Wk 2 LYN 2023 Jefferson Forest @ Staunton River

Wk 2 LYN 2023 Jefferson Forest @ Staunton River 752 1294 SWVA High School Sports

Jefferson Forest Seals the Deal 27-15 against Staunton River late in the 4th Quarter

Staunton River High School, Moneta VA – After a hard fought rivalry game chock full of chippy moments and drive saving plays, the Jefferson Forest Cavaliers ran away with the W after a late game TD. 
Looking at the 27-15 final score, it would make sense to think that the Cavs had the game locked down. But, with 4:30 left in the fourth, the Golden Eagles were coming off of a clutch QB 5 Brady Barnes TD pass to WR 3 Grayson Sheets. Down by six, Staunton River was getting ready to attempt an onside kick having already recovered on squib early in the game. If everything went right, victory was in reach.

“We faced a lot of adversity tonight,” JF Head Coach Crews said, “we handled it well more times than not, enough to find a way to win against a [Staunton River] team that battled the whole way through.” The Cavs showed up when it counted most. WR 4 Samuel Hammersmith fielded Staunton River’s onside kick and JF advanced to the 38 yard line to set up a RB 21 Lukas Calkins TD for the win. 
“Not how we wanted it to go, but it was a 180 from last week,” Staunton River Head Coach Leonard said after the game, “tonight we just made one too many mistakes against a good football team.”

From the top, both squads favored a ground and pound offense and took to the air when absolutely necessary. Staunton River racked up 36 rushes for 153 yards and their two main options were Barnes and RB 42 Joshua Kelly who combined for 123 yards. The two juniors started the Golden Eagle’s opening drive off strong, but penalties and third down sack from Cavs DL 60 Tyrese Calloway forced a Staunton River. 

Jefferson Forest’s senior heavy squad allowed them more leeway in the rushing department, ending the night with 34 rushes for 251 yards and three TD’s. Calkins picked up 68 yards and two scores but the Cavs had four other seniors pitching in around 40 yards each and more importantly, always keeping the Golden Eagle defense on their toes. JF’s offense was on full display on they’re opening drive. QB 19 Josiah Bell hit RB 5 Dameen Williams at the last second on the sideline for a 22 yard third down conversion. Plus, each of the Cav’s five seniors took a crack at the Golden Eagle’s defense, culminating in a 38 yard Williams TD. 

JF almost went the distance again on their second drive, but Staunton River’s DL 53 Taylor Thomas had other plans. The Cav’s second play in the red zone was cut short after a big hit and fumble recovery by Thomas. However, the Golden Eagle’s couldn’t get it done on the other side of the ball and a Williams 30 yard punt return set up Calkins’ first TD to put JF up 14-0. 

But, it wasn’t halftime yet. First Golden Eagle RB 7 William Huff wove his way up field for a 40 yard kick return followed up immediately with a Barnes bomb to Sheets, situating Staunton River in scoring range. Barnes and Sheets weren’t done yet, connecting for a TD with 29 seconds left. The squib went out and black jerseys swarmed the ball. In under two minutes Staunton River went from down 0-14 to 50 yards away from a tied game. But, the Cavs weren’t going to let their entire lead slip away. They picked off another Barnes/Sheets bomb and retained their seven point lead. 

The Cavs came out the second half looking to widen the lead but couldn’t get it done after a costly penalty and two incomplete passes forcing them to punt the ball away. But, just because JF didn’t have the ball didn’t mean they couldn’t score. After their success in the last half, Staunton River took to the air, but it didn’t last long. Milliseconds after the ball left Barnes’ fingertips on a screen pass attempt, JF’s DL 8 Slade Keesee burst through the line and snagged the football while keeping his momentum to carry him for 41 yards and the score. 21-7 JF. 

Staunton River knew they had to start scoring but instead put together a long drive that took up the remaining time in the third quarter. As the drive continued in the fourth, it was Keesee again for JF. The Golden Eagles back inside the ten yard line after a costly holding penalty had pushed them back from the two when JF’s Keesee struck again. The sophomore tracked Barnes as he rolled right and sacked him for a devastating nine yard loss on third down. Barnes tried to find Sheets in the end zone, but JF’s DB 2 Jamarcus Johnson locked Sheets up resulting in a Staunton River turnover on downs. 

On the following drive, Staunton River’s D did their job and held JF inside the 50 by way of consecutive Kelly tackles for a loss to stop Calkins. The Cavs punted it away as Kelly and Barnes combined for 35 rushing yards to set up Sheets’ TD from the beginning of the article. 

Next week, Staunton River hosts Liberty (Bedford) in pursuit of their first win, and Jefferson Forest hosts Halifax County to defend their untarnished record. – Graham Whitaker

1st Qtr:
JF-38yd Williams rush: PAT 1:26
2nd Qtr:
JF-6yd Calkins rush: PAT 1:42
SR-23yd Barns pass to Sheets: Graham PAT 0:29
3rd Qtr:
JF-40yd Keesee Int ret: PAT 7:30
4th Qtr:
SR-14yd Barns pass to Sheets: Kitchens 2PTCON 4:31
JF-38yd Calkins rush: PAT failed 2:46

Rushing: Jefferson Forest – Lukas Calkins 11/68yds 2TD’s, Josiah Bell 6/46yds, Cam Parker 6/39yds, Ethan Boone 4/38yds, Dameen Williams 3/36yds, Peyton Jackson 2/13yds, Wrigley Colling 2/11yds
Staunton River – Joshua Kelly 17/86yds, Brady Barns 12/37yds, Macon Ayers 5/18yds, Nickolas Kitchens 2/12yds
Passing: Jefferson Forest – Josiah Bell 4/8 50yds
Staunton River – Brady Barns 3/10 69yds 2TD’s 2INT
Receiving: Jefferson Forest – Dameen Williams 1/1 22yds, Jamarcus Johnson 2/4 20yds, 34 Wrigley Colling 1/1 8yds, Cam Parker 0/1 0yds Staunton River – Grayson Sheets 2/7 69yds 2TD’s, 0/2 0yds Returns: Jefferson Forest – Dameen Williams 47yds, Slade Keesee 40yds TD, Samuel Hammersmith Staunton River – William Huff 40yds, Aiden Lawhorne 11yds, Tyler Mercer 10yds
Punting: Jefferson Forest – Josiah Bell 2/22yd avg.
Staunton River – Taylor Thomas 3/36yd avg.

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