tilt, he went with Martin, who seemed to respond well.  “I’m as proud of him as I could be,” said Poston.  Martin, at times, took a pounding from the significantly larger JF defenders.  Still, he had some electrifying runs.

-Staunton River had nearly every starter going both ways.  Jefferson Forest had two doing so (Jones, who split time at cornerback, and Tomlinson).  In the heat, that was a factor.