Dee Black Carries Jefferson to Victory in Season Opener Against Pittsburg
PITTSBURG -- Trying to pull away late in the fourth quarter, Jefferson called on Dee Black once more.
Black had carved up the Pittsburg defense all game. The running back took the handoff and saw nothing but open field. He sped off for a 55-yard touchdown that would increase the Jefferson lead to 44-35, the score it would win by.
"I just saw the open field," Black said. "My receivers were blocking. I saw the green grass. I had to do my thing."
Black led the Bulldogs offensively, finishing with 205 yards rushing and four touchdowns. On a night in which quarterback Trey Hodge went down with a right shoulder injury and receiver T.Q. Jackson was ejected after a skirmish in the their quarter, Jefferson desperately needed him.
"He's a guy playing both ways," coach Antwain Jimmerson said. "Those corners are running a lot during the game. I'm just proud of him. Our returning starter is still out. We told Dee, 'Its gonna be your show for a while.' He did a good job for us."
Jefferson never trailed, but the Bulldogs felt some pressure near the end.
Facing fourth-and-13, Pittsburg came up with a play that kept its hope alive. Jaylon Jimmerson found Promous Morrison over the middle for a 16-yard gain to keep the drive going. Jimmerson then carried the ball 17 yards on the ensuing play to set up a touchdown run from Dominique Allen. The Pirates' two-point conversion attempt was successful, cutting the lead to three.
Hodge left the game in the second quarter after falling hard on his right shoulder. He never returned and was seen wearing a sling on the sideline after the game. Kylan Thomas filled in admirably in his absence, starting from the first snap.
The Bulldogs snapped the ball directly to Thomas, who ran 52 yards for the touchdown with 4:54 left in the quarter. He finished with six carried for 120 yards.
"We'll get Trey to the doctor in the morning to be evaluated," Jimmerson said. "As you can tell, our offense changes quite a bit when we switch quarterbacks. Kylan did a good job and handled the pressure well. He played on varsity as a freshman, so it's his third year on varsity. We said, 'If you take care of the football, you're gonna be explosive.' He was tonight."
The Bulldogs played solid defense in the first half before giving up a few plays near the end of the game. Still, they held Pittsburg to 2-of-10 on its third down conversions, and Eric Gipson stood out with three sacks.
Jimmerson was explosive for the, finishing with 298 total yards and two touchdowns. Keontae Burns, in addition to locking down Jackson in the first half, finished with 101 yards receiving. He also threw a touchdown pass to Ty Jordan in the first quarter on a reverse trick play.
Pittsburg will look to bounce back when it faces Pine Tree at 7:30 p.m. next Friday in Longview.
Jefferson will get an extra day's rest this coming week before it faces Center at 7:30 p.m. next Friday in Jefferson.
"It'll be good to see coach (Barry) Bowman," Jimmerson said. "His dad was our principal at Jefferson, so we go way back. It'll be exciting to play them. Last year they had a young team and they're returning a lot of guys, so it should be a good battle."
Jefferson 44, Pittsburg 35
At Pirate Stadium, Pittsburg
Jefferson 7 22 9 6 -- 44
Pittsburg 7 7 7 14 -- 35
JEF -- Trey Hodge 1 run (Landon Fuquay kick), 6:11.
PIT -- Ty Jordan 14 pass from Keontae Burns (Giovanny Rojas kick), 2:17.
JEF -- Dee Black 8 run (Fuquay kick), 8:50.
JEF -- Black 9 run (Fuquay kick), 6:58.
JEF -- Kylan Thomas 52 run (Trace Smith 2-pt conversion), 4:54.
PIT -- Keithlen Griffin 38 pass from Jaylon Jimmerson (Rojas kick), 1:17.
PIT -- Antwon Robertson 14 run (Rojas kick), 9:36.
JEF -- Black 18 run (Fuquay kick), 9:03.
JEF -- Safety after poor snap flies past punter, 1:41.
PIT -- Jimmerson 10 run (PAT failed), 11:03.
PIT -- Dominique Allen 3 run (Jimmerson 2-pt conversion), 5:01.
JEF -- Black 55 run (PAT failed), 1:22.
First Downs 11 17
Total Yards 429 442
Rushes-Yards 32-350 49-233
Passing Yards 79 209
Comp.-Att.-Int. 4-10-0 9-21-0
Punts-Avg. 3-4134 4-38.5
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 3-20 6-31
RUSHING--Jefferson, Dee Black 15-205, Kylan Thomas 6-120, Trey Hodge 5-9, Eric Gipson 2-11, Lyrik Rawls 1-5, Maurice Williams 1-1, Malik Cannon 2-(-1). Pittsburg, Jaylon Jimmerson 20-103, Antwon Robertson 15-70, Dominique Allen 9-38, Keontae Burns 3-20, Keithlen Griffin 1-3.
PASSING--Jefferson, Hodge 3-6-0--76, Thomas 1-3-0--3, Rawls 0-1-0--0. Pittsburg, Jimmerson 8-19-0--195, Burns 1-1-0--14, Ty Jordan 0-1-0--0.
RECEIVING--Jefferson, Trace Smith 1-48, T.Q. Jackson 1-15, Thomas 1-13, Rawls 1-3. Pittsburg, Keontae Burns 3-101, Keithlen Griffin 3-70, Ty Jordan 2-22, Promous Morrison 1-16.