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Cougars blow out Trojans

August 27, 2005|By BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va

The season is different. The playing surface is bigger. And the ball has points on the ends.

But when it comes to knowing what to do when in the spotlight, Jefferson has the same old Josh Brown.

Brown, the basketball standout who led Jefferson to the state tournament last season, notched a triple-double on the football field Friday, scoring a combined three touchdowns as a receiver and a special teams returner to lead the Cougars to a 31-3 rout of Hampshire in the 2005 home opener.

And he did it in the same fashion he uses when he has the ball in his hands on the basketball court - he pressured the opponents, leapt for long rebounds and used his speed to his advantage.

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"I just run," Brown said. "As long as we get blocks, me and Ryland (Newman) can get into the open field and make things happen."

Brown was true to his word. First, the senior made an adjustment on a slightly underthrown pass by quarterback Patrick Burns to pull in a 51-yard score on the first play of the second quarter.

Later, he added a 91-yard kickoff return and a 86-yard punt return, both for touchdowns, to help the Cougars end a three-game losing streak against the Trojans.

"(Brown) has speed and had a very good game," said Jefferson coach Richard Mills. "(Hampshire) may have made a few mistakes kicking the ball to him."

Newman did his part, returning from a first-quarter shoulder problem to add 138 yards rushing on 10 carries, including TD runs of 73 and 27 yards, to make it a blowout.

Those runs all came after the Trojans got hoarse trying to stop Brown.

The first touchdown came when Burns sent Brown down the right hash marks on a fly pattern. The pass was short and off to the right, but Brown planted and made a diagonal cut back to the ball before outjumping Hampshire defender Larry DePew for it. Brown pulled it down at the 15 and rambled into the end zone.

"I saw that the ball was underthrown and the defensive back was looking at me," said Brown, who was coming off of a quad injury. "He didn't see it and I took a step over and got it. He wasn't being physical with me."

After Hampshire got a 26-yard field goal from Orie Pancione to cut the deficit to 6-3, Brown got the points back in seconds.

The kickoff headed to the left corner, but Brown picked it up at the 9. He found a roadblock on the left sideline and doubled back to the right side, beating the Trojans along the sideline for the score and a 12-3 halftime lead.

"We work on special teams about 40 minutes a practice," Mills said. "But (Brown's cutback ability) is natural ability. That's something you can't teach. He sees the field well."

Newman returned in the third quarter and ran for 112 yards on three carries - one was the 73-yard sweep and the other the 27-yarder off right tackle, both for scores to give Jefferson a 25-3 lead.

Brown capped it all with 2:15 remaining in the game when he field a bouncing punt at the 14 and ran straight up the right hash marks for his punt return TD.

Brown had a third return touchdown by a penalty, finishing with 197 out of what could have been 278 yards in return yardage.

Because of the returns, Jefferson finished with just eight first downs and 297 yards of offense. The defense held Hampshire to 163 yards - all on the ground - in 52 plays.

"We were pinned back early and had to use our base plays," Mills said. "Then we got some field position and got lucky. I think it's great anytime you win. This game got the boys focused."

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