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On a frosty night, the Cavs showed they could be cold-hearted.
Jefferson Forest crushed Staunton River's dreams of a regional title while keeping the Cav aspirations alive. This one came in a neatly bundled 21-7 win.
The formula for the JF victory was simple: Employ your two biggest offensive weapons early and often, while shutting down the Eagles' vaunted rushing game.
Check and check.
The Cavs had a total of 44 running plays. Offensive weapons A (Marcus Jones) and B (Tyler Fowler) carried on 44 of those plays. The other runs were...wait a minute...there were no other runs.
Jones did throw the ball, however. He was helped out by wide receiver Dominquie Royal, who had two exceptional catches. Circus catches? Yeah, we'd say so. The junior contorted himself like a python while stretching out like Elastic Man to make the snags.
Tight end Ryan Gingrich hauled in a couple of key, first-down earning passes from Jones, as well.
JF drew first blood in the second quarter. Staunton River denied the Cavs entry into the end zone on four tries from the four-yard line. Brian Ellis, Marcus Brown, Chris Moon, Trevian White and Desha Martin, among others helped out on big stops as Jones went four times for the end zone.
"Staunton River has a good defense," said Gingrich. "They just don't quit."
On JF's next possession, however, Jones wouldn't be denied. He dumped a 12-yard pass to Gingrich to move to the River 20 yard line.
From there, Fowler picked up five yards. Jones then broke off right tackle to go untouched for the opening score.
The 7-0 lead would stand into halftime, due largely to Sam Jennings pick of a JF pass in the end zone on a third-and-goal from the five.
JF would pick up (what would turn out to be) all the points it needed early in the third quarter.
After Staunton River took two consecutive time-outs to put in the defense it wanted, Fowler saw exactly what HE wanted. He took the next play for a 32-yard touchdown. The score came on a trap play that featured some nifty open-field running by the senior. In fact, his cutback on the play showed a field of vision you're rarely going to see at this level.
The Eagles would come back, though. Quarterback Deshawn Martin went on a rollicking run of his own in the third quarter. His 40-yard jaunt, during which he zigged the entire width of the field was assisted by three superb open-field blocks.
When Martin was done, the Eagles were set up on the JF five yard line. From there, Trevon White easily slid into the end zone.
Jones then took matters into his own hands, leading a picture-perfect drive that ended up with Fowler dancing to paydirt from five yards away.
"We shot ourselves in the foot a bit," said JF lineman Michael Yost, referring to some costly penalties. "Still, we overcame them and got the 'W'. That's what matters."
Indeed, that's what matters the most.