By Sam Conner
The Blue Ridge Yellowjackets defeated the Winslow Bulldogs 42-0 in Lakeside last Friday night. The win improved Blue Ridge’s record to 4-3 and dropped Winslow’s to 5-2.
Winslow was without its star receiver and running back, Yoaan Djassa, whose absence obviously hurt. The loss may have hurt the Bulldogs’ chances of getting a favorable seeding and the possibility of hosting a playoff game in the opening round.
Blue Ridge stopped Winslow’s first drive near midfield on an interception by Colton Penrod. The Yellowjackets scored on a 25-yard pass from P.J. London to Penrod. Mason Howlett booted the conversion to give Blue Ridge a 7-0 lead with the first quarter about half over.
The Bulldogs lost the ball on a fumble near their own 40 yard line, but the Jackets returned the favor when Winslow’s Michael Densmore recovered a fumble. The Bulldogs drove to the Blue Ridge 22 yard line, where the Yellowjackets held and took the ball on downs.
The Yellowjackets scored on a 78-yard run by Penrod. The conversion failed and Blue Ridge had a 13-0 lead with just seconds left in the quarter.
Blue Ridge next scored on a 26-yard run by Adam Henderson and London passed to Zeke Kessay for a two-point conversion and a 21-0 lead with about four minutes left in the half.
Blue Ridge’s Dominic Hoffmeyer intercepted a Winslow pass and ran 64 yards for the touchdown that gave the Yellowjackets a 27-0 lead with less than two minutes left until halftime.
The Yellowjackets took the second half kickoff and drove 61 yards, with Henderson scoring on a one-yard run. Howlett booted the conversion to give Blue Ridge a 34-0 lead.
The Yellowjackets scored a safety when they tackled a Winslow ball carrier in the end zone to increase their lead to 36-0. Blue Ridge had good position after the free kick following the safety.
A Blue Ridge touchdown by Chase Esparza was called back because of a holding penalty. Following the next play, Howlett booted a 35-yard field goal that increased Blue Ridge’s lead to a very commanding 39-0 that stood through the end of the third.
Howlett kicked another 35-yard field goal to increase the Jackets’ lead to 42-0 on their next possession. That score was enough to bring the running clock into operation and it stood until the final gun.
The Bulldogs will host the Payson Longhorns on Friday, Oct. 13, at Nasser Stadium. The loss to Blue Ridge makes a win over the Longhorns important. Payson lost to the Snowflake Lobos 28-7 last weekend and now has a 1-6 record.