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Cougars make little go long way

October 02, 2004|By RYAN ALLEN

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. - The Jefferson Cougars held Musselman to 127 total yards as they won their fifth straight game, defeating the visiting Applemen 21-0 Friday night.

Jefferson (5-1) assured itself of its first nonlosing season since 1992. The five-game winning streak is the school's longest since 1987.

The Cougars scored on their first possession when Ryland Newman accelerated through the line on a third-and-7 play and raced 82 yards for a touchdown 3:35 into the game.

Jefferson did not collect another first down until the fourth quarter, going three plays and punting on its next eight possessions. Musselman, however, never seriously threatened to score.

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"Coming into the game, our plan was to get ahead and put the game in our defense's hands," said Jefferson assistant coach Rick Ashburn.

Musselman's best chance to tie the game came on the first play of the fourth quarter when Newman fumbled an Applemen punt on the Jefferson 35. Musselman gave the ball right back, however, as running back D.J. Stephenson fumbled on the next play.

"We had some nice drives going, but we were never able to finish them off," Musselman coach Denny Price said. "It was tough with our field position ... always needing to go 80 yards to score."

Jefferson punter Thomas Teyssier twice pinned the Appleman inside their own 15. Only two of their drives began from outside their own 35.

Following the Stephenson fumble, Jefferson drove 65 yards in five plays as Patrick Burns connected with Brendan McLaughlin on a 25-yard touchdown pass to give the Cougars a 14-0 lead.

"We've kind of been doing this all year," said Ashburn. "We've made big plays and scored when we've had to."

Jefferson iced the game a few minutes later when Carl Williams scored on a 7-yard run to extend the lead to 21-0.

Newman finished with 105 yards rushing and Williams chipped in with 82 yards on seven carries.

Stephenson rushed for 62 yards to lead Musselman (2-3) on offense.

"We're a pretty good 2-3 team," said Price. "We just have to regroup. Good teams are able to do the same thing every week, which is why Jefferson is 5-1."

The Cougars are already thinking ahead, as they will host perennial power Fort Hill next week.

"All you have to say is 'Fort Hill' and everybody knows who you're talking about," said Ashburn. "We've got our work cut out for us as coaches this week."

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