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Red-hot Cavs take second in a row

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Top Rustburg 37-14

By Mike Forster

Jefferson Forest ensured that Rustburg’s homecoming festivities would be memorable.

For the Cavs, that is.

JF rocked the Red Devils to the tune of 37-14, picking up its second win in a row and its first in Seminole play.

A vastly improved Cav team played a complete game against the Rusties.  There were very few lapses on offense, defense, or special teams.

The offense kicked into high gear, racking up 435 yards, much of it on the strength of quarterback Marcus Jones.

The junior juggernaut rambled for 221 yards and completed six passes for another 68.

He ran for a pair of touchdowns and threw one to Dro Herrera.

Jones set the tone for the game on his first snap from center, as he took off, rounded right tackle and blazed 53 yards for the score.

His Rustburg counterpart gave as good as he got.  On the very next play from scrimmage, Craig Paulhus dashed 70 yards on the quarterback keeper.  The PAT gave Rustburg its first lead of the game.

That lead held up for nearly the rest of the first quarter.  Dylan Sims 38-yard field goal made it 9-7, JF.  By the way, that kick had enough leg to have easily made it from 48 yards out.

No matter, there are no style points in kicking.

Late in the second quarter, Jones led his Cavs on a 63-yard drive that was a microcosm of the Cav offense:  Aaron Bannister rumbled for the tough yards; Jones bolted 30 yards on a third-and-long; Jones completed a neat little seam pass to Keith Loveday; Mikey Wallman fought his way into the end zone from a few yards out.

The score that gave some breathing space came in the third quarter after Bailey Corell recovered a Rustie fumble 27 yards away from the end zone.

Jones, Bannister and Wallman took turns throwing themselves against the Red Devil defense.

Six plays later, Jones struck paydirt, to make it 23-7.

The icer came after Wallman recovered another Devil fumble. 

On the first play from scrimmage, Jones and Herrera hooked up for the final tally.

Herrera, by the way, is a good-sized target who is showing that he has sure hands.

JF’s last touchdown came following a (yup, you guessed it) Red Devil fumble.  This one was pounced on by Tre Ward. The next play from scrimmage, Jones broke loose around left end for a 59-yard score.

Rustburg would provide a modicum of excitement for what remained of the homecoming crowd when Paulhus heaved a monster toss toward the end zone.  Rustie receiver Brent Thacker came down with the ball and the  43-yard score.

Alas, too little, too late.

“That’s a team that has stayed together and has proven it is ready to play,” gushed JF offensive coordinator Mike Watts, following the game.  “We’re on the right track.”

It sure seems that way.

In addition to those already mentioned, Tyler Fowler showed a lot of ability to deliver.  He racked up 70 yards on a dozen carries.

The Cav defense did yield 307 total yards.  Take out the two Rustburg scoring plays, however, and you’re looking at a yield in the 170-yard neighborhood.  Quite respectable.

“We’ve gotten a lot better,” acknowledged defensive coordinator Dave Rocco.  “We’re more confident.”

Rocco seemed most pleased with how his charges played assignment football in shutting down the Rustburg option attack.

Overall, this was a big win, as evidenced by a post-game attempt by Cody Gehman and Tre Ward to douse JF head coach Don Rice with the Gatorade bucket.

The attempt failed.  Little else the Cavs did that night failed, though.