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Cougars win thanks to Newman, tough defense

September 17, 2005|By TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va.

Jefferson didn't need a special highlight-reel performance from Josh Brown on Friday night.

The No. 1 Cougars used the footwork of junior Ryland Newman and a sturdy defensive effort to turn back the challenge from Broad Run (Va.) for a 35-6 victory in the first meeting between the schools since 1983.

Newman rushed for 139 yards on 16 carries and scored twice, while the Cougars defense allowed Broad Run only 137 yards overall, including 49 on the ground in 31 attempts. Jefferson forced four turnovers and knocked around Spartans quarterback Ryan McNey for five sacks.

"We pretty much played heads-up defense from the beginning of the game," said Jefferson coach Richard Mills.

The Spartans tried to employ a multitude of formations, including a double Wing-T, split backs with twins and pro sets, but the Cougars were not thrown off guard.

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"We had a pretty good scouting report on their offense," said Mills.

"I think we've got the best defense in the state," said junior linebacker Nathan Lancaster, part of the defensive clan that bounced back from allowing 34 points in a win last week against Park View (Va.).

With excellent field position at the Spartans 36 following a punt, Newman went to work with an 18-yard run off left end, leaping over one defender and bowling over another, to help set up his 6-yard score on an inside trap with 42 seconds left in the first period.

On Jefferson's next possession, the Cougars took advantage of a 15-yard personal foul and a smooth 45-yard reception by Brendan McLaughlin from Patrick Curtis that set up a 3-yard TD run by Newman at the 9:07 mark of the second period.

"We had some early difficulties but the offensive line started to hold their blocks for me," said Newman.

The defense got on the scoreboard soon thereafter when Lancaster stepped in front of McNey's looping screen pass and rambled 60 yards for a touchdown, the first of his career. Lancaster reaped the reward from an all-out blitz that swarmed McNey.

"We were blitzing and in man coverage ... I could see (the ball) coming," said Lancaster. "I just snatched it up and didn't want to look back and see anyone coming."

Newman had a 45-yard punt return called back because of a penalty, and it wasn't until the fourth period that the Cougars got on the board again.

Burns found McLaughlin 5 yards behind the Broad Run secondary on a 26-yard scoring hookup in the opening minute of the fourth period. Burns then scored from 3 yards out with 2:14 left to highlight a time-controlled 10-play, 60-yard drive.

"(Brendan) in his own right is a pretty good receiver and I think he's one of two D-1 potentials," said Mills.

Emotionally, both teams became unglued as the game wore on, leading to the ejection of a Broad Run player and a Jefferson assistant coach.

Broad Run had 100 yards in penalties and both teams were guilty of several offsetting personal fouls.

At 4-0, the Cougars are off to their best start since 1982 and can match their 5-0 start in 1980 when it meets up with Potomac Falls.

"We just need to stay focused and keep working on the system in place," said Mills.

"Everyone is going to be looking for us ... take them one game at a time and don't look ahead," said Newman.

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