JEFFERSON — In a game that had the makings of a shootout, the Jefferson High football team shot to a historic level.
Class AA’s eighth-ranked Dragons tied a school scoring record with a 63-28 win against Union County on Friday at Jefferson Memorial Stadium.
The last time Jefferson (5-0, 4-0 Region 8-AA) scored 63 points in a game was 1977 against Loganville.
Jefferson remained unbeaten this season with a persistent first-half offense that scored on every possession and racked up 50 points by halftime for only the second time in school history.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a team score 50 points in a half,” Dragons coach T. McFerrin said. “Our guys are trying and are giving good effort.”
Jefferson finished the night with 511 total yards, led by the efforts of senior quarterback Darius Minor. The second-year starter was a perfect 4-for-4 passing for 116 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 120 yards and another two touchdowns.
“There was a lot of talk about how they had this person and that person, but the question was do they have a team,” Minor said. “Our team is built on faith and tradition. It’s about how the team plays, so we came out and dominated.”
Union County (2-3, 1-3), now losers of its last three, stuck to its passing game for the majority of the night, but struggled to stay consistent. Panthers quarterback Kolt Owenby was 19-for-35 for 189 yards and completed six of his first nine passes, but wore down in the second half, completing only three of his last 11 passes.
Owenby’s first of three touchdown passes on the night came on the first drive, capped off by a 28-yard touchdown pass to fellow senior Blake Gowder.
Owenby found Gowder again early in the second quarter on a 61-yard pass, the longest play of the night for both players.
Gowder finished the night as the Panthers’ leading receiver, with 106 yards on six catches.
“All week long we worried about them,” McFerrin said. “We knew they were going to complete them (passes). It’s hard to defend. You hate to commit to the blitz because the get rid of the ball so quickly.”
Jefferson used an alternative game plan, staying on the ground to score three rushing touchdowns and take a 20-7 lead in the first quarter, marked by two goal-line scampers by Lucas Redd and a 53-yard run by Minor.