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The Forest Black took top honors in the Black and Blue Bowl, as Jefferson Forest rolled to a convincing 45-21 win over E.C. Glass.
And the Blue? Well, the Hilltoppers were just that, following a thrashing keyed by JF quarterback Marcus Jones and a first-unit defense that yielded little.
The Hilltoppers were certainly thinking of nabbing the upset, particularly in the game’s early going.
After Glass linebacker Jimbo Moore recovered a Jefferson Forest fumble deep in Cav territory, the Toppers were a mere 21 yards from paydirt.
It took Glass but two plays to exploit that situation. Quarterback Sam Craighill eluded the JF rush, dodged to his right and laced a perfect strike to Antonio Gentry, between two JF defenders in the end zone.
The 7-0 edge was the last the Hilltoppers would see.
That’s because the Cav offense kicked it into high gear on its very next possession.
Marcus Jones led his team on an 11-play drive that chomped up 80 yards and five minutes of game clock.
The drive was keyed by a third-down, 14-yard strike from Jones to tight end Ryan Gingrich that kept the drive alive in its early stages.
Jones showed some good moves on a couple of dances through the ‘Topper defense. On one of his scrambles, he was only brought down after running into a referee.
Jones put the exclamation point on the drive when he hit a diving Cody Loveday in the corner of the end zone from 20 yards out.
In the middle of the second quarter, the Cavs went up for good. Jones peeled off a 40-yard run to put the ball on the Glass three yard line.
From there, Jones (deservedly) called his own number. He was escorted to paydirt, courtesy of Ryan Roberson and Dalton King.
At the end of the second half, Dylan Sims pegged a 48-yard field goal to make it a 17-7 game.
Though ailing a bit, Sims made the boot look easy. After that, it was all Jeff Forest.
Bailey Corell returned the second half’s opening kickoff to the Glass 15 yard line. From there, a Hilltopper offsides penalty put the Cavs on the three. Jones kept through the right two-hole for the 24-7 lead.
Forest was able to pad its lead to 31-7, courtesy of Dominquie Royal’s 12-yard tally on an end-around.
The edge grew by another seven points after Jones went 30 yards, untouched, to cap a 63-yard drive which was keyed by Chris Tidwell’s fumble recovery.
With nine minutes remaining, sophomore Matthew Foster made a nifty 10-yard slant to payola off left tackle, to finish off the JF scoring.
With the Cav second-teamers in on defense, Glass picked up a couple of quick touchdowns. The first came on an 80-yard, five-play drive that was iced with a 20-yard pass from Josh Sessoms to Quentin Garland.
The other came on a long strike to Micah Manuel.
“It was a great win for us,” said JF Head Coach Don Rice. “The kids responded well and stayed focused. We did what we had to do.”
In very un-JF like fashion, the Cavs threw for 175 yards. “We’ve worked on our passing game,” noted Cav Offensive Coordinator Mike Watts. “Marcus Jones has a nice release...and Ryan Gingrich can catch anything you throw at him.”