Maley, Reifer help lead Jefferson to victory

Cougars whip Loudoun Valley

Cougars whip Loudoun Valley

September 09, 2002|by CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. - Jefferson football coach Jay Kirby might very have been practicing his coin tosses Friday night.

That was probably the most equitable way to determine which player would receive the game ball.

With Jeremy Maley making big play after big play, including a touchdown, and Jason Reifer grinding out 129 yards and two scores, awarding two game balls wasn't out of the question, as the Cougars whipped Loudoun Valley, 34-25, in the Cougars' home opener.

But the Vikings didn't make things easy for Jefferson. Just about the time the Cougars seemed to have the game locked, Loudoun Valley managed to pull back into it.

After Maley's 12-yard reception pushed the Cougars' lead to 27-11, Loudoun Valley quarterback John Sheehan led a 65-yard scoring march to close the gap to 27-19 after a two-point conversion. A Jefferson penalty on the PAT allowed the Vikings to kickoff from the Cougars 45, and a successful onside kick put the ball on the 28.


That drive stalled on the 17, and after two plays, Jefferson faced a third-and-10 situation. Again, it was Maley, who hauled in a 38-yard pass from Codie Gustines to set up Reifer's nine-yard run with 43 seconds left to ice the win.

According to Kirby, the long pass to Maley was a perfect call in that situation. "If the ball's caught, great. If we don't make it, we have to punt, and if it's intercepted, it's like a punt."

Another turning point midway through the third period also found Maley making a big play. With Loudoun Valley pinned at their own 10, Sheehan completed a 40-yard pass to Thomas Adams who had the ball stripped away by Will Grantham. Maley picked up the loose ball at the Cougars' 45, and raced to the Vikings 13. One play later, Reifer bolted into the endzone to pushed the Jefferson advantage to 21-11.

"I saw Will Grantham had pretty good coverage," said Maley. "And when he knocked the ball out, Will and the receiver were both on the ground, so I just picked up the ball and tried to make the best of it."

It was Grantham who was responsible for getting Jefferson started, taking the opening kickoff 84 yards for an early, 7-0 lead.

"We struggled last week getting the ball into the endzone," said Kirby. "(The kickoff return) was huge. It gave us a big lift, and gave us the early momentum."

But once Loudoun Valley got started, the Cougars had a difficult time defensively.

"We were in our goal line defense the entire second half," said Kirby. "In fact we went to it late in the second quarter, and just stayed with it. That was the only thing that worked."

And it only slowed the Vikings, who rolled up 382 yards of total offense, include 214 yard in the air.

Jefferson 34, Loudoun Valley 25

Loudoun Valley 8 3 0 14 - 25

Jefferson 7 7 7 13 - 34

J-Will Grantham, 84 kickoff return (Andrew Shepard kick)

L-Chris Cox, 15 run (Brian Damewood pass from John Sheehan)

L-Sheehan, 22 FG

J-Josh Brown, 33 run (Shepard kick)

J-Jason Reifer, 13 run (Shepard kick)

J-Jeremy Maley 12 pass from Codie Gustines (kick failed)

L-Sheehan, 7 run (Sheehan run)

J-Reifer, 9 run (Shepard kick)

L-Cox, 5 pass from Sheehan (run failed)

First downs Loudoun - 17 Jefferson - 16

Rushes-yds Loudoun - 33-168 Jefferson - 36-139

Passes-comp-int Loudoun - 22-11-2 Jefferson - 8-5-0

Passing yds Loudoun - 214 Jefferson - 84

Total offense Loudoun - 382 Jefferson - 223

Punts-avg Loudoun - 1-40 Jefferson - 2-42

Penalties-yds Loudoun - 12-86 Jefferson - 5-61

Fumbles-lost Loudoun - 5-1 Jefferson - 4-0

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